Reader@mReotEch.com

Latest Tech Feeds to Keep You Updated…

Stream YouTube TV using your voice on Google Home

Google Home, Google Home Mini, and soon Google Home Max, let you enjoy your entertainment hands-free with the Google Assistant. With Chromecast, you can already stream your favorite YouTube clips, Netflix shows (if you have a subscription, of course), and more straight to your TV with a simple voice command.  

Starting today, voice control gets even better on Google Home with support for YouTube TV. Available in most major U.S. cities, YouTube TV now offers live local broadcast feeds from ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, as well as popular cable networks like ESPN, AMC and FX, and regional sports networks.

yt4

Getting started is simple

Once you’ve set up Google Home and Chromecast, open the Google Home app to link the two. After that, simply use your voice to control your YouTube TV experience. Just start with “Ok Google” to ask your Assistant to:

  • Play “This Is Us”
  • Play the MLB game
  • Play MSNBC
  • Play the latest episode of “Grey's Anatomy”
  • Play last week’s “NCIS”
  • Record “Empire”
  • Play, pause, stop, rewind 15 seconds, turn captions on, or fast forward two minutes

Subscribe to YouTube TV, get a Chromecast on us

If you already have Google Home, you’re halfway there. After a free trial, YouTube TV is only $35 per month and you can cancel any time. And for a limited time, we’re offering new YouTube TV members a complimentary Chromecast so you can start streaming on your big screen.


We’re excited about bringing together three of our favorite family members—Google Home, Chromecast, and YouTube TV—so you can enjoy a new way to watch live TV.


Learn more about Google Home and visit YouTube TV to find out if it’s available in your area.

Time for a refresh: meet the new Google Calendar for web

Check your schedule. Starting today, a fresh look and new features are coming to Google Calendar on the web to help you manage your time more efficiently and get more done.

We’re taking a lot of what you know and love from Calendar’s mobile application, like the modern color palette and sleek design, and bringing it to the web with a responsive layout that auto-adjusts to your screen size. We’ve also added more features for enterprises to help teams schedule and prepare for meetings.

New Calendar UI on web

Over the years, you’ve shared valuable feedback on how we can enhance Calendar to better fit your needs and we’re excited to bring new improvements. Now, it’s even easier to manage your schedule at your desk. In the new Calendar for web, you can:

  • See conference room details when booking a room. G Suite admins can now enter detailed information about their organization’s meeting rooms—so employees know where a conference room is located, how large it is, and whether it has audio/video equipment or is wheelchair accessible. Employees can simply hover over the room name in Calendar when they want to book a space, and a hovercard will pop up with details about the conference location and resources.

SRI in Calendar - GIF
  • Add rich formatting and hyperlinks to your Calendar invites. Link to relevant spreadsheets, documents or presentations in your Calendar invite and open them directly from the new “Event Detail” view. This can help you create more detailed agendas and ensure all materials are in one place before your meeting starts.
Rich text formatting in Calendar
  • Manage multiple calendars side by side in “Day” view. Now you can view and manage calendars in separate columns. This makes it easier for employees who manage multiple calendars, like administrative assistants, to schedule meetings on behalf of their teams. Click “Day” view and select the calendars you want to compare.
Side-by-side Day view in Calendar

There are a number of other changes in Calendar, too. Now you can see contact information of meeting participants when you hover over their names in a Calendar invite. There’s also a new way to view and restore deleted items in one place in case you accidentally delete a meeting. Additionally, "Day,” "Week,” and "Month" views are now more accessible, featuring better compatibility with screen readers. For more detail on changes, check out this post.

These new changes in Calendar can help your teams better manage their time, and G Suite admins can enable these new updates starting today. Read this post for more information on rollout options.


And if you use Calendar for personal use, click “Use new Calendar” in the upper righthand corner of the main Calendar view to get started.

Pixel Visual Core: image processing and machine learning on Pixel 2

The camera on the new Pixel 2 is packed full of great hardware, software and machine learning (ML), so all you need to do is point and shoot to take amazing photos and videos. One of the technologies that helps you take great photos is HDR+, which makes it possible to get excellent photos of scenes with a large range of brightness levels, from dimly lit landscapes to a very sunny sky.

HDR+ produces beautiful images, and we’ve evolved the algorithm that powers it over the past year to use the Pixel 2’s application processor efficiently, and enable you to take multiple pictures in sequence by intelligently processing HDR+ in the background. In parallel, we’ve also been working on creating hardware capabilities that enable significantly greater computing power—beyond existing hardware—to bring HDR+ to third-party photography applications.

To expand the reach of HDR+, handle the most challenging imaging and ML applications, and deliver lower-latency and even more power-efficient HDR+ processing, we’ve created Pixel Visual Core.

Pixel Visual Core is Google’s first custom-designed co-processor for consumer products. It’s built into every Pixel 2, and in the coming months, we’ll turn it on through a software update to enable more applications to use Pixel 2’s camera for taking HDR+ quality pictures.

pixel visual core
Magnified image of Pixel Visual Core

Let's delve into the details for you technical folks out there: The centerpiece of Pixel Visual Core is the Google-designed Image Processing Unit (IPU)—a fully programmable, domain-specific processor designed from scratch to deliver maximum performance at low power. With eight Google-designed custom cores, each with 512 arithmetic logic units (ALUs), the IPU delivers raw performance of more than 3 trillion operations per second on a mobile power budget. Using Pixel Visual Core, HDR+ can run 5x faster and at less than one-tenth the energy than running on the application processor (AP). A key ingredient to the IPU’s efficiency is the tight coupling of hardware and software—our software controls many more details of the hardware than in a typical processor. Handing more control to the software makes the hardware simpler and more efficient, but it also makes the IPU challenging to program using traditional programming languages. To avoid this, the IPU leverages domain-specific languages that ease the burden on both developers and the compiler: Halide for image processing and TensorFlow for machine learning. A custom Google-made compiler optimizes the code for the underlying hardware.


In the coming weeks, we’ll enable Pixel Visual Core as a developer option in the developer preview of Android Oreo 8.1 (MR1). Later, we’ll enable it for all third-party apps using the Android Camera API, giving them access to the Pixel 2’s HDR+ technology. We can’t wait to see the beautiful HDR+ photography that you already get through your Pixel 2 camera become available in your favorite photography apps.

HDR+ will be the first application to run on Pixel Visual Core. Notably, because Pixel Visual Core is programmable, we’re already preparing the next set of applications. The great thing is that as we port more machine learning and imaging applications to use Pixel Visual Core, Pixel 2 will continuously improve. So keep an eye out!

First Oktoberfest, and now Tufinnovate EMEA 2017 – Festival continues

Frankfurt, Germany in October transforms into a city of festivals, catering to all tastes and ages. Just two weeks ago Oktoberfest got over and last week we saw the city play host to the famous book fair. This October, Frankfurt gives techies in Europe an extra delight with a hi-tech event, Tufinnovate EMEA 2017, Oct […]

Three Ways in which Stealthwatch Helps You Get More from Your Network Data

Do you know what the greatest Olympian of all time and Stealthwatch have in common? Both work harder and smarter for unbeatable performance. I recently heard from the one-and-only, Michael Phelps. He said that very early on, he and his coach set very high goals. And he knew that to achieve them, he had to […]

Taking UX Beyond The Screen: Local Projects’ Elvira Barriga on Multidisciplinary Design

It’s hard not to be delighted by Elvira Barriga’s work. As the creative director at New York’s Local Projects, she pulls together teams of designers to create experiences that fuse the digital with the physical. Working mostly with museums and other cultural institutions, she creates exhibitions and installations that merge storytelling, graphic design, spatial design, interactive design, and creative technology together. For her, creating a solid user experience has to go way beyond wireframes and the screen (even though those are important to her, too).

At Adobe MAX, Elvira will be sharing her experiences working as a multi-disciplinary designer in her talk, Storytelling at The Intersection of Architecture, Design, and Technology. We asked her for a sneak peek, and asked her to share tips for taking UX way beyond the screen.

You don’t like to define your work as exclusively UX design. What’s your definition of UX to you?

