Catalyst 9000 Switches – CRN’s 2017 Overall Network Product of the Year

Catalyst 9000 Switches – CRN’s 2017 Overall Network Product of the Year

We are proud and honored to have the Cisco Catalyst 9000 family of switches recognized as CRNs 2017 Overall Network Product of the Year. Every year CRN awards “Product of the Year” for a variety IT-related technology categories specifically looking for products that solve important problems for customers. Those products are then evaluated by over […]

The High Five: fighting fire, breaking silence, and other top searches this week

The High Five: fighting fire, breaking silence, and other top searches this week

This week, search trends—with data from the Google News Lab—reflect nationwide concern about the Southern California wildfires, as well as end-of-year cultural milestones like TIME’s “Person of the Year” and “Spotify Wrapped.”

Southern California wildfires

As wildfires ravaged Southern California this week, people searched to find out “How do brush fires start?” and “Why are there so many wildfires in California?” People are also trying to prepare and do more to help: “How to become a wildfire fighter,” “How to protect your house from wildfires” and “How to how California fire victims” were among the top searches.

Silent, no longer

After TIME named its “Person of the Year” this week, search interest for “silence breaker” went up 31,000 percent. These are the women, both famous and unknown, who launched a movement against sexual harassment this year. Searchers were most curious about “how the TIME Person of the Year is chosen,” and the top searches for “Person of the Year” were Ashley Judd, Donald Trump, Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, Taylor Swift and Colin Kaepernick.

Coding craze

“Why do we need to learn coding?” was a top-searched question this week, and one that  Computer Science Education Week set out to answer. Searches about computer science ranged from basic questions like “What is coding” and “How to code,” to more advanced searches for programming languages (the most-searched languages were JavaScript, PHP and Python).

That’s a wrap

This week, Spotify released its “Wrapped” feature, which breaks down your music-listening habits over the past year. Spotify listeners wanted to know, “How to see Spotify 2017 Wrapped” and “How many songs have I listened to on Spotify?” The feature also tells you the number of minutes you spent listening to Spotify this year—and interestingly, search interest in “minutes to hours” went up 140 percent after Wrapped was released.

No more carbo-loading

Some people may already be thinking about New Year’s resolutions, with a recent uptick in searches for the Keto diet, which recommends fewer carbs and more fats. For some, carbs (or lack thereof) are top of mind: “How to make Keto bread” and “How many carbs can I have on Keto diet” were two of the top searches. Those who are ready to get cooking searched for “Keto chicken recipes” and “Keto dessert recipes.” And if Keto isn’t your thing, consider the other most-searched diets this week: Paleo diet, Military diet, and Mediterranean diet.

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Wrapping up a year of impact with holiday giving

Wrapping up a year of impact with holiday giving

The holidays are a time for celebrating family and community, and it’s my favorite time at Google because Googlers give back to those who need it most.

Through Google.org grants and the generosity of Googlers, we set new giving records in 2017, bringing more resources to nonprofits, and more opportunities for Googlers to volunteer their time and expertise. In total this year, Google and Googlers donated more than $260 million to nonprofits. Our giving was centered our three core areas—education, economic opportunity and inclusion—and we provided opportunities for Googlers and the public to support disaster relief campaigns to help victims of hurricanes, fires, floods and other crises.

Holiday Giving and Giving Week

One of the main ways we give back during the holidays is through Giving Week, our annual global campaign where Googlers sign up to personally match donations their peers make. In just one week, Googlers pledged, and Google matched over $20 million for 1,000+ organizations around the world. The organizations that topped the list this year include the ACLU, Second Harvest Food Bank, GiveDirectly, and Doctors Without Borders.

In addition, this year we set up a $30 million holiday fund to support over 35 nonprofits around the world. We asked Googlers to help us direct these funds to a core group of organizations, from all regions and across a range of issue areas, including Pratham Books, an organization that addresses education gaps in India, and the International Rescue Committee, which helps people in crisis.

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Google Gift Match & Crisis Response

Year round, Google.org matches up to $6,000 in employee donations to nonprofits of their choice. Through this program, Googlers and Google have given nearly $97 million—including over $20M to crisis relief efforts in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Florida, Houston, South Asia, and more. Googlers are also generous with their time, especially during crises—this year Googlers went to Puerto Rico to work with our grantee NetHope to help restore connectivity in areas affected by the hurricane.

