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Cloud Covered: What was new with Google Cloud in July

July was a month for barbecue, ice cream and sunshine. Here at Google Cloud, we managed to squeeze in some of what we consider cloud computing fireworks, like a supercomputing record and new partner in bringing more storage options to businesses. The internet, under the seaIt’s easy to imagine all of what we do on the internet as just sort of floating around in the air. But there are actually thick cables under our oceans that carry data around the world, so we can get our email and web search results quickly. Google fully funds some cables, while others are shared. The new Equiano subsea cable will connect Europe and Africa once it’s done. It includes cool technological advances that give this cable 20 times the network capacity of the last one built to serve this region. G Suite gets even more security featuresIn Tokyo last month, we hosted another cloud conference where one of the big topics was security and how it works within our products. At the event, we announced that Google’s Advanced Protection Program now works with G Suite, so people whose data is at risk of online attack (think high-level executives) can be protected with help from IT. We also brought IT administrators new auto-alerts in their tools to help them see and prevent risky activity in their company. It’s powered by machine learning models.Storing files is a big jobFile storage enables businesses to store lots of files that users or apps need to access simultaneously. Of course, on a business scale, there can be thousands or millions of these files, so the underlying systems need to be able to handle that volume. Last month we announced that Elastifile is now a part of Google Cloud. Elastifile will be integrated with our Cloud Filestore product. This will help those managing large file systems to scale them quickly. Cloud beats not-cloud in machine learning benchmark Cloud TPU Pods are Google’s supercomputers built just for machine learning. They get faster in each generation of hardware—they’re now in v3—and set three new performance records last month in an industry benchmarking exercise. It used to be that this type of speed could only be achieved with on-premises systems, meaning hardware physically located and operated in a data center. Google Cloud is the only provider of public cloud technology that has been able to do these tasks faster than an on-premises system can. School’s not out for summer, after allCloud computing, like most things related to technology, is constantly changing. New concepts and products arrive regularly, and even the most experienced IT pros can learn new things. We offer lots of different classes and certificates, and just added a new class to our Google Cloud course catalog: theArchitecting with Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) Specialization. It uses both lectures and hands-on labs to demonstrate how Kubernetes works. It’s a new way of organizing and managing all the information that lives in your cloud, so there’s a lot to learn about how it works and how to get started using it.That’s all for July! Stay up to date with Google Cloud on our blog.


New coding activities for any classroom

Since its launch in 2013, CS First, a Code with Google curriculum for elementary and middle school students, has been used by hundreds of thousands of teachers and millions of students in over 75 countries. While we’ve heard teachers love bringing the magic of coding into the classroom, they’ve also told us that they want more subject-specific coding activities.  We’ve listened to their feedback, and today we’re announcing two new CS First activities called Characterization and Interactive Presentation, two key components of English Language Arts (ELA) instruction. Both activities align with Common Core ELA Anchor Standards, and like all CS First lessons, provide everything needed to start teaching right away: instructional videos, lesson plans, student materials and more.In the Interactive Presentation activity, students use code to create a presentation with sound, graphics and animation.The activities were created as the result of a pilot between the CS First team and the San Francisco United School District (SFUSD)—one of four pilots that took place in the U.S. and Canada during the 2018-19 school year. The SFUSD, long recognized as a computer science education leader, was working toward fulfilling a 2015 mandate to bring coding to all district students, and they worked with Google to bring CS curriculum ideas for non-CS subjects.For the pilot, they took eight activities within the Storytelling unit of CS First and analyzed how they connected with the elements of narrative writing covered by the district’s ELA curriculum. They recruited 27 teachers, asking them to think creatively about using a storytelling unit alongside topics like writing, narrative or dialogue. Participating teachers shared that they found value and meaning in bringing CS into their classrooms and offered tangible ways to improve the program. “At first, teachers shared concerns about student progress, but it turns out they were just being perfectionists,” says Bill Marsland, the SFUSD’s Computer Science Content Specialist. “Their students did a lot of quality work, and I came away with an increased understanding of how integrating storytelling into ELA is both worthwhile and doable.”This is the start of what we hope will be many subject-specific CS First activities; we plan to roll out more activities for ELA instruction in classrooms in the coming weeks. As the new school year approaches, we look forward to bringing fun and creative CS activities like these to classrooms everywhere.


