Cloud Unfiltered Ep23: Moving Legacy Applications to the Cloud, with Sinclair Schuller

Cloud Unfiltered Ep23: Moving Legacy Applications to the Cloud, with Sinclair Schuller

Let’s say you are totally on board for private cloud. You (well, really your developers) love the public cloud, but you know you could save a whole lot of money if you moved that big data workload over to the private side. Or maybe you need to keep your data on-premises in order to meet […]

Stream YouTube TV using your voice on Google Home

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

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

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.

  • Sidebyside2.jpg
    Pictures taken on Pixel 2 on a third-party app. Picture on the right is HDR+ on Pixel Visual Core
  • Sidebyside5.jpg
    Pictures taken on Pixel 2 on a third-party app. Picture on the right is HDR+ on Pixel Visual Core
  • Sidebyside1.jpg
    Pictures taken on Pixel 2 on a third-party app. Picture on the right is HDR+ on Pixel Visual Core
  • Sidebyside4.jpg
    Pictures taken on Pixel 2 on a third-party app. Picture on the right is HDR+ on Pixel Visual Core

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

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

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

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

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.

Tackling the Threat Landscape with Innovative Partnerships

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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 […]