It’s actually a good term, but I think most people understand it primarily in reference to digital applications, and it’s a very different scenario when you go beyond the screen and design interpretive experiences for physical spaces.

Of course we also delve into building wireframes and designing user interfaces for our digital installations, but when we define entire museum experiences, we have to think more broadly about the user experience. I prefer the term visitor experience in that context. In essence we have an institution that wants to convey its story, we have a physical space with its specific conditions, an array of media options to express the content, and then there are the visitors with all their senses and diverse behavioral traits. That means we have to crack a multidimensional experience flow. At Local Projects we are constantly investigating how to use the opportunities of space, media, and technology to tell narratives in unconventional ways. And every design discipline can be in the driver’s seat at a different moment in that regard. I am very curious about the opportunities of that diversity and I am so happy that we have all the disciplines in house at LP. It enriches the ideation process so much.

What’s the best way to create effective, multidisciplinary user experiences?

As designers we have to be the visitor’s advocates. Museum fatigue is not a myth. It’s a real thing. Most curators know that it affects people but they still have a hard time accepting the consequences and editing to amplify. They are spending years and years researching the topic, so to them every artefact has it’s own story and becomes incredibly precious. But the visitors only have a couple of hours.

It’s crucial for me to start a project by spending “quality time” with the key stakeholders and to be able to ask the bigger, sometimes uncomfortable questions. I am intrigued by tensions and ambiguities—but when it comes to projects I just want to clarify them. It may seem like ‘duh, of course you’d do that,’ but it’s simply not always easy to vindicate the time and budget for a proper research and interview phase. We sometimes jumpstart too quickly into designing because we assume that we “get it” or because the client is not open to this kind of engagement.

One of my favourite process tools is to translate key insights from this initial immersion phase into experience guidelines and design principles. That ideally happens before we start digging up ideas and evaluating them. Getting those principles signed off by the client puts the train on the right track and all parties involved understand where we’re heading. It’s surprising how often everybody thinks they’re on the same page while they’re actually not even in the same book.

I truly believe that it’s most valuable and actually most efficient in the long run to take the time in the beginning to understand the landscape of motivations, aspirations, and personalities. When I don’t take it, it pretty much always backfires.

If you don’t put that early work in, what can happen?

A classic outcome are taste discussions and I just hate them. I mainly experienced them while working in Europe, because there was less of a research driven process in place that involved the client. You just got a brief, you worked it out by yourself, you came back to the client with your design proposal and then you suddenly realized that you didn’t have the same design sensibility.

But if you align experience and design principles in advance, then you can always refer back to them as common ground and the guide for decision making. This guide is also my best friend when directing the teams internally. That said, there also needs to be space for intuition and emotional response to the design besides this more rational approach.

Another classic outcome of not engaging the client at the beginning, especially if they are a disparate group, is that they will work out their internal differences on the back of the concept. The creative just becomes a projection surface for their tensions and weeks of design work can end up in the trash bin simply because they haven’t aligned their goals and expectations in advance. That’s when you really lose time and money.

How detailed do your design guidelines get before you actually start creating?

That depends on the complexity of the project and the stakeholder group, but I generally try to be fairly explicit while also leaving some breathing room for the design process. It also helps to use visual references to show and discuss how these terms translate into a look & feel and spatial atmospheres.

Language clarification is also very important to me. There are so many terms that we use all the time without ever questioning if there is a shared understanding of them or what the specific connotations are. It might be a remnant from speaking German as a first language, which is much more precise and nuanced in its vocabulary.

Related Reading: Tips for Communicating Effectively with Clients Who Don’t ‘Speak Design’

Clarifying design terms is very important and sometimes it’s most helpful to just show visual examples. Let’s say we advise an institution to express themselves in a “bold but minimal” way. It’s most helpful to show references for how that might translate into an atmosphere and we can test how comfortable they feel with different visual expressions that speak to that notion.

But to be clear, I’m not interested at all in a process that starts with design references. I always advise designers not to start there. Always start with your own sketches and then back them up with design references to clarify the atmosphere. If a reference can stand in for your idea then you are obviously on a copycat track.

What’s to gain from doing multi-disciplinary experience design really well?

As a studio, we are trying to shift the paradigms for interpretive experiences. We are trying to break with traditional patterns of how public institutions usually convey their story and how visitors usually interact with the content. To me it’s most satisfying when we are able to break the logic of the everyday and offer visitors experiences that allow them to be alert and engaged and simply present in the here and now.

A good example in that regard are the installations we created for ARoS, the art museum in Denmark. They are on a mission to break out of the ivory tower and make art relevant for everyday people and their lives, and they asked us to add a series of interactive installations to their new educational floor.

One of the installations is an eye-tracker experience, where you sit down and look at an artwork for 10 seconds. Then you get a variety of feedback on how you looked, like the path your eyes took or the number of fixations, which directly correlates to how well you will remember the image.

What is really striking about this installation is that visitors spend on average over 4.5 minutes with the eye tracker while the average dwell time in a gallery is 5 to 20 seconds per artwork. Visitors learn a lot about art and composition by getting feedback on their perception of the artwork. I am really proud of that outcome.

What’s your advice to UX designers who want to branch into more multi-disciplinary design?

It takes a certain mindset to relax within the discomfort of not being the expert on everything. Being outside of your comfort zone sounds interesting in theory but in reality is literally damn uncomfortable. Our projects are so different in their nature that most of us feel again and again like novices. But at least it’s never boring.

For designers it’s crucial to keep learning new tools and to continuously become more resourceful in their creative thinking, expression, and execution. And we all need to stop taking things personally. That just makes us weak and we won’t be able to listen to what’s in and behind feedback if our egos are getting in the way.

See more of Elvira Barriga’s past design work on her website, and check out Local Projects for her latest projects in experience design.

Tackling the Threat Landscape with Innovative Partnerships

As countries digitize to expand economic growth, promote a secure environment for investment, job creation and global competitiveness, cyber attackers are also seeing the monetary and political opportunity to exploit digital expansion and its data to their advantage. The dynamic threat landscape is not a challenge to be solved by one organization, one product, or […]

Google’s strongest security, for those who need it most

Editor’s note: October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and we're celebrating with a series of security announcements this week. This is the second post; see our first one here.


When operating at the scale of Google, we usually strive to build products that serve the needs of billions of people. Today we’re introducing a different kind of product—one that we specifically tailored to protect the online security of a much smaller set of users.


We took this unusual step because there is an overlooked minority of our users that are at particularly high risk of targeted online attacks. For example, these might be campaign staffers preparing for an upcoming election, journalists who need to protect the confidentiality of their sources, or people in abusive relationships seeking safety. Sometimes even the most careful and security-minded users are successfully attacked through phishing scams, especially if those phishing scams were individually targeted at the user in question.


To address this need, we’re introducing the Advanced Protection Program. Advanced Protection provides Google’s strongest security, designed for those who are at an elevated risk of attack and are willing to trade off a bit of convenience for more protection of their personal Google Accounts.


Once you enroll in Advanced Protection, we’ll continually update the security of your account to meet emerging threats—meaning Advanced Protection will always use the strongest defenses that Google has to offer.


At the start, the program focuses on three core defenses.


The strongest defense against phishing: Advanced Protection requires the use of Security Keys to sign into your account. Security Keys are small USB or wireless devices and have long been considered the most secure version of 2-Step Verification, and the best protection against phishing. They use public-key cryptography and digital signatures to prove to Google that it’s really you. An attacker who doesn’t have your Security Key is automatically blocked, even if they have your password.


Protecting your most sensitive data from accidental sharing: Sometimes people inadvertently grant malicious applications access to their Google data. Advanced Protection prevents this by automatically limiting full access to your Gmail and Drive to specific apps. For now, these will only be Google apps, but we expect to expand these in the future.

