As the days draw nearer to the holidays, and family and friends gather together to celebrate, there are countless moments to cherish. With a broad array of
It’s been a busy year, from our second generation of Made by Google hardware, to our efforts to create more opportunity for everyone. But before we head into the new year, we’re taking a look at a few things you may have missed in 2017. Here are 12 things that caught our attention:
3. We met dozens of interesting Googlers from across the company—like Hector Mujica, who manages disaster relief giving for Google.org; creative director Tea Uglow; Google AI Resident Suhani Vora; Seth Marbin, the creator of our annual volunteering program GoogleServe; and a handful of Googlers who shared their stories on National Coming Out Day. We even got to ride along with Google Cloud luminaries Diane Greene and Fei-Fei Li on their way to work.
4. With Google Arts & Culture, we explored some of the world’s cultural treasures from anywhere. Pore over the details of the Ghent Altarpiece, an early Northern Renaissance masterpiece, in ultra-high resolution; scale the undulating roof of the Guggenheim in Bilbao; see 30,000 fashion pieces on the virtual catwalk with We Wear Culture; and rumble with the Jets and the Sharks from “West Side Story.”
Jump is Google’s platform for professional VR video capture. It combines high-quality VR cameras and automated stitching that simplifies VR video production and helps filmmakers create amazing content. We launched the Jump Start program so that creators of all backgrounds can get access to Jump cameras and bring their ideas for VR video projects to life.
We’re wrapping up the year for the Jump Start program, and it’s been great to see the diversity of creators around the world using Jump cameras for a whole range of projects, everything from Lions in Los Angeles to a tour of the ancient Roman Forum to a sci-fi movie set on a futuristic Lunar Base. You can check out some recently published pieces on YouTube. We also just announced our third round of Jump Start participants. Let’s take a look at the cool stuff they’re working on.
Aidan Brezonick (Director), Justin Benzel (Author), Ivanna Kozak (Producer, Laïdak Films), Antoine Liétout (Producer, Laïdak Films), and Ivan Zuber (Producer, Laïdak Films)
Locations: LA, USA; Chicago, USA; Berlin, Germany; Paris, France
The team is working on a story set in the French countryside. It follows Henry, an aggrieved inventor struggling to overcome the laws of physics by reversing entropy.
Location: Washington, D.C., USA
Alvaro’s the co-founder of the Family Reunions Project. He’s working on a collection of immersive experiences centered on undocumented immigrants.
Amaury La Burthe
Location: Toulouse, France
Amaury is creative director of Novelab/Audiogaming. He’s working with Corinne Linder on a hybrid live action and CGI project about modern-day circuses.
Location: Ithaca, USA
As a filmmaker and sociologist, Becky is creating an interactive journey through the history of burlesque dance to discover its impact on U.S. culture and women’s sexual empowerment.
Location: Puerto Rico
Carmen Guzmán is a Puerto Rican filmmaker based in NYC. She’s exploring the impact Hurricane Maria had on Puerto Rico’s communication systems and culture.
DimensionGate (Ian Tuason)
Location: Toronto, Canada
Ian Tuason, founder of DimensionGate, has showcased his work at the Cannes Film Festival, and is shooting the pilot episode of a VR horror serial.
Dominic Nahr and Sam Wolson
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Dominic and Sams’s film will explore the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan.
Location: Oakland, USA
Fifer’s project will traverse the many offshoots of our lingual creation myth in a delicate interactive dance between viewer and journey.
Location: Eugene, USA
The interdisciplinary arts collective Harmonic Laboratory is documenting TESLA: Light, Sound, Color, an original 90-minute theatre performance on the elusive physicist and inventor, Nikola Tesla.
Location: Brooklyn, USA
iNK Stories is a Story Innovation Studio. They’re working on the immersive experience Fire Escape and the large-scale VR installation, HERO (premiering at Sundance).
Location: San Francisco, USA
Lisa is producing “Keep Tahoe Blue,” a look at the successful environmental monitoring organization. It’s a piece on community, volunteerism, and making a difference.