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Google.org & Google volunteers

Together, our people, products, and philanthropy create opportunity for everyone. We pledged $1 billion in Google.org grants over five years to nonprofits around the world, and 1 million hours that Googlers can volunteer to nonprofits. This year alone, we supported nonprofits with $120 million in grants. In addition, Googlers volunteered over 220,000 hours of their time and expertise.

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I’m proud of our impact this year, and the Googlers who made it possible. Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday.

Digital Disruption Hits Sales: the Rise of the ‘Hybrid Seller’

Digital Disruption Hits Sales: the Rise of the ‘Hybrid Seller’

As a leader at Cisco in the virtual sales space, I have a front row seat to the fast pace of disruption and change that is hitting the industry. Digital disruption is one of the most often used phrases in business over the last couple of years.  And rightly so, because the disruption is real. […]

All things are possible: Grow with Google and Google.org Impact Challenge come to OKC

All things are possible: Grow with Google and Google.org Impact Challenge come to OKC

As an Oklahoman, it’s exciting to work for a company like Google in Oklahoma City—a community I’m proud to call home and that has given me every opportunity in life to succeed. The homesteader Angelo Scott said our city’s spirit has “an attitude that all things are possible if people are willing to take a chance and embrace the future without hesitation or reservation.” As Oklahoma City has developed a diverse economic base as a center for energy, healthcare, aerospace and technology, its spirit remains evident.

Many Oklahoma City businesses are using technology to grow, reach new customers, and adapt to changing markets. For example, Langston’s Western Wear, a century-old family business, found new momentum when it put its products on the web. Now, online sales account for more than 25 percent of their overall business. Watch their story:


Building tools with GCP to help developers be more  efficient

Building tools with GCP to help developers be more efficient

Editor’s note: Today’s post comes from Tomoaki Kobayakawa and Yoshiyuki Mineo of Rocro Inc., a subsidiary of Sony Network Communications. They take us through how they used Google Cloud Platform to create three SaaS products to help developers both inside and outside of Sony.

SaaS services are becoming more critical for developers working large-scale software developments. At Sony we know this all too well. So back in spring 2015, we set off to create three CI SaaS products that could dramatically reduce the amount of time it took to review source code, generate and manage API documents, and perform load testing. After enthusiastic results internally, we decided this year to establish a new company, Rocro Inc, and release those three products—Inspecode, Docstand and Loadroid—to the public.

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Even though our chief objective was to create robust tools that would be embraced by our internal developers, our goal from the beginning was to release our services externally as well. So, to build tools that had the speed, flexibility and reliability to serve all our users—whether inside or outside Sony—we turned to Google Cloud Platform.

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Google App Engine was the main reason we chose GCP. When we started out, our team was very small, and we couldn’t afford to hire a dedicated infrastructure engineer. App Engine is a fully managed platform that provides the user with an infrastructure abstraction, so you don’t need an infrastructure engineer to begin with. With App Engine, we’re able to work more efficiently because each developer can deploy services whenever they want. Our team has now grown substantially in size, yet to this day we haven’t needed a dedicated infrastructure engineer.

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In addition to App Engine, we also use Kubernetes Engine, Cloud Storage, and Cloud Datastore for our storage and database systems. The Kubernetes Engine kubernetes management service is very helpful for us. Both Inspecode and Docstand use the “Job” feature of Kubernetes—every time you use the git push command, it runs a new job, automating the source code analysis and documentation process. Each job functions in an isolated environment, which means it’s safe and stable to operate with individual containers for each user. Plus, jobs can be easily removed, which reduces both unnecessary labor and costs. Kubernetes can also restrict the use of CPU per job, so even if a particular user were to run a job under a heavy load, it wouldn’t have a negative impact on other users. This is essential for operating multi-tenant services in a stable manner.

GCP updates frequently, so our team benefits from access to the latest technologies relatively early. We’re now experimenting with Cloud Functions, and we hope the trend towards using serverless technologies can help us reduce the cost of keeping instances up and running for less frequently used features.