Blocking fraudulent account access: Another common way hackers try to access your account is by impersonating you and pretending they have been locked out. For Advanced Protection users, extra steps will be put in place to prevent this during the the account recovery process—including additional reviews and requests for more details about why you've lost access to your account.
advanced protection

We've been testing Advanced Protection for the last several weeks and learning from people like Andrew Ford Lyons, a Technologist at Internews, an international nonprofit organization that has supported the development of thousands of media outlets worldwide. “Journalists, human rights defenders, environment campaigners and civil society activists working on any number of sensitive issues can quickly find themselves targeted by well-resourced and highly capable adversaries," says Andrew. "For those whose work may cause their profile to become more visible, setting this up could be seen as an essential preventative step.” The testers’ feedback was hugely helpful; we’re very appreciative of the time they spent with the product.

Related Article

New security protections, tailored to you

Announcing an upgrade to our Security Checkup and new phishing protections in Chrome.

Read Article

Anyone with a personal Google Account can enroll in Advanced Protection. Today, you’ll need Chrome to sign up for Advanced Protection because it supports the U2F standard for Security Keys. We expect other browsers to incorporate this soon.


For now, Advanced Protection is only available for consumer Google Accounts. To provide comparable protections on G Suite Accounts, G Suite admins can look into Security Key Enforcement and OAuth apps whitelisting.


Sign up for Advanced Protection at g.co/advancedprotection.

AGDATA Australia: from family farm to global partners

Editor’s note: As part of our series of interviews with entrepreneurs across Asia Pacific who use the internet to grow, we chatted with Glenn Skerman, who, together with his brother Brendan, are directors of AGDATA Australia, a farming accounting software company. Founded in 1984, their working family farm has grown into a software business that employs 18 team members with over 10,000 customers. AGDATA products are used by farmers all around the world, from the Falkland Islands to Papua New Guinea.

Keyword: Can you tell us a bit about yourselves, what inspired you to become entrepreneurs and create this platform for farmers? 

Glenn Skerman: Actually, our father founded the business back in the 1980s. Originally, he was only trying to solve a problem for himself on the family cattle and grain farm. He was tired of trying to make existing accounting products meet our farm business management needs. Once word got out, others wanted what he had created. And so we formed AGDATA Australia. Business is thriving—we have more than  22,000 active software licenses. We offer solutions that allow farmers to organise their data on crops, livestock and land.

Our Phoenix software integrates farm production and financial data to provide farmers with a cost-effective solution that was previously only available to larger manufacturing industries. This levels the playing field a bit more for small and medium businesses.

We’re very proud that we’re still a family-owned business. 


Glenn and Brendan Skerman
Glenn Skerman on the left with his brother Brendan on the right at AGDATA’s office.

What difference has the internet made for your business?

It has completely changed the way we do business.

 We continue to manage our product development, helpdesk support and administration functions locally, providing jobs for the local economy. Thanks to the internet, we can share data that our customers would otherwise be unable to access. For example, we’re able to share government spatial data directly with users. This provides them information to help them make farm planning decisions.

 We’ve got greater access to customers all over the world thanks to Google. Our customers once had to learn about our products in person. Now, they can access our products anywhere by jumping onto Google Search, or finding out more about us on YouTube. They can also try our products immediately online, and communicate directly with us.

The internet has also allowed us to become more environmentally-friendly. We used to deliver our software on physical disks. Now our customers can access our software online. People used to write cheques as a payment solution; now they’re paying online. We use a lot less paper products and packaging today. We now also deliver online training to our customers around the country.  This is more efficient for both the customers and AGDATA.

Can you tell us how AGDATA has helped your customers?

Customers benefit from our software in many ways. One said that by using our software, she was able to better monitor her business finances, saving over A$16,000 in interest payments on her loans. Another customer saved over A$30,000 in equipment and labour costs by planning out the irrigation and piping on her farm by overlaying Google Maps using the 3D capability in our Phoenix Mapping software. 

We’re also proud to help the community. We have an active “Community Involvement Program” and provide software to not-for-profit groups in Regional Australia, which includes all the areas that lie beyond major cities. Last year we were recognised at one of the Regional Australia Institute and Google’s regional online heroes.

 

What’s next for your business?

We see greater use of the Internet of Things, and building on the connectivity of devices to the primary database we have. Ultimately, we want to provide a single database for the farmer to manage their farming enterprise more effectively.


Siempre Selena

My love of music started with Selena Quintanilla. One of my dearest childhood memories is of my mom and I belting her classics like “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and “Techno Cumbia” in the family van during our annual road trips to Mexico. But Selena’s influence in my life goes so much further than that.

I’m the daughter of a Mexican immigrant single mother and grew up in a small, primarily white town in rural Texas. Selena taught me that being Latina was a powerful thing, and that with hard work and focus, I could do whatever I set my mind to. She showed me that my hybrid cultural identity was a valuable gift I should embrace. Watching her made me proud to be Mexicana.

Today we celebrate Selena’s legacy with a Google Doodle. Set to her iconic song (and my roadtrip favorite jam) “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” today’s Doodle follows Selena’s early life through the milestones that solidify her legacy as “The Queen of Tejano” and one of the most successful and iconic Mexican-American entertainers of all time.

Celebrating Selena Quintanilla

She released “Selena,” her first studio album with Capitol EMI, on this day in 1989. Among many notable accomplishments throughout her career, she consistently stayed at the top of the billboard charts, and won a Grammy for best Mexican-American album of 1993—making her the first female and youngest Tejano artist to win the award. But she was much more than a talented musician and entertainer. A fashionista and trendsetter, she often designed and created entire outfits for her performance wardrobe. In her free time, she was active in community service, and a strong advocate for education.

heyyy

Above all, Selena is a beacon of inspiration and hope for Latinx, immigrant, and bicultural communities around the globe. By embracing and celebrating all parts of her cultural heritage and persevering in the face of adversity, she forged an emotional connection with millions.

In addition to today’s Doodle, we partnered with the Quintanilla family and The Selena Museum to create a new Google Arts & Culture exhibit in honor of Selena. In the experience, you can tour beautiful high-resolution imagery of some of her most prized possessions, including iconic outfits, her first Grammy, her favorite car, and artwork from her adoring fans. We were also honored to host Suzette Quintanilla, Selena’s sister, for a Talk at Google last week, which you can check out here.

cultural

So thank you, Selena, for being a role model and a hero to a little Latina girl in Granbury, TX and to countless others. And thank you for all the inspiration and joy your music and legacy continues to bring to the world.

The Customer Success Imperative: It’s a Race Against Time

By now you’ve probably seen this statistic from SiriusDecisions: 80 percent of B2B customers say that customer experience is the most significant reason behind the decision to work with a particular provider. It’s also been reported that if a customer doesn’t see value within 90 days of purchasing a product, there’s only a 10% chance […]

New security protections, tailored to you

Editor’s Note: October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and we're celebrating with a series of security announcements this week. This is our first post; see the second one here.

Security is top of mind for everyone these days, and with one troubling headline after another, you may be concerned about the security of your information online.

Rest assured: your Google data is secured by the best protections on the planet, and we’ll never stop improving them to ensure your information remains safe.

Today, we're announcing two new protections to help you stay safer online—an upgrade to our Security Checkup and new phishing protections in Chrome.

Personalized advice from your new Security Checkup


We’re rolling out a revamped Security Checkup, which now provides personalized guidance to help you improve the security of your account. Instead of the same, passive checklist for everyone, the Security Checkup is now a tailored guide to securing your data.

security checkup update - en

The Security Checkup provides a clear security status and personalized recommendations to strengthen your account security

When you visit the checkup, you’ll automatically see your security status—a green check mark icon means you’re good to go, and a yellow or red exclamation point icon means there’s at least one issue for you to take care of. The checkup is now your personal security advisor—a useful sidekick that makes it really easy to keep your account secure.

The new Security Checkup will keep evolving as new threats arise—you can count on it to provide you with relevant, up-to-date security advice that you can use to keep your account safe. Take the new Security Checkup at g.co/securitycheckup.


Predictive phishing protection in Chrome

Google Safe Browsing has helped protect Chrome users from phishing attacks for over 10 years, and now helps protect more than 3 billion devices every day by showing warnings to people before they visit dangerous sites or download dangerous files.

Safe Browsing has always scanned the web for these dangerous sites. But, if a phishing site is created and used for attack moments later, even the quickest scanners can't warn people fast enough. From our years of experience detecting phishing sites, Safe Browsing’s insights can now enable us to make predictions about risks in real time.

