In a few weeks we’ll be retiring Google Buzz. At that time you won’t be able to create any new posts, but your existing content will remain accessible in two ways:
Thank you for using Google Buzz.
TODAY, Google has opened up registration for Google Code Jam 2012. This year thousands of students, professional programmers and freelance code wizards will pit their ingenuity against a new set of algorithmic challenges concocted by our tireless team of red-eyed, LED-illuminated problem writers.
Last year’s champion, Makoto Soejima, was asked to build a house for kittens, serve food to hungry mathematicians, escape from a shady casino and help Goro control his anger. Who knows what our problem writers have on their minds this year?
Code Jam is a world-wide programming competition in which contestants may use any programming language to solve algorithmic problems. The qualification round takes place April 13, followed by three online rounds in the following months. At the end of it all, the top 25 contestants will be invited to Google’s New York office on July 27 for a final match up and a chance to win $10,000. If you are up for the challenge,throw your hat into the ring now.
Registration will open March 13, 2012 and will close on April 15, 2012. To view the schedule, frequently asked questions and more information, please visit the Google Code Jam Page.
TWO months ago, Google announced their plans to roll out a new design for the Google bar. The goal was to create a beautiful, simpler and intuitive experience across Google. Based on user feedback, they realized there were some elements of the new bar that we could improve, and with that in mind, we’re introducing an updated version that we believe will provide a better experience.
The new design retains many of the feature changes we made in November that proved popular, including a unified search box and Google+ sharing and notifications across Google. The biggest change is that the replaced the drop-down Google menu with a consistent and expanded set of links running across the top of the page.
YOUTUBE said Monday that 60 hours of video are being uploaded every minute to the video-sharing site and it is attracting more than four billion views a day.
“In 2007 we started at six hours, then in 2010 we were at 24 hours, then 35, then 48,” the Google-owned YouTube said in a blog post.”And now… 60 hours of video every minute, an increase of more than 30 percent in the last eight months,” YouTube said.
“In other words, you’re uploading one hour of video to YouTube every second,” it said.
YouTube also said it has exceeded four billion video views a day, up 25 percent in the last eight months.Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion.The Mountain View, California-based Internet search and advertising giant has not yet announced a profit for the video-sharing site despite its massive global popularity. YouTube has been gradually adding professional content such as full-length television shows and movies to its vast trove of amateur video offerings in a bid to attract advertisers.
YOU probably will not see many software engineers, or geeks on the television show Cribs. But if you did, then Google employee Kenton Varda would probably be first in line. Some people buy fancy cars and hot tubs, Kenton created the ultimate LAN party room. Getting your crew round for a marathon Counter-Strike session might be a barrel, but tangled cables and weeding out connection problems are not, or at least Kenton clearly doesn’t think so. No more cable spaghetti for him though, thanks to a permanent installation that includes machines, monitors, many feet of HDMI and USB leads, rack mounts and networking equipment for up to 12 gaming chums. Spread over two rooms, with six stations in each — ideal for team games — bespoke cabinets were made to keep it easy on the eye. Anyone wanting to take on a similar project can expect to put a $40,000 dent in their wallet, or a little more, depending on the size of your LAN.
GOOGLE is introducing a new feature to Google+’s photo app, which now makes it a bit easier to quickly tag your friends. It’s called ‘Find My Face’, and while the name leads me to recall scenes in the classic Nic Cage/John Travolta film Face/Off, it’s a feature that plenty of users will find handy.
It’s pretty straightforward: opt into Find My Face, and the next time one of your friends uploads a photo that you’re in, they’ll see your name as a suggested tag. It’s very similar to the semi-automated facial tagging that Facebook launched earlier this year, though with one key difference: unlike Facebook’s feature, which automatically opted users in, Google is asking for explicit permission before it turns it on.
Of course, the fact that the feature is opt-in means that fewer people are going to be using it. Google+ will be presenting a dialog to users the next time they visit any photo on Google+, and I’m guessing that they’ll continue to present similar reminders over the coming months for any users who haven’t chosen either to explicitly opt-in, or indicated that they don’t want to. The option will show up in this settings page.
Google’s history with facial recognition is interesting — Eric Schmidt, who at the time was the company’s CEO, previously disclosed that facial recognition was the only piece of software Google had ever held back, over concerns around privacy and potential for abuse. Because this feature is opt-in, though, and is only available to people who you know (either on Google+, or its other services like GChat), the potential for abuse is minimal.
GOOGLE is discontinuing Google Health. It is recommended that you take action. All of the details are below in the email that Google sent out this morning.
This is an important Google Health service announcement. You are receiving this email because you have an active Google Health account.
As we announced earlier this year, the Google Health service will be discontinued as of January 1, 2012. After that date, you will no longer be able to access Google Health, and 3rd-party services that you have linked to your Google Health profile(s) will no longer be able to send data to or receive data from those profile(s).
If you want to keep using the data you have stored in Google Health, we strongly recommend that you take action before the end of the year to download it or transfer it to another online health service. We’ve made this easy for you. All you have to do is:
– go to the Google Health site at https://health.google.com
– log in with your Google account
– click on the link in the yellow bar at the top of your screen to start the process of downloading your information and closing your Google Health account.
