2/26/2010

Refine your searches by location


Location has become an important part of the way we search. If you're a foodie looking for restaurant details, food blogs or the closest farmer's market, location can be vital to helping you find the right information. Starting today, we've added the ability to refine your searches with the "Nearby" tool in the Search Options panel. One of the really helpful things about this tool is that it works geographically — not just with keywords — so you don't have to worry about adding "Minneapolis" to your query and missing webpages that only say "St. Paul" or "Twin Cities." Check it out by doing a search, clicking on "show options" and selecting "Nearby."


You can choose to see results nearby either your default location or a custom location, and you can narrow down to results at the city, region or state level. Try these examples:

[things to do on st. patrick's day] - In the Minneapolis region
[food blogs] - Near you
[farmers market] - Near the city of Ithaca
[dmv] - In the same state as Tucson

The new "Nearby" search option is available now on the google.com domain in English.






A meeting of the minds: Google's 2010 EMEA Faculty Summit


As the world's premier athletes assembled in Vancouver for the Winter Games, Googlers in the equally snowy Zurich, Switzerland were preparing for a prestigious event of a different sort. On February 8, 100 top academics from 62 leading universities throughout EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) descended upon our Zurich engineering headquarters for our third annual Faculty Summit — three days of in-depth technical presentations, discussions and networking sessions, all targeted at strengthening partnerships with EMEA's foremost computer science thinkers. Like their athletic counterparts in Vancouver, Faculty Summit attendees face big challenges. EMEA is a huge and very diverse region where companies and universities alike have huge mountains to climb. By sharing information about our projects, plans and initiatives, we hope to foster mutually beneficial relationships with our academic colleagues and their universities — working together to solve the big problems and drive technology forward.


We designed the Summit to allow maximum potential for debate, networking and reflection. Attendees participated in day-long "stream" discussions on themes ranging from privacy and security — with the participation of leading researchers such as Ross Anderson (University of Cambridge) — to natural language technologies, featuring NLP expert Fred Jelinek (Johns Hopkins University). Academics selected from a range of opt-in "teach the teacher"-style workshops on Google tech (including mobile platforms, MapReduce and web technologies). Additional events included a Google Wave demo geared towards educational use and special sessions for guests from Africa and the Middle East, showcasing Google's ongoing work in these regions. This year, we added extra time for 1-1 break-out sessions, in which academics and Google engineers met, chatted and developed ideas in an intimate, face-to-face setting.

The Summit also gave us a chance to see long-term relationships maturing and generating concrete outcomes inside and outside academic settings. Notable guests included keynote speaker Professor Andy Hopper, Head of the Cambridge Computer Lab, whose research initiative Computing for the Future of the Planet (CFTFP) received a Google Focused Research Award earlier this month. Andy's project promises major results in the areas of privacy and green computing research. We were also happy to welcome back former Google Visiting Faculty member Professor Hannah Bast (University of Freiburg). Hannah recently completed a year-long sabbatical with our Zurich development team for Transit in Google Maps, contributing major improvements to an application that started out as a 20 percent project and is now available in over 400 cities around the world. Privacy and security expert Dr. Frank Stajano (University of Cambridge) — our newest Visiting Faculty member — and Sara Adams, Anita Borg Scholar, former Google intern and current software engineer, joined us from the Munich office where they're working on privacy-related projects. We also had several Faculty Research Award winners in attendance, including Dr. Simon Harper (University of Manchester), Dr. Miles Osborne (University of Edinburgh), Lawrence Muchemi (University of Nairobi) and former Visiting Faculty member Dr. Hinrich Schuetze (University of Stuttgart). The Faculty Research Award supports academics working within universities on areas of mutual interest; for instance, Lawrence's Award-funded project creates a new mobile application development course for Kenyan students, while Hinrich and his Stuttgart team are improving search engine results by investigating the structure of queries. Hinrich, Lawrence and our other awardees offer examples of how partnerships can lead to amazing results, on local to global scales. We hope their stories inspired both academic and Googler attendees to take advantage of existing programs and help build new opportunities for all tech users.

Our engineering teams in EMEA and our academic partners have lots of work to do in 2010. This year's Faculty Summit offered an opportunity to explore new solutions, kick-start collaboration and prove, yet again, that our combined efforts always yield results far greater than the sum of their parts! For more information about how Google supports university programs and partnerships, check out our Google Research site and stay tuned for news of the North America Faculty Summit — planned for late July.






2/25/2010

so many thoughts...


i was so tired and ready to sleep, but now i can't seem to close my eyes.

i wonder if it's fun or boring to be a cat.

when will love find me...

i wonder what is Sofia Coppola's favourite song right now?

how good is my karma at the moment...

my neck hurts.

i don't want to work 1-10pm tomorrow :-(

i want my hair to grow a little longer already

i love avocados. how much are avocados where you live?
(they are about $1.30 each here in Hawaii. so exspensive ya?)