How Android helps law firms make their case with mobility

Information privacy and security are essential for businesses in the legal industry. Legal teams want the convenience afforded by mobility, while devices must adhere to strict management and data protection standards. Several major law firms are choosing Android Enterprise solutions for the security, flexibility and management capabilities to keep their teams connected while giving IT peace of mind about secure access to sensitive case information.How Android keeps teams connected at Howard Kennedy LLPHoward Kennedy LLP is a London-based law firm that sought to ensure that their teams could securely access essential case files from mobile devices, instead of needing to bring the paper files or pull out their laptop.  When the time came for devising this strategy with the IT team, the firm’s partners made it clear that they didn’t want employees to have to carry personal and work devices.Personally-enabled work devices were the right solution—these corporate devices use the Android work profile to keep personal and corporate apps and data separate on the same device, while also giving IT a vast array of device controls. “We've equipped our users with devices that they can use for just about anything, business or personal.” said Howard Kennedy IT Director Clive Knott. “More importantly, we've got those devices locked down in such a way that we have full control over what we do.”By managing the devices with Enterprise Mobility Management provider BlackBerry, Howard Kennedy IT teams are confident in their device security and management tools. The IT team also uses managed Google Play to deliver the essential apps needed for their legal work. Android the right verdict for Brodies LLPBrodies LLP, a large Scottish law firm, wanted to invest more deeply in mobility so its team of lawyers could access essential information quickly and securely from anywhere.The solution was deploying a fleet of fully managed devices to its legal teams. With BlackBerry UEM partner Appurity, the firm implemented a secure and rapid device rollout.“With Android zero-touch enrollment, and as part of our Mobile Managed Service when building and deploying devices for legal firms, we can deliver large-scale environments across multiple sites, with the required apps,” said Appurity Director Steve Whiter.With managed Google Play, the firm deploys several apps to the Android work profile to support the legal teams’ work.  For example, the Rubus Android app, developed by Appurity Connect gives lawyers access to iManage, for accessing and tracking their key files.  iManage is a widely-used document management system for legal and finance customers, including both Howard Kennedy and Brodies. As part of its Android solution, Appurity securely enables this software on devices so fee earners and partners can send and file essential documents within a matter of minutes, and access, edit, and open them from virtually anywhere. “Android allows our employees to use consumer apps when they're sensible, while Android Enterprise connects everything back to our network in a secure way,” Brodies LLP IT Director Damien Behan said. “If you're in a meeting with a client and they ask you about a particular document, the ability to directly access the latest version of that document is invaluable. It's been a great advantage for our lawyers."Enterprises across various industries continue to adopt Android in the workplace to support critical business needs.Learn more about getting started with Android, and discover devices and service providers that are Android Enterprise Recommended.


