What Google Cloud, G Suite and Chrome customers need to know about the industry-wide CPU vulnerability

What Google Cloud, G Suite and Chrome customers need to know about the industry-wide CPU vulnerability

Last year, Google’s Project Zero security team discovered a vulnerability affecting modern microprocessors. Since then, Google engineering teams have been working to protect our customers from the vulnerability across the entire suite of Google products, including Google Cloud Platform (GCP), G Suite applications, and the Google Chrome and Chrome OS products. We also collaborated with hardware and software manufacturers across the industry to help protect their users and the broader web.

All G Suite applications have already been updated to prevent all known attack vectors. G Suite customers and users do not need to take any action to be protected from the vulnerability.

GCP has already been updated to prevent all known vulnerabilities. Google Cloud is architected in a manner that enables us to update the environment while providing operational continuity for our customers. We used our VM Live Migration technology to perform the updates with no user impact, no forced maintenance windows and no required restarts.

Customers who use their own operating systems with GCP services may need to apply additional updates to their images; please refer to the GCP section of the Google Security blog post concerning this vulnerability for additional details. As more updates become available, they will be tracked on the the Compute Engine Security Bulletins page.

Finally, customers using Chrome browser—including for G Suite or GCP—can take advantage of Site Isolation as an additional hardening feature across desktop platforms, including Chrome OS. Customers can turn on Site Isolation for a specific set of websites, or all websites.

The Google Security blog includes more detailed information about this vulnerability and mitigations across all Google products.  

The making of “A Ride to Remember,” a film about BikeAround

The making of “A Ride to Remember,” a film about BikeAround

Editor’s Note: Orlando von Einsiedel is the director of the Oscar-winning Netflix short documentary, “The White Helmets.” His first feature, “Virunga,” won more than 50 international awards including an EMMY, a Peabody, a Grierson and a duPont-Columbia Award for outstanding journalism. Last year, we had the opportunity to work with Orlando on a short film about Laila and Bengt Ivarsson. Bengt was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and is testing an experimental technology that triggers memory using Google Maps. Orlando’s documentary is a powerful account of the couple and their experiences.

Like many people, I’ve experienced the sadness of seeing an older relative losing their memory. It’s a strange and painful experience, to see someone you know and love become confused and disorientated—to see them lose their grasp on the world.

It makes you realize how our memories provide us with much of the context and structure for who we are today. The interactions we have with friends and family aren’t static, isolated in time and place. They are ever evolving, informed by what has happened in our shared and personal histories. To lose the context for those interactions must be terrifying.

That’s why I was excited to hear about the BikeAround project—which pairs a stationary bike with Google Street View to give patients a virtual visit to a place from their past—and the way it helps spark memories in people suffering from dementia.

I first worked with Google on the Moon Shot film in 2016. Then earlier this year they came to me with an idea to tell the story about the developing BikeAround technology and how it’s affecting individuals who suffer from dementia. Google released a short version of the film in September, and you can watch the full version now.


Microsoft to acquire Avere Systems, accelerating high-performance computing innovation for media and entertainment industry and beyond

Microsoft to acquire Avere Systems, accelerating high-performance computing innovation for media and entertainment industry and beyond

Over the years, Microsoft has made a number of investments to provide our customers with the most flexible, secure and scalable storage solutions in the marketplace. Today, I am pleased to share that Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire Avere Systems, a leading provider of high-performance NFS and SMB file-based storage for Linux and Windows clients running in cloud, hybrid and on-premises environments.

The post Microsoft to acquire Avere Systems, accelerating high-performance computing innovation for media and entertainment industry and beyond appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Year in Search: The most fantastic fads of 2017

Year in Search: The most fantastic fads of 2017

Here today, gone tomorrow. Our annual Year in Search is always a fun look back at the fads that captured our fancy and then fizzled out fast. See what this year’s biggest crazes were, through the lens of Google Search:

Unicorn everything

The unofficial mascot of 2017 was the unicorn—the magical creature that had the internet abuzz. While we may have reached peak Unicorn with Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino, the craze didn’t stop there. People gave a unicorn twist to all kinds of foods and searched for unicorn cake, unicorn hot chocolate, unicorn cheesecake and unicorn lemonade. While this colorful trend spanned the globe, the most searches came from the cities of San Francisco, New York, London and Bengaluru. Those who jumped on the unicorn food train were likely responsible for making “How many calories are in a Unicorn Frappuccino?” the number one trending calorie-related query.

fads YIS

Slimy searches

Slime also had a very big year: “How to make slime?” was the number one globally trending “how to make” question of 2017. We wanted to know how to make slime of all types: fluffy, butter, stretchy, jiggly, cloud, clear and glow-in-the-dark. But as our slimy obsession grew, so did its mess. “How to get slime out of carpet?” made its way to one of the 100 globally trending “How to” questions of the year.

The dog days aren’t over

While unicorns and slime may be have had their five minutes of fame, some internet loves last forever—like our collective adoration of cute creatures. This year’s most searched celebrity animal was April, the mama giraffe that gained worldwide fame after a live video stream of her pregnancy. April’s moment in the spotlight had the question “How long are giraffes pregnant for?” trending in Alaska. Next up in top-searched celebrity animals was Fiona, the premature baby hippo, followed by Marnie, the Instagram-famous senior rescue dog.

Meme, myself and I

From a dancing hot dog to a distracted boyfriend, the viral images that graced our feeds brought comedic relief, heavy doses of sarcasm and unending creativity to the internet. According to search data, the five most trending memes of 2017 were: “Cash Me Outside,” “United Airlines,” “Elf on the Shelf,” “What in Tarnation?” and “Mocking SpongeBob” as people sought to get in on the joke.

Say what?

It’s not just memes—the internet has a language all its own that can leave people asking “huh?”. Thankfully, the internet is also a helpful tool to quickly decode the latest slang. Trending acronyms we had to look up this year included WCW (woman crush wednesday), TFW (that feeling when), STG (swear to God), GOAT (greatest of all time), and OFC (of course). And from “what does despacito mean?” to “what does bodak yellow mean?” to “What does bibia be ye ye mean?”, we searched for the meanings of popular songs—then got back to the dance floor.

And those are the wacky, weird and unexpected searches of 2017. Who knows what 2018 will bring? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

A look back at the most read Google Play posts on Medium in 2017

A look back at the most read Google Play posts on Medium in 2017

Posted by Sergejs Cuhrajs, Community Manager, Google Play

Earlier this year we launched the Google Play Apps & Games publication on
Medium
to help developers discover best practices and insights to grow
successful apps and games businesses on Google Play. As we draw closer to the
end of the year we thought it’s a good time to revisit some of our most popular
posts according to you – our readers.

It’s clear that many of you are excited by the potential of new technology, such
as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), and how it could enhance
user interaction with your apps and games. You’re also concerned with everyday
issues including how to keep your APK size manageable, how to acquire new users,
and how to monetize games without pushing away your players.

So without further adieu, here’s the list of the top 10:

  1. Applying
    human-centered design to emerging technologies


    (by By Peter Hyer, Fabian Herrmann, and Kristin Kelly, 7 min read)

    VR, AR, and digital assistant present exciting opportunities for the future, but how can we ensure
    we’re designing for what people really want?
  2. Shrinking
    APKs, growing installs


    (by Sam Tolomei, 6 min read)
    Smaller APK
    sizes correlate with higher install conversion rate on Google Play – we share
    tips for keeping your apps lean.
  3. Who
    plays mobile games?


    (by Allen Bevans, UX Researcher at Google, 6 min
    read)

    Four actionable insights for game developers based on our research
    into different player segments.
  4. Why
    the first ten minutes are crucial if you want to keep players coming back


    (by Adam Carpenter, 7 min read)

    How to analyze your retention data so you can keep players coming back again
    and again.