Both Rocro and Google Cloud save engineers a lot of trouble, helping them focus on the more creative elements of their work. We’re looking forward to experimenting with what’s next from GCP.

A look at one billion drawings from around the world

A look at one billion drawings from around the world

Since November 2016, people all around the world have drawn one billion doodles in Quick, Draw!, a web game where a neural network tries to recognize your drawings.

That includes 2.9 million cats, 2.9 million hot dogs, and 2.9 million drawings of snowflakes.

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Each drawing is unique. But when you step back and look at one billion of them, the differences fade away. Turns out, one billion drawings can remind us of how similar we are.

Take drawings people made of faces. Some have eyebrows.

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Some have ears.

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Some have hair.

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Some are round.

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Some are oval.

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But when if you look at them all together and squint, you notice something interesting: Most people seem to draw faces that are smiling.

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These sorts of interesting patterns emerge with lots of drawings. Like how people all over the world have trouble drawing bicycles.

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With some exceptions from the rare bicycle-drawing experts.

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If you overlay these drawings, you’ll also notice some interesting patterns based on geography. Like the directions that chairs might point:

Or the number of scoops you might get on an ice cream cone.

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(Source: Kyle McDonald)

And the strategy you might use to draw a star.

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Still, no matter the drawing method, over the last 12 months, people have drawn more stars in Quick, Draw! than there are actual stars visible to the naked eye in the night sky.

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If there’s one thing one billion drawings has taught us, it’s that no matter who we are or where we’re from, we’re united by the fun of making silly drawings of the things around us.

Quick, Draw! began as a simple way to let anyone play with machine learning. But these billions of drawings are also a valuable resource for improving machine learning. Researchers at Google have used them to train models like sketch-rnn, which lets people draw with a neural network. And the data we gathered from the game powers tools like AutoDraw, which pairs machine learning with drawings from talented artists to help everyone create anything visual, fast.

There is so much we have yet to discover. To explore a subset of the billion drawings, visit our open dataset. To learn more about how Quick, Draw! was built, read this post. And to draw your own star (or ice cream cone, or bicycle), play a round of Quick, Draw!

With Tilt Brush, an artist turns his virtual world into reality

With Tilt Brush, an artist turns his virtual world into reality

Editor’s note: Today’s post comes from British portrait painter Jonathan Yeo.

From photography to the printing press, to modern computing, art and technology have always influenced one another. And the artist’s toolkit is expanding with new mediums like virtual reality. As a portrait artist who primarily works with oil paint in two dimensions, drawing in three- dimensional space was unknown territory for me. Until recently, I’ve never created art using VR technology, but with Google Arts and Culture and the help of Tilt Brush engineers, I brought VR and sculpture together to create something that was more than just an experiment.


Black Hat Europe 2017: Malware Analysis in the SOC

Black Hat Europe 2017: Malware Analysis in the SOC

New Cisco Threat Grid dashboard yields faster malware analysis and response Black Hat Europe kicked off just after the X Factor series finale was recorded live at the London ExCel Center, briefly mixing the Network Operations Centre (NOC) and Security Operations Centre (SOC) staff with hordes of teenaged fans. A few team members confessed to […]

Cisco wins prestigious TSIA STAR Award for Services Innovation

Cisco wins prestigious TSIA STAR Award for Services Innovation

During the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) – the world’s leading organization dedicated to advancing the business of technology and services conference on 25 October 2017, Cisco was awarded the Star award for Innovation in Expand Selling Programs. To win a STAR Award, nominees undergo a rigorous evaluation process, with the winners selected by TSIA’s […]

Vulnerability Spotlight: TALOS-2017-0393 / CVE-2017-2886 – ACDSee Ultimate 10 Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Vulnerability Spotlight: TALOS-2017-0393 / CVE-2017-2886 – ACDSee Ultimate 10 Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Overview Talos has discovered a remote code execution vulnerability in the ACDSee Ultimate 10 application from ACD Systems International Inc. Exploiting this vulnerabilities can potentially allow an attacker to gain full control over the victim’s machine. If an attacker builds a specially crafted .PSD (Photoshop) file and the victim opens it with the ACDSee Ultimate […]