How local accelerators are powering global startups

At Google Developers Launchpad Accelerator, we’re focused on working with the best startups from around the world and sharing what Google does best to help startups grow. One way we reach the world's best startups is through our Powered by Launchpad program, where we bring the best of Google—its people, network, research and advanced technologies—to top local startup acceleration programs in key locations globally. Our partners are in the world’s fastest growing economies, and tend to predict technology trends in their regions. They bring together universities, investors, policy makers and top entrepreneurs to help local small businesses thrive. Here are just a few examples of our local launchpad partners around the world. Raising up founders in Serbia with StartitSerbian entrepreneurs from Belgrade go through a design thinking session at Startit.Startit, based in Belgrade, Serbia, is on a mission to give new life to the Serbian economy. Serbia, like many countries in Southeast Europe, has faced economic stagnation for decades, with much of its best local tech talent moving abroad in search of better opportunities. To battle this issue, Startit developed a plan: work together with Launchpad to create an entrepreneurship curriculum and raise up a new generation of startup founders. “We have world-class engineers in Serbia, but if we taught them how to make a business around the amazing technology, it would have a meaningful impact on their careers, their families and our entire economy,” says Vukasin Stojkov, Startit’s founder. Startit created a semester-long course for more than 20 students at Belgrade’s Computer Science College (RAF). During the program, these students learned about key startup concepts and met with some of the most successful entrepreneurs in Serbia. Computer science student Milica Kostic came to the course with a few startup ideas. By the end, she was already taking action with two of her friends from the group. “We have an idea to help deaf people by making it easier for them to communicate with people who are not familiar with sign language,” Milica says. “The course showed us that it is possible to make it, and I really believe that I can do the same.”Rethinking how Indonesians eat with Wayhoo and Digitaraya Wayhoo’s founder and CEO, Peter Shearer, poses with a local warteg owner.Digitaraya, based in Jakarta, Indonesia, partnered with Launchpad last year to create an accelerator focused on early-stage startups.  Since then, Digitaraya has graduated more than 30 startups. One of their graduates is Wahyoo, which is modernizing food kiosks, or “wartegs” as they are known in Indonesia, by digitizing small businesses and enabling them to run faster.Wahyoo saw that warteg entrepreneurs faced problems such as poor time management, low awareness of hygiene and unorganized financial records. “Equipping wartegs with digital tools will level the playing field and bring forward significant growth to this small industry,” says Peter Shearer, CEO of Wayhoo. “We can help food kiosks become more efficient in ordering supplies and developing higher sanitation standards, while also allowing owners to accept mobile payments.” Digitaraya is connecting Wahyoo with relevant partners and industry leaders. Launchpad is providing Wahyoo with technical resources and access to expert mentors. Accessibility through AI in Ecuador with Talov and IMPAQTOFounders take part in a workshop during IMPAQTO Labs’ program.Launchpad partnered with IMPAQTO, a leading impact accelerator in Ecuador, in late 2018 to help local entrepreneurs bring social, environmental and economic progress to Latin America. One of IMPAQTO's portfolio companies, Talov, uses artificial intelligence to help people with auditory and visual disabilities more easily interact with the world via speech-to-text and sign language recognition technology. After the first mentorship sessions with IMPAQTO Lab, the Talov team saw that metrics like the number of app downloads were not actually strong indicators of customer satisfaction. The team left the lab with a new focus: identify metrics that could measure how Talov has improved the lives of its users. “We now want to use the inclusion of people with auditory and visual disabilities in the labor force as an indicator of development,” says Hugo Jacome, one of Talov’s founders. “We need these metrics to know if our platforms are truly changing the lives of our users.”