  5. Design
    your app for decision-making

    (by Jeni Fisher, 10 min read)
    Useful
    tips and strategies for encouraging desired user behavior in your apps. Also
    check out follow-up posts on boosting
    motivation through app rewards
    , and common
    pitfalls of persuasive app design
    .
  6. Predicting
    your app’s monetization future

    (by Ignacio Monereo, 10 min read)
    Learn about predictive analytics and calculating your apps lifetime value (LTV)
    to gain practical insight into the future of your app. In the second part
    Ignacio shares how to calculate
    LTV based on five popular monetization models
    .
  7. Five
    tips to improve your games-as-a-service monetization

    (by Moonlit
    Beshimov, 9 min read)

    5 proven strategies to improve your game revenue
    without driving players away.
  8. An
    introduction to in-app A/B testing


    (by Gavin Kinghall Were, 13 min
    read)

    Learn how in-app A/B testing can drive insight into your app’s future
    design and development, and maximise its performance.
  9. Taking
    the guesswork out of paid user acquisition


    (by David Yin, 8 min
    read)

    A simple tool to help you estimate lifetime value (LTV) of your users
    and what to spend to grow your audience.
  10. Rethinking
    interface assumptions in AR: selecting objects


    (by Aaron Cammarata, 8
    min read)

    In this article for beginner AR developers we explore one of the
    most fundamental user interface actions: object selection.

Do you have suggestions for topics we should tackle in 2018? Let us know by
tweeting with the hashtag #AskPlayDev and we’ll reply from @GooglePlayDev, where we regularly
share news and tips on how to be successful on Google Play.

How useful did you find this blogpost?





Extending domain opt-out and AdWords API tools

Extending domain opt-out and AdWords API tools

In 2012, Google made voluntary commitments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that are set to expire on December 27th, 2017. At that time, we agreed to remove certain clauses from our AdWords API Terms and Conditions. We also agreed to provide a mechanism for websites to opt out of the display of their crawled content on certain Google web pages linked to google.com in the United States on a domain-by-domain basis.  

We believe that these policies provide continued flexibility for developers and websites, and we will be continuing our current practices regarding the AdWords API Terms and Conditions and the domain-by-domain opt-out following the expiration of the voluntary commitments. Additional information can be found here:

#teampixel lights up the holidays

#teampixel lights up the holidays

Season’s greetings! With the holidays around the corner, we’re highlighting #teampixel pics that remind us why this time of year is so magical. Join us in kicking off the celebrations with photos ranging from a frosty day in Austria to enjoying sweet treats in Pike Place, Seattle.

We also can’t wait to see what Team Pixel captures in the coming year. Be merry, have a wonderful holiday and see you all in 2018! ✌️

Year in Search: To infinity and beyond

Year in Search: To infinity and beyond

The solar system had its shining moment this year, according to our annual Year in Search. From questions about the solar eclipse to the end of the Cassini spacecraft’s exploration of Saturn, the galaxy turned to Google Search for answers to out-of-this-world questions. Here’s a look at some of the trending searches about space in 2017:

Space searches

Steal my sunshine

In August, a total solar eclipse crossed North America for the first time in over a century. The awe-inspiring event spurred a spike in eclipse-related questions, like “how long will the eclipse last?” and “how much of the eclipse will I see?” Safety was also top of mind: Beforehand, searches for “how to make solar eclipse glasses” and “how long you can look at the sun” were trending. Despite the preparation, the top post-eclipse queries were related to “eclipse eye damage”—yikes!

Totality hits

Eclipse-viewing experiences need a proper soundtrack. Leading up to the big day, the world searched for songs to set the mood. According to search data, these are the top trending tunes that made the cut:

1. “Black Hole Sun” – Soundgarden

2. “Moonshadow” – Cat Stevens

3. “Ain’t No Sunshine” – Bill Withers

4. “Bad Moon Rising” – CCR

5. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – Bonnie Tyler

Solar eclipse songs

Galaxies far, far away

Search interest extended beyond Earth. After two decades of exploring the solar system, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft ended its journey this year, piquing interest in space exploration. Searches asking “how many people are in space?” and how far away Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are from Earth climbed to an all-time high. And NASA’s search for habitable exoplanets (planets beyond our solar system) had the world asking “How many exoplanets have been discovered?” 10 times more in 2017 than 2016.

Last year we searched on Google for the answers to our most universal questions. As we rocket into 2018, who knows what we’ll search for next? 💫