We’re using this knowledge to test new predictive phishing protections in Chrome. Soon, when you type your Google account password into a suspected phishing site, we'll add additional protections to ensure your account isn't compromised. Those protections will apply even if you use a different browser afterwards.

chrome phishing - updated2
Example of what a user might see if they enter their Google credentials into a suspected phishing page

We plan to expand predictive phishing protection to all other passwords you’ve saved in Chrome’s password manager, and enable other apps and browsers that use Safe Browsing technology, like Safari, Firefox and Snapchat, to use it as well.

Meow it’s even easier to find your furry friends in Google Photos

If you have a bunch of photos of your furry friends, you now have the oppawtunity to see them all in one place in Google Photos.

When you want to look back on old photos of Oliver as a puppy or Mr. Whiskers as a kitten, you no longer need to type “dog” or “cat” into search in Google Photos. Rolling out in most countries today, you’ll be able to see photos of the cats and dogs now grouped alongside people, and you can label them by name, search to quickly find photos of them, or even better, photos of you and them. This makes it even easier to create albums, movies, or even a photo book of your pet.

PetsGIF

In addition to now grouping your pets, Google Photos fur-tunately already has a few other features to help you honor your paw-some pet. You can search by breed to see photos of your Poodle or Maine Coon or search by emoji to see all those or photos.

Check the Assistant view in Google Photos to see if we’ve made a pawesome movie starring your pet, which we began rolling out in May. Or if you want to make one yourself, just tap on the new photo group of your pet, select your favorite photos, tap “+” and create a movie (this also works to create a photo book). If you want to swap the soundtrack or create your own movie, we have six pet-inspired songs to choose from in the movie editor—whether you want to raise-the-ruff or add some cattitude.

We hope these features help you better celebrate your four-legged family members in all of their paw-some-ness.

Fight global hunger with your favorite apps and games on Google Play

Editor's note: Cross-post from The Keyword. If you’re a developer interested in supporting a fundraising cause within your title or if you have a social impact app, let us know

Posted by Maxim Mai, Partner Development Manager, Google Play

We grow enough food to feed everyone on the planet. Yet 815 million people–one in nine—still go to bed on an empty stomach every day.

On October 16, people from around the world come together for World Food Day, with the goal to promote awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and to advocate for food security and nutritious diets for all.

To raise funds and awareness for this cause, Google Play has joined forces with 12 popular apps and games to create the Apps and Games Against Hunger collection available in North and Latin America.

From now until October 21, 100% of revenue from designated in-app purchases made in Google Play's Apps and Games Against Hunger collection will be donated to World Food Program USA.

World Food Program USA supports the mission of the UN World Food Programme, the leading agency fighting hunger, by mobilizing individuals, lawmakers and businesses in the U.S. to advance the global movement to end hunger, feeding families in need around the world.

These are the 12 global leading apps and games taking part in this special fundraising collection on Google Play:

ShareTheMeal–Help children

Peak–Brain Games & Training

Dragon City

Cooking Fever

Animation Throwdown: TQFC

Legendary: Game of Heroes

My Cafe: Recipes & Stories - World Cooking Game

TRANSFORMERS: Forged to Fight

Rodeo Stampede: Sky Zoo Safari

Jurassic World™: The Game

MARVEL Contest of Champions

Sling Kong

Thank you to all our users and developers for supporting World Food Day.

Unlimited Creativity: Explore The Power of NVIDIA GPUS at Adobe MAX

 

ENTER TO WIN A VR-READY NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 OR NVIDIA SHIELD TV
By Michael Steele

Creative pros test the limits of the imagination. To enable this, and bring new productions to life, they need the fastest, most responsive tools at their fingertips. They need an NVIDIA GPU.

At Adobe MAX, which runs through October 20 in Las Vegas, you can see how the speed of our GPUs enable creativity — whether it’s real-time 8K editing in Adobe Premiere Pro CC, 10x faster motion graphics and 360/VR design in After Effects CC, or an entirely new set of creative concepts driven by AI.

Meet us in booth 443 and visit our partners throughout the show to see how they’re putting NVIDIA GPUs to work for you. While you’re there, enter for a chance to win a VR-Ready NVIDIA Quadro P4000 GPU or an NVIDIA SHIELD TV 4K living room streamer.

EDIT 8K VIDEO IN REAL-TIME

With its stunning quality, 8K media promises to change the video industry. But with over 400 percent higher resolution than 4K video, it stresses even the best software and hardware editing tools.

Spend time with professional video editor Sabour Amirazodi, of Seventh Dream Media, as he edits 8K workflows in real time with RED footage using the latest NVIDIA Quadro GPUs and Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

CREATE VISUAL EFFECTS UP TO 10X FASTER

Visual effects workflows just got better: Adobe After Effects CC is now up to 10x faster on key features when using NVIDIA GPUs. Popular effects such as Sharpening, Fractal Noise, Offset and multiple Blurs use the GPU for fast rendering. Also, powerful color correction effects like Lumetri Color, Hue/Saturation and Tint are faster with NVIDIA GPUs.

BRING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TO YOUR CREATIVE EXPRESSION

NVIDIA GPUs accelerate AI to help filmmakers and designers create faster and more intuitively to deliver even better experiences. Interact with some of the latest AI projects optimized by NVIDIA Research, including automatically creating 3D facial animation based on live voice input or magically “painting” a video of yourself in the style of the Old Masters with a style transfer technique.

High-quality facial animation can be tedious and costly. A new machine learning technique called Audio-Driven Facial Animation, presented by NVIDIA Research and Remedy Entertainment, uses AI to simplify this labor-intensive process. Realistic facial animation is generated in real time using nothing more than spoken audio input.

Style transfer uses deep neural networks to process the style information of an image — brushstrokes, color and other abstract details — then applies that style to a live video. It’s art in motion. Style transfer for video is extremely compute-intensive AI work1 that’s brought to life by NVIDIA GPU performance.

 

SEE HOW OUR PARTNERS USE NVIDIA GPUS FOR AMAZING CREATIVE EXPERIENCES

NVIDIA Quadro is the world’s preeminent visual computing platform and a trusted partner in the creative community. Powered by the world’s most advanced GPUs, NVIDIA’s visualization platform fuels a rich ecosystem of solutions spanning mobile clients to desktop workstations to powerful cloud-based solutions.

Creative professionals have unlimited creativity with GPU-accelerated rendering, 8K video production, VR and more. Be sure to visit some of our most innovative partners on the Adobe MAX show floor to see how they’re putting NVIDIA GPUs to work for you.

DON’T GO HOME EMPTY HANDED

While you’re there, enter to win an NVIDIA Quadro P4000 professional graphics card or the NVIDIA SHIELD TV. Stop by our booth and snap a picture of yourself in the live video of the style transfer demo. Then post it on Twitter or Instagram along with #NVIDIA and #AdobeMAX for a chance to win. For more details, visit NVIDIA at booth 443 at Adobe MAX and follow us @NVIDIADesign.

(1) This technology originated from research by Dmitry Ulyanov, et al., then enabled for real-time performance with GPU optimization by NVIDIA Research.

A cleaner, safer web with Chrome Cleanup

Unwanted software impacts the browsing experience of millions of web users every day. Effects of this harmful software are often quite subtle—search results are modified to redirect users to other pages or additional ads are injected in the pages that users visit. But in some cases, the changes are so severe that they can make the web unusable—people are redirected to unwanted sites full of ads, and it can be next to impossible to navigate away from these pages.


Chrome already has tools to help people avoid unwanted software. For example, Safe Browsing prevents many infections from taking place by warning millions of users. But sometimes harmful software slips through.


Recently, we rolled out three changes to help Chrome for Windows users recover from unwanted software infections.


Hijacked settings detection

Extensions can help make Chrome more useful—like by customizing tab management. But some extensions may change your settings without you even realizing it. Now, when Chrome detects that user settings have been changed without your consent, it will offer to restore the modified settings. In the past month, this feature has helped millions of people recover from unwanted settings.
reset-prompt-screenshot.png

You can also reset your profile settings at any time by visiting chrome://settings/resetProfileSettings.