Indigenous speakers share their languages on Google Earth

Of the 7,000 languages spoken around the globe, 2,680 Indigenous languages—more than one third of the world's languages—are in danger of disappearing. The United Nations declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages to raise awareness about these languages and their contribution to global diversity. To help preserve them, our new Google Earth tour, Celebrating Indigenous Languages, shares audio recordings from more than 50 Indigenous language speakers.“It is a human right to be able to speak your own language,” says Tania Haerekiterā Tapueluelu Wolfgramm, a Māori and Tongan person who works as an educator and activist in Aotearoa--the Māori name for New Zealand--and other Pacific countries. “You don’t have a culture without the language.”Tania is one of several dozen Indigenous language speakers, advocates and educators who helped create the tour. Thanks to their contributions, people can click on locations meaningful to Indigenous speakers and hear people offer traditional greetings, sing songs, or say common words and phrases in their languages. Hundreds of languages are a few days away from never being spoken or heard again. By putting Indigenous languages on the global stage, we reclaim our right to talk about our lives in our own words. It means everything to us. Tania Haerekiterā Tapueluelu Wolfgramm Māori and Tongan Activist and EducatorListen to more than 50 Indigenous language speakers globally in Google Earth. The healing power of speaking one’s own languageThe people who recorded audio in their languages and connected Google with Indigenous speakers each have their own story about why revitalizing Indigenous languages strikes a chord for them. For Arden Ogg, director of Canada’s Cree Literacy Network, and Dolores Greyeyes Sand, a Plains Cree person and Cree language teacher, the focus is on providing resources for language learners. For Brian Thom, a cultural anthropologist and professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, the interest grew out of his work helping Indigenous communities map their traditional lands. Brian asked yutustanaat, a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation and a language teacher in British Columbia, to record the hul’q’umi’num’ language. “Our language is very healing,” says yutustanaat. “It brings out caring in our people and helps our students be strong, because the language comes from the heart.” In her recording, yutustanaat speaks the traditional hul’q’umi’num’ greeting: ‘i ch ‘o’ ‘uy’ ‘ul’ or “How are you?”By using their languages—and sharing them with the rest of the world—Indigenous people create closer connections to a culture that is often endangered or has outright disappeared. Wikuki Kingi, a Māori Master Carver, recorded traditional chants in Te Reo Māori, an Eastern Polynesian language indigenous to New Zealand. He says, “Speaking Te Reo Māori connects me to my relatives, to the land, rivers, and the ocean, and it can take me to another time and place.” carouselimageOn the right, yutustanaat, a Snuneymuxw First Nation member, records the hul’q’umi’num’ language with student Beatrix Taylor. Listen to it in the Celebrating Indigenous Languages collection. Photo credit: Brian Thomcarousel4Doris Rua Javrequi speaks Ayacucho Quechua, one of the more widely spoken variants of the Quechuan languages in Peru, at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Listen to it in the collection.carouselimage3Wikuki Kingi (right) and Tania (second from left), who also contributed to the collection, visited  Rapa Nui. Here they are pictured with their friends, Master Sculptors Tomas and Luis (who they interviewed for the Google Earth collection) and Tomas’ daughter, Feti'i, who is playing with her kurī 'uri'uri (black kitten). Listen to Te Reo Rapa Nui in the collection. Photo credit: GRID PacificEnsuring that generations to come will hear their languages“I do this not for myself, but for my children and grandchildren, so that in the future, they’ll hear our language,” says Dolores, who recorded audio in her native Plains Cree. To ensure that future generations hear and speak Indigenous languages, more needs to be done to support their revitalization. Tania Wolfgramm suggests checking out how her nonprofit organization, Global Reach Initiative & Development Pacific, uses technology to connect far-flung Indigenous people to their traditional communities—like bringing Google Street View to the remote island of Tonga. Arden Ogg directs people interested in Indigenous languages to the Cree Literacy Network, which publishes books in Cree and English to facilitate language learning. And a video from the University of Victoria suggests five ways to support Indigenous language revitalization, such as learning words and phrases using smartphone apps, and learning the names of rivers, mountains and towns in the local Indigenous language.This initial collection of audio recordings in Google Earth only scratches the surface of the world’s thousands of Indigenous languages. If you’d like to contribute your language to this collection in the future, please share your interest.


An environmental nonprofit takes on AI "sprint week"