Location: Brooklyn, USA
Lizzie co-founded AROO, a feminist VR collective. A documentary filmmaker, one of Lizzie’s current VR projects explores the human/animal relationships within a wolf sanctuary.
Majka Burhardt and Ross Henry
Locations (Respectively): Jackson, USA; Chagrin Falls, USA
Majka and Ross share a VR journey about the power of one mountain and the water that takes you from the summit of Mount Namuli, Mozambique to the Indian Ocean.
Location: Venice, USA
More than 50 creators are coupling neurofeedback with stunning VR video to unlock creativity by training people to consciously control their state of mind in any environment.
MeeRa Kim & Michael Henderson (Arbor Entertainment)
Location: Los Angeles, USA
The Arbor team is working on several projects including a 360 exploration of dance and music from the 1920s through present day.
Location: San Francisco, USA
Noam is a producer and National Geographic Explorer. Her team will use VR to get an inside look into the life of a Kyrgyz nomad as he pioneers a new adventure sport: horse-backcountry-skiing.
Location: Columbia, USA
The StoryUP XR team is creating a brain-controlled VR experience where you conduct a handbell orchestra with your positive emotions.
Location: Whistler, Canada
The team is working on an experience that will you on a guided heli-ski trip deep into the backcountry. High adrenaline, no crowds, and all the untouched powder you could ask for.
What have you been eating in 2017? Zagat is taking a look back at the top food trends of the past 12 months, based on data from Zagat reviews and insights from Zagat editors.
“Breakfast” is high on the list of most frequently used words in Zagat reviews this year, which aligns with the trend our editors saw in the popularity of all-day cafes. Restaurants like Atla (from Mexico City’s Enrique Olvera) and De Maria (from Top Chef’s Camille Becerra) in NYC, and City Mouse at the new Ace Hotel Chicago, focus on early morning and midday cuisine with brightly colored, (mostly) healthful dishes and interiors to match—perfect for Instagramming.
The boom of gourmet fast-casual continued this year. Chefs like Eleven Madison Park’s Daniel Humm and Del Posto alum/pasta master Mark Ladner both opened concepts in NYC serving up affordable gourmet plates like salmon rosti or customizable pasta with homemade sauces. In Boston, chef Ming Tsai closed his beloved Blue Ginger to open a fast-casual spot called ChowStirs (coming soon). “Counter service” is the fourth most used term in Zagat reviews this year, which describes the style of service you’ll find at these spots (think Shake Shack or Chipotle).
With more and more restaurants clamoring to create dishes to delight photo-happy social media addicts, rainbow-colored food had a watershed moment in 2017. This trend isn’t limited to Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino: NY-based spots like The Good Sort offered their take on the trend with a rainbow iced latte, and in LA, multi-colored pastries could be found at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse.
We featured a handful of some of Los Angeles’ trending dishes in this year’s Zagat Instagram Table, which brings together 12 buzzworthy items on one table for the perfect shot. Each day this week, we unveiled a new section of our table to create a complete overhead shot on the Zagat Instagram feed.
In no particular order, the featured dishes are:
Octopus taco from Holbox
Assorted donuts from Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts (including the nacho donut)
The French Nest from Smorgasburg’s Lobsterdamus
Mozzarella sticks from Casa Buona
Assorted flavors from The Loop Churros
Rainbow-colored ice cream sandwiches from MILK
Corbarina pizza pie (cherry tomatoes, squash blossom, burrata, gremolata) from Pizzana
Blue smoothie bowl from Great White
Matcha croissant from Mr. Holmes Bakehouse
Classic fried chicken sandwich from Fritzi Coop
Bacon banh mi dog and Loco Moco dog from Sumo Dog
Tokyo-style dan dan noodles from Killer Noodle
Speaking of the City of Angels, LA is our Most Exciting Food City of 2017, thanks to all the exciting openings worthy of national attention (like Vespertine and Felix), and chefs from cities like NY and Chicago (like David Chang and April Bloomfield) opening their own unique concepts. Plus, LA’s long history of diverse cuisine makes it inspiring for both chefs and diners—and it’s getting more varied every day!
Check out Zagat.com for more on the hottest restaurants and food trends.