2/24/2010

Serious threat to the web in Italy


In late 2006, students at a school in Turin, Italy filmed and then uploaded a video to Google Video that showed them bullying an autistic schoolmate. The video was totally reprehensible and we took it down within hours of being notified by the Italian police. We also worked with the local police to help identify the person responsible for uploading it and she was subsequently sentenced to 10 months community service by a court in Turin, as were several other classmates who were also involved. In these rare but unpleasant cases, that's where our involvement would normally end.

But in this instance, a public prosecutor in Milan decided to indict four Google employees —David Drummond, Arvind Desikan, Peter Fleischer and George Reyes (who left the company in 2008). The charges brought against them were criminal defamation and a failure to comply with the Italian privacy code. To be clear, none of the four Googlers charged had anything to do with this video. They did not appear in it, film it, upload it or review it. None of them know the people involved or were even aware of the video's existence until after it was removed.

Nevertheless, a judge in Milan today convicted 3 of the 4 defendants — David Drummond, Peter Fleischer and George Reyes — for failure to comply with the Italian privacy code. All 4 were found not guilty of criminal defamation. In essence this ruling means that employees of hosting platforms like Google Video are criminally responsible for content that users upload. We will appeal this astonishing decision because the Google employees on trial had nothing to do with the video in question. Throughout this long process, they have displayed admirable grace and fortitude. It is outrageous that they have been subjected to a trial at all.

But we are deeply troubled by this conviction for another equally important reason. It attacks the very principles of freedom on which the Internet is built. Common sense dictates that only the person who films and uploads a video to a hosting platform could take the steps necessary to protect the privacy and obtain the consent of the people they are filming. European Union law was drafted specifically to give hosting providers a safe harbor from liability so long as they remove illegal content once they are notified of its existence. The belief, rightly in our opinion, was that a notice and take down regime of this kind would help creativity flourish and support free speech while protecting personal privacy. If that principle is swept aside and sites like Blogger, YouTube and indeed every social network and any community bulletin board, are held responsible for vetting every single piece of content that is uploaded to them — every piece of text, every photo, every file, every video — then the Web as we know it will cease to exist, and many of the economic, social, political and technological benefits it brings could disappear.

These are important points of principle, which is why we and our employees will vigorously appeal this decision.






おと な り





just ordered this movie Oto-na-ri. i cant wait to watch it, it looks so cute. a love story between two neighbors who dont know each other yet, a photographer and a florist.

i also ordered this Japanese animation called Peeping life. it looks halarious!!

ps: my new brown hair colour came out alright. its a nice dark brown. i have to get used to it.




2/23/2010


i just wanted to share this couple with you. they are my friends, friends Ren and Lina. how beautiful can they get? and can you just image what their children would look like!


below are some random photos of my room. i put up all my polaroids from Japan on the wall!






i think i got bit by the cooking bug! i am having so much fun lately cooking: todays lunch was radish sprouts, over easy eggs, ham, on top of saimin (Hawaii's version of ramen), with some rakkyo zuke (pickled scallions) and daikon kim chee! おいしかった!




these last two photos of me i just recently found. i thought it was funny how different i look. the first one was when i was in Japan, i was 17 years old...compared to a relatively recent photo of me.

it's so crazy how fast these years are passing us... i can't believe i turn 23 next week!






random A.P.C. things i thought were nice. i am not a big name brand person who looks at every new collection and studies runway show photos and things, so i just end up being picky in anything nice from any store :-)

i'm going to colour my hair brown today.




2/22/2010

The next generation of ad serving for online publishers


Today, we're announcing the next generation of ad serving technology for online publishers — DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP).

For the past few years, we've been investing in a suite of solutions — AdSense, ad-serving technology and the DoubleClick Ad Exchange — to help online publishers make the most money possible from their content, whether they sell advertising directly through their own sales force, through an ad network such as AdSense, or a combination of both.

For major online publishers — including social networks and online communities, entertainment sites, e-commerce sites and news sites — managing, delivering and measuring the performance of ads on their websites can be a hugely complicated process. A publisher's ability to manage this process can have a significant impact on how much money they make from their online content.