A simpler Chrome Cleanup

Sometimes when you download software or other content, it might bundle unwanted software as part of the installation process without you knowing. That’s why on Chrome for Windows, the Chrome Cleanup feature alerts people when it detects unwanted software and offers a quick way to remove the software and return Chrome to its default settings. We’ve recently completed a full redesign of Chrome Cleanup. The new interface is simpler and makes it easier to see what software will be removed.
Prompt dialog.PNG

A more powerful Cleanup engine

Under the hood, we upgraded the technology we use in Chrome Cleanup to detect and remove unwanted software. We worked with IT security company ESET to combine their detection engine with Chrome’s sandbox technology. We can now detect and remove more unwanted software than ever before, meaning more people can benefit from Chrome Cleanup. Note this new sandboxed engine is not a general-purpose antivirus—it only removes software that doesn’t comply with our unwanted software policy.


We’ve begun to roll this out to Chrome for Windows users now. Over the next few days, it will help tens of millions of Chrome users get back to a cleaner, safer web.

Women in UX: How Robin Newman Uses UX to Make a Huge Impact

The sex trafficking problem in Atlanta might not sound like a typical design challenge for user experience designers to tackle, but for Robin Newman it was the perfect catalyst to launch Huge IMPACT.

Initiated by Robin, Huge IMPACT was a weeklong design sprint in which the creative agency came together with the community with the intention of using UX for good. After discussing various ideas, the team decided to focus on the growing sex trafficking epidemic in America. Atlanta is one of the areas in which this crime occurs most frequently in the country.

“We selected an issue that was very relevant and pressing in Atlanta, and is also a global issue,” said Robin. “It was important [that] we tackle something in our own backyard.”

The team brought together various partners to assist in the researching phase of the sprint, including experts from the FBI victim specialists, local law enforcement, and representatives from various organizations such as Youth Spark — an anti-trafficking leader in Atlanta. Arguably the most important person in the room was Keisha Head, a sex-trafficking survivor, turned survivor advocate, who shared her lived experience with the entire Huge Atlanta office, and kicked off the ideation.  This was a critical part of the event — it ensured an educational component for employees and staff beyond just the working team.

The Huge IMPACT team working on what would become Beam, an app that helps survivors of sex trafficking find the support they need.

The question: Can we spend a week producing an outcome that would be beneficial to all organizations involved?

The IMPACT team worked with the partners for an entire day to whittle down to a single challenge that they could focus on. What resulted, was Beam — an application that enables survivors to connect with other survivors, and obtain the resources they need to move forward in their lives.

“We decided to tackle the issue of how can we support survivors transition after having been trafficked,” Robin said. “How can we support them in this transition back into society, and help them with things like finding jobs, housing, services, and the emotional, psychological, and spiritual supports that they need? From what we have learned, it’s about a seven-year recovery, and there’s a big lack in helping people who come out of that life.”

The designs for the app are now available to the organizations, and the team is building on the lessons learned from this pilot program. The lessons of the experience continue to influence Robin’s work.

“For me personally, I want to do work that aligns with my values,” she said.

Brainstorming notes from the ideation process during Huge IMPACT.

Making a case for using UX to make a difference at larger organizations and design agencies.

Prior to working at Huge, Robin spent time volunteering and working in places like India and Guatemala, while also being involved in nonprofit work in Toronto, Canada, where she is from, and New York City, where she completed her master’s in design for social innovation. She had considered other career paths, such as journalism and public health, but was compelled to apply for a 10-week intensive UX program offered at HUGE, while studying for her master’s. She was accepted and, soon after, hired by Huge, moving to Atlanta after graduation to accept a position there. When we chat by phone, Robin is calling from Huge’s New York office, where she is once again based.

The Huge IMPACT initiative showed Newman how larger organizations can take on design challenges to truly make a difference in a community, while also offering benefits to the business.

“What I think is incredible for something like this is it’s really meaningful to the participants and employees involved, but it also has other business implications. It has an incredible ability to showcase work that we don’t typically get to showcase, and it also allows us to experiment with differentiated products — and differentiate ourselves from the market, which I think is valuable for the business at large,” she said.

“This work that we’ve done on Beam has also fed into other sprints, or other work that we do with our clients. It’s about understanding that the business doesn’t have to be separate from social good, and how to communicate what the value of that is, and seeing it not just as a one-off event, but as something that can ripple through the culture and business as a whole in other areas.”

Start making an impact now — wherever you are.

Newman knows this is easier said than done.

“It can be hard to implement social impact programs in agencies/organizations where that is not core to their mission — but that is also why it is an area that is ripe with opportunity, and can have such a big impact if done right and responsibly. That is what drives me to continue what I do here,” she said.

But being successful in this requires a shift in thinking, and a belief that you have the power to start making positive changes right now.

“Any UXers looking to ‘do good’ by just volunteering or changing jobs miss the point. The question I would ask is, ‘how can I make change here?’ Because those are the places that really need the work. How do we encourage our clients to dig deeper, our workplace culture to be better, and our designs to be more responsible and to create a positive impact? Even small changes can be very powerful.”

To start, Robin recommends that UX designers consider implementing the following changes, if you’re not already:

Make your designs accessible. “Every day you have the choice to do small things. …One thing that I can say any UX designer can do, is to think about accessibility in their design, which, for any organization, is valuable.”

Recognize that “UX for good” doesn’t have to be separate from the work you do everyday.  “It is infused in what we do, it is a lens through which we approach the world.”

Ask hard questions. “Are we thinking about the education purposes of this application? How can we improve it more? Are we really looking at how people are using it, and is actually adding value and making some positive impact, or are we just like making that to make it?”

Make a choice to have an impact. “No matter what you’re designing, you can call it social good or not social good. Every day, you have a choice to use design as a tool of communication. The responsibility of how we do that is in our own work, and how we decide.”

Look within. “I’ve developed a social impact meetup here, so we meet monthly, and essentially organize people across this network who are doing internal initiatives. I [also] started a Huge women’s group, here in my own office, to help bridge the gap with career development and growth here in our organization.”

Understand your values. “I think it comes back to really digging into what it is you value, and not compromising on that, and knowing that there is work out there that will support and needs the talents that UX designers have. There [are] so many incredible organizations or problems that are waiting to be solved by designers, UX designers, and technologists at large, and it’s more about, ‘what do you want to support, and how?’”

Impact as a form of advocacy.

At the end of the day, this is about the users. Using UX for impact and for good is about making the world a better place for your users through the services your designs provide, and that’s where the inspiration for impact should derive from.

“Our job is to constantly advocate for the people who are using our products. I think if we’re doing a really good job, we’re truly looking at what the people need, how are they using this, and how does this benefit and [add] value [to] their lives as a whole?” Robin said. “I think you have the opportunity in any organization to do that.”

Check Out the Galaxy Note8’s Exclusive S Pen-Inspired Ring and Notification Tones

Don’t be surprised if, the next time you’re with friends and they receive a call on their Galaxy Note8, you find yourself asking them to pump up the volume.

 

That’s because Samsung has outfitted its latest flagship device with an exclusive set of ring- and notification tones that feature catchy, modern beats. The S Pen-inspired ‘pen and beat’ playlist includes three ringtones and two alerts composed by a gifted young ‘pen beater’, a world-class beatboxer and an acclaimed musician and producer.

 

Samsung’s Galaxy Note8 features S Pen-inspired ring- and notification tones created with the help of (from left) a world-class beatboxer, ‘pen beater’ and producer.

 

A Kinetic Collaboration

Musical inspiration comes easily to Jinyoung Choi, whose popular ‘pen beating’ videos spotlight a fresh and inventive way to use pens as outlets for creativity.

 

Fourteen-year-old pen beater Jinyoung Choi (left) and professional beatboxer 2 Tak have risen to fame in their native Korea for their unique, kinetic sounds.

 

Jinyoung transforms the relatively simple action of tapping pens on a table into a nuanced form of musical expression, deftly utilizing each part of the writing instruments – the cap, body and tip – to produce a variety of sounds. The 14-year-old’s energetic pen beating videos have racked up millions of views online, and earned him a global following.