Title photo by Wendy George
By Tessa Lyons, Product Manager Facebook is about connecting you to the people that matter most. And discussing the news can be one way to start a meaningful conversation with friends or family. It’s why helping to ensure that you get accurate information on Facebook is so important to us. Today, we’re announcing two changes […]
You can do a lot in 90 seconds—make a paper airplane, brush your teeth, or put on sunscreen. And with EDU in 90, you can also get Google for Education updates.
Earlier this year, we heard from countless educators, school leaders and administrators that they wanted to keep up with the latest from Google for Education. To keep our updates quick and concise, we created EDU in 90, a video series that highlights the best of our education products and programs—all in a succinct format. Throughout season one, we’ve focused on everything from quizzes in Google Forms to online safety to using Google Keep in the classroom.
In January, we’ll be back for season two of EDU in 90. And based on feedback from hundreds of educators, we’re increasing our episode frequency and will kick things off with episodes on engaging guardians of students with G Suite and using Google Classroom for differentiated instruction.
Editor’s note: Earlier this year, Made with Code teamed up with Snap Inc. to host #MyFutureMe, a competition for teens to code their own Snapchat geofilters and write their vision for the future. 22,000 teens submitted designs and shared their visions, and Zoe Lynch—a ninth-grader from South Orange, NJ—was recently named the winner by a panel of judges, including Malala Yousafzai, Lilly Singh, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel and our own CFO Ruth Porat. We chatted with Zoe about her experience, how she made her filter, and why it’s important for more girls to get into coding.
What was the inspiration behind your filter?
The brain has fascinated me since I was younger—it’s where creativity and ideas come from so I wanted to use that. The coding project had peace signs, so I had the idea to manipulate the peace signs to look like a brain. The idea for my filter was what can happen when everyone puts their brain power together. When we do that, we are unstoppable.
After you became a finalist, you attended TEDWomen. What was that like?
It was crazy inspiring. It showed me how many powerful and cool women are out there opening paths for girls like me. I got to meet the other finalists, and we created a group chat on Snap, so that we can follow each other and stay connected. We’ve been each other’s biggest cheerleaders. All these girls are going to do awesome things. Tech mogul alert!
How did you feel when you found out that you were selected as the final winner?
I couldn’t believe it! Everyone was so talented and worked hard, but I was so happy that my ideas and creativity were recognized. To win a trip to visit Google and Snapchat was like a dream!
What advice do you have for other girls who want to learn how to code?
I know a lot of girls who think they’re not good at this kind of stuff, but most of them haven’t even tried it. So you have to try it because otherwise you won’t know if you’ll like it. I loved #MyFutureMe because teens are really into Snapchat and the different filters you can use. When you have an opportunity to make a filter, you realize that coding is behind it all.
My vision for the future is one where innovation is accessible to all. As a multiracial girl, I believe it’s important for everyone to be included.
Excerpt from Zoe’s vision for the future
You care a lot about inclusion—have you faced situations when inclusion has been a challenge?
When I go to camps or explore things in the engineering field, I’m often the only girl and the only person of color. Usually all the guys go together and it’s kind of discouraging, but I want to try to change that for other girls, so we don’t have to feel this way anymore.
What do you like to do outside of school?
I love to play video games—my favorite is “Uncharted”—but many of them are not really targeted to women. For women, the game is fun but you know deep down that it’s not really made for you. If I was going to make a video game, it would be an engineering game but you’re helping people. Say you want to build a bridge in the game, you’d need to use mathematics and engineering to make it work.
Who are your role models?
My mom. Hands down. She’s a Hispanic woman and and there are only white males at her level at her company, which is where my passion for inclusion started. She’s also pushed me and has always supported me.
You recently visited Snapchat and Google. What was the coolest part of the tour?
Beside the amazing offices (free food!), the coolest part was meeting the engineers. I was so inspired by their journeys and how different they all were. One was an actress, the other a gamer and the other wasn’t even sure of her major until she took her first CS class in college. It showed me that there are many paths to getting into tech.
If you could have any job at Google, what would it be?