Imagine you're a major online publisher with a popular global surfing website and an ad sales team. Every second of every day, you have difficult decisions about what ads to show and how to measure their relative performance. For example:
  • In the same ad space, a surfboard wax advertiser may want to run a static image ad for your Australian readers, while an airline offering flights to Hawaii may want to run an expandable interactive ad for your American readers.
  • A fast-food restaurant wants to run their burger ads before noon and their pizza ads in the afternoon.
  • You've sold 10 different surfboard makers a million ad slots at slightly different prices; now you have to allocate them across your various webpages to fulfill all these orders over the next two weeks.
  • One of your surfing tournament reviews is linked to by a popular news site and you have a surge in traffic. Your sales team couldn't predict this, so you're potentially left without any ads for thousands of readers. You want to fill this ad space by selling it via an ad network which has ads available.
This is really just scratching the surface. Managing ad space can involve faxes, emailed orders, the manual scheduling of different ad campaigns across multiple sites and difficult decisions about how to allocate ad space most effectively.

Major online publishers use ad serving technology to manage the complex process of how and when the ads they have sold appear on their websites. In recent years, we've invested significantly in our ad serving products — DoubleClick's DART for Publishers for large publishers and Google Ad Manager for growing publishers. Thousands of major online publishers use these products to serve billions of ad impressions every day.

But we see an opportunity to improve ad serving even further by combining Google's technology and infrastructure with DoubleClick's display advertising and ad serving experience. Since we acquired DoubleClick in March 2008, our engineering and product teams have been working with online publishers to tackle the obstacles that prevent them from maximizing revenues from their websites.

The upgraded DFP includes a wide variety of features that will help publishers to get the most value out of their online content:
  • A new interface that has been completely redesigned to save time and reduce errors.
  • Far more detailed reporting and forecasting data to help publishers understand where their revenue is coming from and what ads are most valuable.
  • Sophisticated algorithms that automatically improve ad performance and delivery.
  • A new, open, public API which enables publishers to build and integrate their own apps with DFP, or integrate apps created for DFP by a growing third-party developer community (apps under development today include sales, order management and workflow tools).
  • Integration with the new DoubleClick Ad Exchange's "dynamic allocation" feature, which maximizes revenue by enabling publishers to open up their ad space to bids from multiple ad networks. Dynamic allocation is described in this document [PDF].
DFP comes in two flavors, tailored for different publishers' needs: DoubleClick for Publishers, for the largest online publishers, and DFP Small Business, a simple, free version designed for growing online publishers. We'll be upgrading current DART for Publishers publishers to DoubleClick for Publishers over the next year as we continue to add features and modules, and we'll be moving Google Ad Manager customers to DFP Small Business in the coming weeks.

To reflect our continued investment in DoubleClick's products, as well as the central role of DoubleClick's technology products within Google's display advertising business, we're also today unveiling some changes to the DoubleClick logos — including typeset changes, incorporating a new "by Google" theme and retiring the "DART" brand.



The upgraded DoubleClick for Publishers is a perfect example of our continuing innovation in this area, and we believe that it will add significant value to online publishers' content. You can read more about the features of the upgraded DFP on the DoubleClick blog and on the DFP website.






This week in search 2/21/10


This is part of a regular series of posts on search experience updates that runs weekly. Look for the label This week in search and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

This week, real-time search took center stage, along with a surging interest in the Winter Games in Vancouver.

Real-time search in Russia and Japan
Since the release of real-time search in December, we've seen that finding real-time content — often the only source of online information at the time — can be quite profound. For example, recently when California experienced a few earthquakes, real-time content appeared in search results just seconds after the ground shook. As you can imagine, getting this functionality out to the rest of the world has been a top priority. Because of this, we recently launched real-time search with Russian and Japanese, the first of the languages we plan to support. We want to bring you this functionality globally, so stay tuned as we add more countries.

MySpace in real time
Also in real-time news, starting this week we officially added MySpace content to real-time search. Now you can tap into the pool of news, photos and blog posts that MySpace users have chosen to publish to the world. These updates are all ranked to reflect the most relevant, freshest results, many of which are just seconds old. In all, real-time search includes more than a billion documents and processes hundreds of millions of changes daily. We're quite excited to offer this enhancement so that real-time search becomes even more useful. You can find the MySpace updates in our real-time mode by clicking on "Show Options" and then "Updates."

Example search: [myspace]

Better site searches for Images
Based on feedback from users and webmasters, we have improved the [site:] operator for Google Images. In the past, the [site:] operator filtered based on the image URL, not based on the URL of web pages linking to the images. Now, the operator will run your search over web sites that include images, no matter where the images themselves are hosted, which removes a lot of noise from your results and gives you more control over what you're searching for.

Example searches: [site:digg.com space shuttle], [site:morbidanatomy.blogspot.com], [site:flickr.com/photos/polvero]

Trends in searching for the Winter Games
It's been a week since the Winter Games in Vancouver began, and it's clear you have great interest in finding out more about the games. From women's downhill to curling rules, we've seen searches rise as people everywhere watch the quest for gold. Check out Google Trends to see what's of greatest interest now.

Hope you enjoyed this week's features. Stay tuned for what's next!