 

*Sounds recorded during this session were used to compose the Note8’s ‘pen and beat’ ring and notification tones

 

To complement Jinyoung’s kinetic sound, Samsung enlisted the help of professional beatboxer and rapper 2 Tak, and placed the dynamic duo in a studio with famed musician and producer Tucker, aka Tadashi Takatsuka.

 

*Sounds recorded during this session were used to compose the Note8’s ‘pen and beat’ ring and notification tones

 

In Tucker, Samsung found the perfect supervisor for its ‘pen and beat’ collaboration. Not only does he have extensive experience composing distinctive sounds for some of the world’s top brands, he’s also produced more than 30 albums, and hosted a TV show in his native Japan that showcased inventive ways to create music.

 

Famed producer and musician Tucker has produced more than 30 albums, and hosted a TV show in his native Japan that showcased inventive ways to create music.

 

 

A Signature Soundtrack

Each of the collaborating artists brings to the table a diverse set of skills that, when harmonized, create sounds that are reflective of multifaceted millennials.

 

Before they went about composing the new tracks, the artists were asked to consider the types of sounds they’d like to introduce as ringtones. The synthesis of their respective talents – 2 Tak’s melodic beatboxing, Tucker’s instrumentals and Jinyoung’s dynamic pen beating – produced three unique, head-bumping ringtones, titled “Bubble Beat”, “Happy Jungle” and “Kitchen Mix”. Each song is as fresh and energetic as it is distinct.

 

The trio’s Galaxy Note8 notification sounds are called “Beatbox” and “Pen Beats”, and feature punchy and pleasant solos from the two performing artists. Grab your earphones and give the new tones a listen.

 

  •  

    Bubble Beat

     

  •  

    Happy Jungle

     

  •  

    Kitchen Mix

     

  •  

    Beatbox

     

  •  

    Pen Beats

     

 

The Galaxy Note8’s ‘pen and beat’ playlist is not only thoroughly inventive and easy on the ears, it’s also a fun and engaging expression of the flagship’s ability to foster users’ creativity.

Help keep kids safe online with Site Blocking from Google Wifi

Being a parent in today’s connected world can be tough. You want to give your kids the ability to learn and explore across the digital universe, but worry they might stumble upon inappropriate content along the way.


With Site Blocking—the latest addition to Google Wifi's family controls—we're removing some of the worry. Site Blocking allows you to block access to more than 8 million non-kid-friendly websites on any device in your home—all with a few taps in the Google Wifi app.

wifi site blocking

Site Blocking uses the best of Google’s SafeSearch technology to protect your family. SafeSearch was created in 2009 to help filter explicit content from your Google Search results, and now we’ve worked with the SafeSearch team to apply some of their technology to Google Wifi. Because SafeSearch is constantly crawling the web for new sites, the list of explicit sites blocked by Wifi’s family controls will automatically be updated in real time.


Site Blocking joins an existing set of Family Wi-Fi controls and will be available over the next day to all Google Wifi users around the world—just open the Google Wifi app to get started. Peace of mind is only a few taps away.


Women in Design 2017: Women Working Together

There are few things more empowering than a room full of women coming together to champion each other’s successes and help each other bring ideas into the world. At Adobe’s San Francisco headquarters, Designer Fund recently led an evening of lively discussion and activities doing just that for its Women in Design 2017 event.

In the panel that followed lightning talks and a non-violent communication exercise, AnnaMarie Bonura led a discussion with Laura Naylor, Jamie Myrold, Bo Lu, and Nancy Douyon. These fearless female design leaders brought their unique perspectives on how we can all work together, collaborate, and celebrate success in the workplace better.

Being a Woman in the Workplace: Confidence, Capability, and Self-Advocacy

For some women it happens in your first role, for others, it comes later in life – that a-ha moment when you simultaneously realize your gender has somehow shaped your interactions and experience, and also how you can course correct for the next generation.

A couple years back, Laura Naylor found herself on a panel at Grace Hopper Celebration with female engineers who described their experiences of being the only woman in a class or being the only woman in a room full of men. This made her think back to 15 years earlier when she was a product engineer for just three months after completing her undergraduate degree in engineering. “I left that role because I didn’t think it was the right fit for me,” said Naylor. “I realized in the moment when I was sitting with these female engineers that it’s possible that I was actually simply feeling the isolation of being the only woman on my team. It wasn’t that it wasn’t the right career for me, but I was in the wrong situation.”

Naylor went on to complete a postgraduate degree and now head’s up UX research at YouTube, so you could say things worked out. That said, this moment has shaped how she operates as a leader. “That was a real moment for me, realizing how important it is to support people and to be set up in the right way.”

These days Nancy Douyon works at Uber, heading up global growth for international research platforms, but her resume boasts an impressive collection of tech companies including Google, Cisco, IBM, and Intel. She realized early in her career that self-advocacy would be a theme, and it all started with her first internship as a human factors engineer working on design.

“I noticed my counterparts got work that seemed to be more difficult, and when I asked why the work was different, I got a response like ‘you know, handle this and you’ll be fine,’” said Douyon. “I had to chase more challenging work.”

Jamie Myrold, VP of design at Adobe, worked her way up the corporate ladder in her impressive 13-year career with the company. After her first major promotion to design director, the first woman to carry the title, Myrold found herself in meetings she hadn’t been privy to before.

“When you get a new title, it’s weird because you don’t do anything different or work differently, but people look at you differently,” said Myrold. “Title never mattered to me, I just liked to do good work, but walking into that first meeting was when I realized title mattered. Looking around at the room full of men, I realized I knew just as much or more than they did, and I could totally do this.”

When contemplating applying for a leadership role, Bo Lu grappled with self-doubt.

“When I was speaking to a female mentor of mine, and expressing all my hesitations, she was like, ‘what are you actually afraid of?’” said Lu.

This question forced her to get to the core of the issue, which was she was scared of letting go of something she knew she could do well to do something she was unsure she was capable of.

Lu landed the job and is currently the Creative Lead at Pinterest.

Challenge The Inner Critic

After realizing her own inner critic was holding her back, and overcoming that, Lu set out to help other women at work. Pinterest has an online forum with an area called Creative Women’s room, where a thread on the inner critic emerged. Lu used this as an opportunity to bring women together to talk about what the inner critic really is.

“A lot of women had some variation of ‘I don’t feel I’m good enough’ or ‘I don’t feel like I’m doing enough,’” said Lu. “It was really empowering to hear that women I see as confident and capable, have these voices too.”

The voice in your head might never go away, but there’s a way to manage it, and likely when it shows up, you’re probably growing and stretching yourself and trying something new. “That’s something worth celebrating,” said Lu.

Douyon uses what she calls the 3C’s to help her manage her inner critic:

  1. Catch it – Stop and pause to catch the thought.
  2. Check it – Is this the thought a fact? Reality versus distortion.
  3. Change it – If the thought is not a fact, you need to change. If it is a fact, come up with a plan to change it.

After completing this quick exercise, it’s likely you’ll realize the things you’re saying to yourself in your head aren’t rooted in fact.

Corporate Culture Starts At The Top

In order to foster a supportive culture for women on your team, you need to also have company policies that do the same.

Naylor pointed out the importance of talent retention through company policies that support women and their families. “At Google, when we increased maternity leave to 18 weeks, the number of women lost to attrition decreased by 50%.” It’s also important these policies are supported at the team level, which, “creates a sense of loyalty from women and across the board,” said Naylor.

Company-wide programs which foster leadership roles for women are also important for attrition.

“Donna Morris, who heads up our employee experience team has put in place the most amazing program for women to move into leadership roles here at Adobe,” said Myrold. This is topped off by an annual Adobe & Women Leadership Summit, where employees can connect, focus on personal development and get inspired to pursue their passions.

Celebration > Competition Among Women

Among female teammates, women can battle internally with competition and comparison. In many companies leadership roles are limited, and few go to women, which can create a bit of a scarcity mindset.

This is where the importance of ‘Shine Theory’ comes into play. Coined by female White House staffers who banned together to make sure their voices were heard, Shine Theory is the notion that when one woman shines, all the women around her shine.

“It finds itself in the idea of mutual female support, and it promotes women lifting each other and other women up instead of tearing them down,” said Bonura, the panel moderator.