I’d want to be an engineer in artificial intelligence—I think that technology and machine learning could change the world. I’d like to see more women and people of color in the field, too.
What do you think the future will look like when you’re 30?
I’m hoping that in the future, everyone works together. And it’ll be cool to live through new technology breakthroughs!
Posted by Gian G Spicuzza, Android Security team
Android Oreo is stuffed full of security enhancements. Over the past few months,
we’ve covered how we’ve improved the security of the Android platform and its
applications: from making
it safer to get apps, dropping insecure
network protocols, providing more user
control over identifiers, hardening
the kernel, making
Android easier to update, all the way to doubling
the Android Security Rewards payouts. Now that Oreo is out the door, let’s
take a look at all the goodness inside.
Expanding support for hardware security
Android already supports Verified Boot,
which is designed to prevent devices from booting up with software that has been
tampered with. In Android Oreo, we added a reference implementation for Verified
Boot running with Project
Treble, called Android Verified Boot 2.0 (AVB). AVB has a couple of cool
features to make updates easier and more secure, such as a common footer format
and rollback protection. Rollback protection is designed to prevent a device to
boot if downgraded to an older OS version, which could be vulnerable to an
exploit. To do this, the devices save the OS version using either special
hardware or by having the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) sign the data.
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL come with this protection and we recommend all device
manufacturers add this feature to their new devices.
Oreo also includes the new OEM
Lock Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) that gives device manufacturers more
flexibility for how they protect whether a device is locked, unlocked, or
unlockable. For example, the new Pixel phones use this HAL to pass commands to
the bootloader. The bootloader analyzes these commands the next time the device
boots and determines if changes to the locks, which are securely stored in
Replay Protected Memory Block (RPMB), should happen. If your device is stolen,
these safeguards are designed to prevent your device from being reset and to
keep your data secure. This new HAL even supports moving the lock state to
Speaking of hardware, we’ve invested support in tamper-resistant hardware, such
as the security
module found in every Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. This physical chip prevents
many software and hardware attacks and is also resistant to physical penetration
attacks. The security module prevents deriving the encryption key without the
device’s passcode and limits the rate of unlock attempts, which makes many
attacks infeasible due to time restrictions.
While the new Pixel devices have the special security module, all new GMS devices shipping with Android Oreo
are required to implement key
attestation. This provides a mechanism for strongly attesting
IDs such as hardware identifiers.
We added new features for enterprise-managed devices as well. In work profiles,
encryption keys are now ejected from RAM when the profile is off or when your
company’s admin remotely locks the profile. This helps secure enterprise data at
Platform hardening and process isolation
As part of Project
Treble, the Android framework was re-architected to make updates easier and
less costly for device manufacturers. This separation of platform and
vendor-code was also designed to improve security. Following the principle of
least privilege, these HALs run in their own
sandbox and only have access to the drivers and permissions that are
Continuing with the media
stack hardening in Android Nougat, most direct hardware access has been
removed from the media frameworks in Oreo resulting in better isolation.
Furthermore, we’ve enabled Control Flow Integrity (CFI) across all media
components. Most vulnerabilities today are exploited by subverting the normal
control flow of an application, instead changing them to perform arbitrary
malicious activities with all the privileges of the exploited application. CFI
is a robust security mechanism that disallows arbitrary changes to the original
control flow graph of a compiled binary, making it significantly harder to
perform such attacks.
In addition to these architecture changes and CFI, Android Oreo comes with a
feast of other tasty platform security enhancements:
filtering: makes some unused syscalls unavailable to apps so that
they can’t be exploited by potentially harmful apps.
usercopy: A recent survey
of security bugs on Android
revealed that invalid or missing bounds checking was seen in approximately 45%
of kernel vulnerabilities. We’ve backported a bounds checking feature to Android
kernels 3.18 and above, which makes exploitation harder while also helping
developers spot issues and fix bugs in their code.