For more information, see our help center article at http://www.google.com/support/health/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1347989
If you have not retrieved your Google Health data before January 1, 2012, it will remain available for download from https://health.google.com for an additional year, through January 1, 2013. Please note that during this period, functionality will be limited to downloading your data in ZIP format only and deleting your Google Health account; you will no longer be able to view, enter, edit, or print data. We may also find it necessary to limit or discontinue the ability to automatically transfer a copy of your profile to another health service, based on technical considerations.
For more details on the discontinuation of Google Health, see our blog post at http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/update-on-google-health-and-google.html, and see answers to frequently-asked questions at http://www.google.com/intl/en/health/faq.html.
Note: you will continue to receive periodic service announcements as long as you have an active Google Health account. If you do not wish to receive further announcements, simply go tohttps://health.google.com and follow the process to download your data (if desired) and delete your Health account.
Thank you for your support and use of Google Health.
The Google Health Team
GOOGLE has announced that Buzz will be retiring soon.
They published this message:
GOOGLE launched their brand-spankin new sign-in page. The new sign in page matches the rest of Google and its site. Google has been warning us of a new change for a few months.
To view the new page, you can look at the photo below.
GOOGLE is now continuing to delete and stop using some of their products. They have already done this with Google dictionary, now Aardvark. They purchased Aardvark for 30 million dollars. [To me that seems like a lot of money to throw out the window, instead they could have donated it to a charity or me and not buy it]. Anyway the service will be shutdown at the end of the month. Here is the letter they released to its users.
As part of the shutdown of GoogleLabs, Aardvark will be shutting down at the end of September.
Aardvark began as a small experiment in a new kind of social search, and over a few years blossomed into a service that made millions of connections between people to answer each other’s questions. It was a great experience in seeking to combine a broad vision for the future of technology with a rigorous user-centered design process. Over this time, we learned a lot about creating and maintaining online communities, and how to facilitate sharing of knowledge between people.
We’ve been excited to share these lessons within Google over the past year, especially as part of the effort behind Google+. It has been gratifying to see how well this project is doing — even in these early stages, Google+ has already become a great place to share knowledge online, eclipsing the original vark.com! — and there is much more to come very soon. In this and other projects at Google, the Aardvark team remains committed to developing powerful tools for connecting people and improving access to information.
Of course, we’re also sad to say goodbye to the original Aardvark here at vark.com. Who would have thought that a digital version of a nocturnal burrowing mammal would have engendered so much affection! We’re very grateful to the whole Aardvark community for your support along the way.
Max and Damon”
GOOGLE released the “+1” button in June. This button is on over one Million sites, and currently has over four million daily views. Now the folks over at Google is doing much more with that simple “+1” button.
The first of the two new additions to the “+1” button is the ability to share with your circles. Sometimes you want to share something with certain groups of friends. So beginning today, they are making it easy for Google+ users to share webpages with their circles, directly from the +1 button. All you have to do is +1 a page as usual, and look for the new “Share on Google+” option. From there you can comment, and choose a circle and share.
The second of the two features is called “+Snippets”. When you share content from the +1 button, you’ll notice that a link is automatically included with some other stuff in the share box. It is called “+snippets”.
Of course: publishers can benefit from +snippets as well. With just a few changes to their webpages, publishers can actually customize their +snippets and encourage more sharing of their content on Google+. More details about this are available on the Google Webmaster blog.
From the four years leading up to late 2009, Google’s search engine definitions feature linked to Answers.com. Google Dictionary replaced Answer.com in December 2009, and it’s thought that it was initially built using Collins COBUILD dictionary, and eventually changed to the Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English.
I am not sure whether anyone will miss the service or not, as the Google search engine can be used as a dictionary in itself. Simply type the word ‘definition’ or ‘define’ next to the word you’re looking to find the definition for, then definition is presented in the search results, and you can then click through to various sources, such as Wikipedia, Dictionary.com, Answers.com and Merriam-Webster.
A Google Product Manager explained the closure on a Google Support Forum:
“Google Dictionary was recently integrated into Google Web Search. Simply search for “define X” where X is the word you want to look up. Clicking on the “more” link (or on the toolbelt “Dictionary” link on the left) will give you practically the same experience that was available on dictionary.google.com.
We’re working hard to make the dictionary experience even better on google.com so it will be easier for our users to get the dictionary experience without the need to go to a separate property.”
IN early 2010, I was talking with some friends from Google’s India office about how to help small, local businesses advertise online. We found that small business owners the world over had a key commonality: very little time. We decided to tackle this problem head on, with the hopes of making the advertising process quicker and easier for small businesses.
My colleagues in flew out to our headquarters in California, and we teamed up with a Google Maps product manager who had some first hand experience working with small business owners. One of his friends ran a small mountain clothing store in New Hampshire called The Mountain Goat of Hanover, which had just moved to town. She was responsible for staffing, bookkeeping, inventory management and many other time-intensive tasks—all with very little help. She had the desire to try promoting her business online, but learning to manage a new form of advertising wasn’t something she had time for.