The more women you surround yourself with who actively believe and practice Shine Theory, the more likely you are to build yourself, and, in turn, those around you up.

This can come in many forms. Naylor stressed the importance and value of a mentor. With this in mind, she often plays the role of mentor matchmaker with her team. “I want to make sure people on my team have access to other people they can talk with, so they can have conversations about things that are above and beyond the immediate day-to-day at work, and to keep them thinking about their career long term,” said Naylor.

It’s interventions like these that can change a person’s career trajectory for the better.

If it weren’t for Lu’s manager encouraging her to apply for a leadership role, she might never have. “It never crossed my mind that I was qualified,” said Lu. She now hopes to do the same for someone else who might not recognize an opportunity for themselves.

“Some women don’t know how brilliant they are, or if they do, they might be socialized to feel small,” said Lu. “Women can hold themselves back when that big opportunity comes along.”

Confusing Competence and Likeability

Staying true to what comes naturally as a female leader while still being perceived as a strong leader in male-dominated work environments can be a tricky balance for some.

“Understanding who you are, what you value, and what your non-negotiables are and bringing that with you in any situation in life, is key,” said Myrold. “If you bring that to the table, then there is nothing to be afraid of.”

At the end of the day, you are who you are. Listening to feedback is important, but betraying your values won’t get you far.

Make A Difference For The Women In Your Workplace

Shine bright like a diamond and celebrate the women around you. Banish (or at least manage) your inner critic, and help others do the same. Advocate for company policies that support women and families. Recognize and serve up opportunity to those around you. And most importantly, stay true to yourself and your values.

“We rise by lifting others.”

– Robert Ingersoll

Space out with planets in Google Maps

Twenty years ago, the spacecraft Cassini launched from Cape Canaveral on a journey to uncover the secrets of Saturn and its many moons. During its mission, Cassini recorded and sent nearly half a million pictures back to Earth, allowing scientists to reconstruct these distant worlds in unprecedented detail. Now you can visit these places—along with many other planets and moons—in Google Maps right from your computer. For extra fun, try zooming out from the Earth until you're in space!

Moons 1

Explore the icy plains of Enceladus, where Cassini discovered water beneath the moon's crust—suggesting signs of life. Peer beneath the thick clouds of Titan to see methane lakes. Inspect the massive crater of Mimas—while it might seem like a sci-fi look-a-like, it is a moon, not a space station.  

3

Special thanks goes to astronomical artist Björn Jónsson, who assembled the planetary maps of Europa, Ganymede, Rhea, and Mimas by working with imagery from NASA and the European Space Agency.

The fun doesn't stop there—we've added Pluto, Venus, and several other moons for a total of 12 new worlds for you to explore. Grab your spacesuit and check out the rest of this corner of the galaxy that we call home.

Fight global hunger with your favorite apps and games on Google Play

We grow enough food to feed everyone on the planet. Yet 815 million people–one in nine—still go to bed on an empty stomach every day.

On October 16, people from around the world come together for World Food Day, with the goal to promote awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and to advocate for food security and nutritious diets for all.

To raise funds and awareness for this cause, Google Play has joined forces with 12 popular apps and games to create the Apps and Games Against Hunger collection available in North and Latin America.

From now until October 21, 100 percent of revenue from designated in-app purchases made in Google Play’s Apps and Games Against Hunger collection will be donated to World Food Program USA.

World Food Program USA supports the mission of the UN World Food Programme, the leading agency fighting hunger, by mobilizing individuals, lawmakers and businesses in the U.S. to advance the global movement to end hunger, feeding families in need around the world.

1

Healthy eating, with sustainability in mind

Today, the United Nations, Google and many others celebrate World Food Day, which promotes worldwide action on food security and ensuring nutritious diets for those who suffer from hunger. At Google, food is central to our culture and something we think about every day. Feeding more than 70,000 people around the world breakfast, lunch and dinner is a pretty big undertaking, and we strive to make healthy eating an easy choice for our employees and do so in the most sustainable way possible.


One of our priorities is to minimize the environmental impact from the production of the food in our cafes. This is particularly important given that agricultural activities in the U.S. are estimated to generate 9 percent of greenhouse gases. We start by sourcing our food from suppliers that raise, farm, and harvest food responsibly. This means thinking about nutrition, as well as environmental, and social factors such as food quality, food safety, employment practices and environmental impact.


Once we have the food and supplies in hand, we focus on reducing waste. On the pre-consumer side (the ingredients we use to prep food prior to serving), our food team looks for ways to reduce waste before food hits the plate, by cutting down on over-purchasing and creatively repurposing leftover ingredients to make new dishes. In April 2014, we formalized this effort by partnering with LeanPath, a technology that helps us understand exactly how and why food is being wasted in order to improve to our process.


Today we have 129 cafes participating in the LeanPath program across 11 countries. Since the start of the partnership, these efforts have saved a total of three million pounds of food. Our Food Team has analyzed the food waste data generated from this program, enabling chefs in Google cafes to try out new strategies that reduce food waste while serving healthy and delicious meals to Googlers.


Many Google cafes include two-sided salad bars and hot food lines. Now, multiple cafes are breaking down two-sided food stations when traffic starts to slow down. So, when fewer people are visiting the cafe, staff will shut down the duplicate side of a station to adjust the amount of food being served. We’re also opening more cafes that have made-to-order choices instead of buffets, and have started serving food in shallow pans that are refilled more frequently. Not only does this reduce the amount of food being prepared and ultimately wasted, it also results in fresher food being served.


As part of our partnership with LeanPath, we’re piloting a measurement program on the post-consumer side (after food has been served and enjoyed) in five of our cafes to track the food waste from each individual plate. Since food is self-served in these cafes, we’d rather Googlers come back for second helpings instead of taking more food than they can eat.  At the dish drop area in each of these cafes, a station is available for Googlers to scrape the excess food from their plate onto a scale telling them how much food they’re wasting.

While our priority is to reduce food waste from the start, it’s inevitable that there will be excess food prepared. In these situations, we want to ensure that the food is put to the best possible use. We participate in a program called Chefs to End Hunger, where we send untouched, edible food to local shelters and food banks in our communities. Through this program, we’ve contributed approximately 1,000 pounds of food per week from more than 40 Bay Area Google cafes to a transitional homeless shelter in Oakland, CA. After donating, our next step is to compost. In almost all Google cafes and buildings we have composting and recycling bins. As a result, we’re able to compost about 80 percent of waste in our cafes.


Plus, we’re always looking for new and creative food innovations. One example is our partnership with CoffeeFlour, a company that uses the discarded byproduct from the coffee-making process and grinds it into a flour. The flour can then be used in both sweet and savory dishes. CoffeeFlour is a nutrient-dense flour, so it’s a great alternative to traditional flour used in cooking and baking. This is a great example of how the food industry can be both sustainable and create healthy ingredients. The producer also employs local people in coffee-growing regions, so it has social benefits too. In addition to partnering with sustainable suppliers like CoffeeFlour, we've also made it a global priority to purchase imperfect produce—imperfect aesthetically on the outside but perfectly delicious on the inside—so that we can use produce that might otherwise go to waste.


We stand with the UN on their goal to halve global food waste by 2030 and create sustainable and resilient food systems that deliver for all people and the planet. We know it will take a huge amount of effort and are committed to doing our part and help raise awareness for this imperative work. At Google, we like to tackle the biggest problems by starting with our own impact. Food is a precious resource, and we’ll always look for ways to conserve what we use and share what we learn.

Introducing Samsung Connect Tag, a New Way to Keep Track of All That Matters in Life

 

Samsung Electronics is launching the Samsung Connect Tag – a new way to keep track of the loved ones, valuables and all the matters in life. The Samsung Connect Tag is the world’s first consumer mobile product to use narrowband network technology (NB-IoT, Cat.M1), a specially designed cellular communication standard for small data utilization, low power consumption and the ability to securely connect to the internet for optimal location services. The Samsung Connect Tag offers smart location notifications based on a NB-IoT or Cat.M1 network, leveraging full internet services to identify location information for increased family security and peace of mind.