- Privileged Access Never (PAN) emulation: Also backported to
3.18 kernels and above, this feature prohibits the kernel from accessing user
space directly and ensures developers utilize the hardened functions to access
- Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization (KASLR):
Although Android has supported userspace Address Space Layout Randomization
(ASLR) for years, we’ve backported KASLR to help mitigate vulnerabilities on
Android kernels 4.4 and newer. KASLR works by randomizing the location where
kernel code is loaded on each boot, making code reuse attacks probabilistic and
therefore more difficult to carry out, especially remotely.
App security and device identifier changes
Instant Apps run in a restricted sandbox which limits permissions and
capabilities such as reading the on-device app list or transmitting cleartext
traffic. Although introduced during the Android Oreo release, Instant Apps
supports devices running Android Lollipop and
In order to handle untrusted content more safely, we’ve isolated
WebView by splitting the rendering engine into a separate process and
running it within an isolated sandbox that restricts its resources. WebView also
supports Safe Browsing to protect
against potentially dangerous sites.
Lastly, we’ve made significant
changes to device identifiers to give users more control, including:
- Moving the static Android ID and Widevine values to an
app-specific value, which helps limit the use of device-scoped non-resettable
- In accordance with IETF RFC 7844
net.hostnameis now empty and the DHCP client no
longer sends a hostname.
- For apps that require a device ID, we’ve built a
Build.getSerial()and protected it behind a permission.
- Alongside security researchers1, we designed a robust MAC address
randomization for Wi-Fi scan traffic in various chipsets firmware.
Android Oreo brings in all of these improvements, and many more. As always, we
appreciate feedback and welcome suggestions for how we can improve Android.
Contact us at email@example.com.
1: Glenn Wilkinson and team at Sensepost, UK, Célestin Matte, Mathieu Cunche:
University of Lyon, INSA-Lyon, CITI Lab, Inria Privatics, Mathy Vanhoef, KU
It’s usually pretty easy to flip a light switch. But when you’re out at night and realize your dog is sitting at home in the dark, or want to set mood lighting for movie night from the comfort of the couch, it’d be nice to have some help. The Assistant on your phone or smart speaker, like Google Home, can help you control your home—whether it’s turning on the lights or turning up the heat—with more than 1,000 compatible devices.
- Let’s start with the basics: Lights. C by GE bulbs are now compatible with Google Assistant. So you can light up, turn off or dim the lights in your home from any room. Setup is easy so you can set the right mood in every room of your home.
- Find the perfect temperature. Winter is just a day away and with the Google Assistant and ecobee or Nest, you can make sure your home is just the right toasty temperature. And, if you like to have a fan on year round, Bond can help you control your fan.
- Keep your kitchen under control. With Smarter, you can control your kettle, while Whirlpool takes care of your microwaves and ovens, so you can make sure your drinks and food are served a temperature that’s just right.
- Washers, dryers, refrigerators and more. LG can help you keep tabs on your home appliances, so you can see when the washer is done, or get an alert when your fridge door is left open. Plus you can connect with ranges, vacuums, air conditioners and more!
- Keep an eye on your home. It’s easy to get a full screen view of what’s happening around the home with Google Home, Chromecast and your connected cameras, like Logitech Circle. Just ask your Assistant “Ok Google, show the nursery on my TV.”
Pro-tip: Since it’s the holiday season, don’t forget that you can use your smart plugs like Insignia, Caséta by Lutron and TP-Link, to help bring holiday cheer to your home! Just connect these smart plugs to your holiday lights and you can easily turn them on and off, so no more crawling around a tree or accidentally leaving your lights on during the day.
And these are just a few of the new integrations. There are lots more ways to control your compatible lights, thermostats, cameras and more, right with your Google Assistant. Check out the ever-growing list.
During crises like Hurricane Irma or the Santa Rosa fires, local reporters are often the first on the scene and capture critical coverage. They have in-depth knowledge of the community and its landmarks, providing insights and context to these breaking news events.
When Hurricane Irma was approaching Miami, the reporting team at the Miami Herald was ready to cover the storm, with journalists posted up at the office, and others positioned in the field. Tim Grieve, Vice President of News at McClatchy, says that was only half the job. “We needed to make sure this life-saving information got in front of readers, too. So we worked to take advantage of all the Google tools available to maximize our reach. The results were incredible—huge bursts of traffic on Play Newsstand and double the usual readership to the Miami Herald site.”