 

The Samsung Connect Tag will work with GPS, Wi-Fi-based positioning (WPS) and Cell ID, so it can receive accurate location information both indoors and outdoors for effortless location tracking. It can be attached to a young child’s backpack so his or her whereabouts can be tracked, clipped to a dog’s collar so it won’t go missing, and secured the keys so they are never lost. These tracking and notification abilities will minimize anxiety about the user’s favorite items or loved ones, offering an exciting way to use technology for increased family security and an enhanced lifestyle.

 

Furthering Samsung’s commitment to a seamless IoT experience across devices, the Samsung Connect Tag will be tied to the SmartThings ecosystem, working in conjunction with the user’s smart home appliances through Works with SmartThings. The geo-fence feature on the Samsung Connect Tag will notify the user’s chosen smart devices when he or she approaches – so if the user wants lights and TV to turn on while getting home from a nightly run, the Samsung Connect Tag can trigger these products as the user enters the pre-define zone, so the user will get a notification when the child enters the schoolyard or a dog jumps the backyard fence.

 

The Samsung Connect Tag also offers several key features to minimize anxiety and increase usability. If the user loses car in a large outdoor parking lot, the on-demand function will allow requesting any Connect Tag’s location when desired, simply by pressing a button on the smartphone.

 

The Send my location function will send their current location to their guardian, so even a young child can let you know exactly where he or she is and can go pick him/her up safely. Additionally, periodic location notifications will show a trace the loved ones location record.

 

Connect Tag features a compact size, measuring just 4.21 centimeters wide and 1.19 centimeters thick, as well as IP68 water and dustproof rating for durability. The battery can last for up to seven days on a single charge, minimizing the need to constantly swap out or plug in the device. Connect Tag comes with an exclusive ring that easily attaches to bags, collars or key rings.

 

Connect Tag will be showcased at the Samsung Developer Conference 2017 on October 18-19 at Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, United States. It will be available for purchase starting in Korea before expanding to select countries in the coming months.

 

*All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.

 

Samsung Connect Tag Specifications

Hardware
Dimension/Weight 42.1 x 42.1 x 11.9 mm / 25g
Cellular IoT NB-IoT, Cat.M1
GPS GPS, Glonass
Sensor Accelerometer
SIM eSIM
Connectivity BLE, Wi-Fi (WPS & FOTA), mUSB 2.0
Battery 300mAh
LED 3 colors status LED
Water/Dust Resistance IP68
Software
OS Tizen IoT
Security TrustZone
OCF OCF 1.1
OS Support Android M and above, iOS 10 and above (end of 2017)
Controller App Samsung Connect

Towards a future of work that works for everyone

The future of work concerns us all. Our grandchildren will have jobs that don’t yet exist, and will live lives we cannot imagine. In Europe, getting the future of work right for individuals, societies and industries means having an open debate about the possibilities right now. We want to be a part of that discussion, and help contribute to a future of work that works for everyone. So last week in Stockholm and The Hague we brought together a range of leading international experts from academia, trade unions, public sector and businesses to discuss the impact of technology on jobs. We also asked McKinsey for a report on the impact of automation on work, jobs and skills.


As advances in machine learning and robotics make headlines, there’s a heated debate about whether innovation is a magic fix for an aging workforce, or a fast track to mass unemployment. Data can illuminate that debate, and McKinsey focused their research on the Nordics, Benelux, Ireland and Estonia—a diverse group which have at least one thing in common: They’re Europe’s digital frontrunners. The report from McKinsey shows us that while automation will impact existing jobs, innovation and adopting new technology can increase the total number of jobs available.


The report makes it very clear that divergent paths are possible. To make a success of the digital transition, countries should promote adoption of new technologies and double down on skills training and education. We want to play our part here. One example of how we contribute is our program Digitalakademin in Sweden: So far, we’ve trained more than 20,000 people in small- and medium-sized business in digital skills. And together with the Swedish National Employment Agency we’ve developed training to help unemployed people get the skills necessary for the jobs of the future.

As Erik Sandström from the National Employment Agency stressed at our event in Stockholm, it “all starts with digital competence—if you’re lacking in digital competence you will overestimate the risks and underestimate the opportunities.” That sentiment was echoed in a keynote by Ylva Johansson, the Swedish Minister for Employment and Integration: “Why do we have an attitude where unions, employees are positively accepting ongoing changes? Because we’ve been able to protect people and to present new opportunities through reskilling.”

For our event in The Hague we partnered with Dutch company Randstad to discuss the same topic of future of work. Their CEO, Jacques van den Broek, struck an optimistic tone: “The digital transformation is an opportunity, not a threat,” he said. “The lesson we’ve learned is that whilst some jobs disappear, tech creates jobs. The longer you wait to embrace that change, the longer it takes to be able to compete.”


The coming changes will likely affect a wide range of tasks and jobs. “In Denmark, we discussed the destruction of jobs,” Thomas Søby from the Danish Steelworkers Union said. “New ones are created,” he added. “But some people will lose their jobs and feel left behind, and as a society we need to take care of those people.”


Those new jobs aren’t simply replacements—they’re roles we don’t have yet. “In a few years something else will be hot,” said Aart-Jan de Geus of Bertelsmann Stiftung, a German private foundation which looks at managing future challenges. He stressed that fears about job losses shouldn’t be overstated, especially as consumer demand and spending won’t go away. “The big mistake would be to try to protect jobs; we need to protect workers.”


In The Hague, Eric Schmidt, Alphabet’s executive chairman, ended on a positive note, saying that anxiety about change was understandable but that society can make sure the digital transition includes everyone. “Incumbents resist change. This is not new and in fact we have seen it throughout every stage of history,” he said. “But if history has taught us anything, it is that when disruptors and pioneers are right, society always recalibrates.”

Supporting those affected by the California fires

Fueled by high winds, fast-moving wildfires in the California wine country and the Anaheim Hills have spread quickly—killing dozens, damaging tens of thousands of acres, destroying infrastructure, forcing evacuations, and leaving hundreds of people unaccounted for.


Like many people in the Bay Area, my first news of the North Bay fires was the smell of smoke Monday morning. My thoughts immediately turned to my family and childhood home in Santa Rosa. My family was safe, but I raced up to Petaluma to see how I could help. In addition to needed resources on the ground, I saw how centralized information can be crucial to help people find shelter and other resources.

SOS Alerts and Fire Information

On Monday, the Crisis Response team launched an SOS Alert—a set of features in Google Search and Maps that helps you quickly understand what’s going on and decide what to do during a crisis. After launching the Alert, the Crisis Response team created a Crisis Map with shelter locations, vacancy status, pet accommodations and shelter needs, crowdsourced via waze.com, local volunteers, and Googlers such as myself. The map has been updated to include recent satellite imagery for the North Bay area as well.
alerts

In addition to these map-based resources, the team has pushed out air-quality resources via Google Feed, with information from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and American Lung association.

ca fires

$1 million for fire relief and recovery

To help with the relief and recovery in California, Google.org and Googlers are committing $1 million in donations to organizations that are providing critical resources in the affected regions. To support immediate needs, we’re distributing funds to the Redwood Empire Food Bank and the Red Cross. We’re also supporting the Napa Valley Community Foundation, the Community Foundation Sonoma County, and the Latino Community Foundation, which are coordinating the longer-term fire recovery initiatives.


Google.org will support these organizations and others to identify ways Google volunteers can bring value to the affected areas. Right now, we’re in discussions with the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center and have sent a team of technical Googler volunteers to assess the connectivity needs of first responders and evacuees.


Efforts on the ground

Google Express is also providing in-kind donations of ready-to-eat, non-perishable foods to benefit the Redwood Empire Food Bank. And Google’s food team will partner with Off the Grid to provide more than 25,000 meals via food trucks to Napa and Sonoma County shelters over the next month.


My hometown of Santa Rosa is one of many that has been devastated, and the fires are still active in Northern California and the Anaheim Hills. As the situation progresses, Google will continue to update the Crisis Map and SOS alerts to help deliver the most up-to-date information available. My thoughts are with the North Bay community and others that have been impacted by recent natural disasters around the world.
Scroll Up