We needed to make sure this life-saving information got in front of readers, too. So we worked to take advantage of all the Google tools available to maximize our reach.
Vice President of News, McClatchy
When news is breaking, every minute of your newsroom’s time matters. So we want to make sure you’re set up and ready to go across Google products in the case of a crisis hitting your local community. We’ve created a checklist to help ensure your stories reach the biggest possible audience from Google’s platforms like Search, Google News and Google Play Newsstand—and that you’re aware of the array of tools that can help you report on breaking news.
These suggestions include best practices to implement in advance of a breaking news event, as well as steps to take the moment an event happens—helping your reporters tell the important stories, while making it easy for local and national audiences to find them.
In preparation for a breaking local news event:
- Create an edition in Google Play Newsstand: Google Play Newsstand is a news and magazine reading app with more than 100 million monthly active users. Readers get a customized stream of news that gets better as they use it, and can subscribe to specific publishers and topics of interest. Set up and publish your local editions on Google Play Newsstand to distribute your content to additional readers.
- Check your presence in Google News: Google drives more than 10 billion clicks a month to news sites, and Google News is a key piece of this process. Google News data feeds into many of our other tools, such as Google Search and Google Finance. Check that your local sites are included in Google News, and if not, start the application process. Once you’ve done so, learn more about additional Google News features like Editors’ Picks. With Editors’ Picks, your editors can choose what stories they’d like to highlight, and these stories could potentially appear right on the Google News homepage.
- Leverage the speed of AMP: More than 50% of people abandon a page that takes more than three seconds to load, and mobile pagespeed is even more critical for users during times of crisis. With AMP, your mobile articles are consistently fast, easy-to-read and high-performing across devices and distribution platforms. AMP pages load four times faster—in less than one second when referred from Google Search. Learn the basics of AMP and how to implement AMP on your site.
- Create a presence on YouTube: Each day more than 5 million hours of news content is consumed on YouTube. Establish your presence by creating YouTube channels for your sites. It’s important to upload your top video content right away, and to always include location and descriptive information so your videos can be found easily.
When a breaking local news event occurs:
- Maximize your potential audience: If you have a paywall, consider removing it during the breaking news event so those in the community can access the stories and information you’re writing. It’s in these crucial times of need that local media can really show their value to the community they report on, giving publishers the opportunity to turn that casual reader into a loyal subscriber after the event.
- Build a monetization strategy with an influx of traffic in mind: As you see your traffic increase during the breaking news event, you need a strategy in place to monetize the additional impressions. For example, if you use Doubleclick AdExchange, consider lowering your CPM thresholds to sell more impressions and drive revenue.
- Add Fact Check markup to your debunking articles: During breaking news, there’s a thirst for cold hard facts, yet as events unfold, these facts can take time to emerge. If your team debunks any misinformation being circulated about a breaking news event, we recommend adding the Fact Check markup. Implementing the Fact Check markup will label and highlight your article on Google properties as “fact check,” meaning that particular article is fact checking another article or statement.
- Implement the Google News standout tag: Adding the standout tag to your articles gives our algorithm a signal that you’ve published a critical local story, and increases the likelihood the article will appear with the “Featured” label in Google News. We recommend using the standout tag to flag your top local content (up to seven articles per week) for breaking news events.
- Building on your YouTube audience: Upload content quickly on your YouTube channel, provide strong metadata, and create new videos to provide updates on the story. We also recommend that you create a playlist for the event, so people can more easily discover and browse your event-specific videos.
- Use Google Trends Local to understand what your community is looking for: Search trends data can be really useful to give you a view into what your local community is concerned about or focused on—whether readers are looking for sandbag stations or evacuation sites. Check out the Google Trends site for recent search trends data.
- Incorporate Google Maps and Earth imagery into your stories to help readers: Create your own emergency maps (like this Google My Map from CAL FIRE), and sign up to receive fresh satellite imagery to show before and after views of an affected area.
As your team uses these tips, we’d love to hear firsthand feedback and examples, which you can send to firstname.lastname@example.org.