This May, the global group of Google AI Impact Challenge grantees gathered in San Francisco to kick off the six-month Launchpad Accelerator program. With $25 million in funding from Google.org, credits from Google Cloud and mentorship by Google’s AI experts, the teams sought to apply AI to address a wide range of problems problems, from protecting rainforests to coaching students on writing skills. Now in the second phase of the program, Tech Sprint Week, the grantees tackled their projects’ greatest technical challenges with support from a team of mentors from Google. At Google for Startups’ campus in London, teams continued work on their ideas and learned user experience design principles along the way.Grace Mitchell, a data scientist at grantee WattTime, opened up about her team’s experience at Tech Sprint Week—and how they’re using AI to build a globally accessible, open-source fossil fuel emissions monitoring platform for power plants.Can you tell us about WattTime? WattTime is an environmental tech nonprofit, and our mission statement is to give people the power to choose clean energy. Users integrate our API into their IOT (Internet of Things) capable devices, which tells them the type of fuel that provides their energy. It also tells them the environmental impact of the type of fuel they’re using. As an example, coal has a value equivalent to around 900 to 1200 pounds of emissions per megawatt hour, whereas renewable energy would be zero.The whole point is to shift electricity usage based on high or low emission periods. For this program, we’ve partnered with The Carbon Tracker Initiative to take on a new challenge: fossil fuel emissions monitoring. We’re using image processing algorithms and satellite networks to replace expensive, on-site power plant emissions monitors with a globally accessible, open-source monitoring platform.Who is on your team for this project?Our project for the Google AI Impact Challenge is a partnership between two different organizations, WattTime and The Carbon Tracker Initiative. We're a collection of data scientists, and project managers, and we think about the best ways for organizing our data and how best to engage new users.What have you learned at Tech Sprint Week?We’ve covered a lot! We went through a lot of user experience design and research, thinking about how users will be interacting with our product as we design it. We’ve also learned a lot about machine learning and feature engineering. The mentors reminded us to make sure we train our model on the type of data that it would actually have, which sounds intuitive but it's actually hard to do. It might be easy to give your model a “leg up” with training data that it shouldn't have, but then you would see that it's not operating as you expected. Now that Tech Sprint Week is complete, what are your next steps? We need to catch up with everybody else on the team and share all of the great information and resources that we've received from this week. I’ve also been exposed to a lot of new tools like TensorFlow, an open source library that makes it easy to create machine learning models. So I want to get familiar with that tool and actually integrate it into our workflow. We're also doing a lot of hiring, so we’ll continue to build our team. What kinds of people have you met through this program? All the mentors have been helpful. Everyone has this attitude of “Hey, how can we help?” Our AI Coach, Ang Li, has been extremely useful and really responsive. I'll contact him at random times of the day and get a response within a few minutes.


Press play: Find and listen to podcast episodes on Search

Today when you search on Google, you can find many different forms of information, from videos and images to tweets and recipes, but there’s always more information out there. There are more than two million podcasts on the web, and we’re now making it easier to find and listen to podcasts on Search.Starting today, when you’re searching for a podcast about a topic on Google, such as “podcasts about Awkwafina” or “Instant Pot recipe podcasts,” we’ll show you playable episodes in Search results alongside web pages, news, images and videos. We’ll surface these episodes based on Google’s understanding of what’s being talked about on a podcast, so you can find even more relevant information about a topic in audio form. Soon, you won’t necessarily need the term “podcast” in your search to see episodes, making podcast discovery simpler across Search.Later this year, we’ll be bringing the same functionality to the Google Assistant and Google Podcasts for web. For example, when you ask the Assistant for podcasts about a certain topic, such as “Hey Google, play a podcast about Marie Curie,” it will suggest relevant episodes for you. In Google Podcasts for web, you’ll be able to search for relevant shows and episodes and listen right there on your computer or phone. As always, your listening progress is synced everywhere, so you can pick up where you left off anywhere you use Google Podcasts.As part of our work to help podcasters build audiences and grow their businesses, we’ll soon add the ability for publishers to specify where you can listen to their podcasts, such as other apps or websites. This means you’ll be able to discover podcasts that may be exclusively available by purchase or subscription.These new features are available starting today, beginning with people using English in the U.S. So the next time you're looking for a podcast about an old hobby, a rising star in Hollywood, or anything else that piques your interest, your search will be easier than ever.


Take off to your next destination with Google Maps

Not only does Google Maps help you navigate, explore, and get things done at home, but it’s also a powerful travel companion. After you’ve booked your trip, these new tools will simplify every step of your trip once you’ve touched down–from getting around a new city to reliving every moment once you’re home.Get organizedNow, you can use Google Maps to see all of your flight and hotel reservations in one place–a lifesaver when you’re checking in at the airport or en route to the next hotel in your destination. Simply tap on the three gray lines at the top left corner of your screen, and then on “Your Places”. Then, hit the “Reservations” tab where you’ll see a list of your upcoming trips. Selecting your trip will instantly pull up your reservations, and you can even access them if you’re offline, so no need to worry if you’re off the grid with no service or traveling internationally without a data plan.See your flight and hotels reservations right from Google MapsGet around confidently There’s nothing like exploring a city on foot–it’s a great way to take in the sights and sounds of a new place. But it can be hard to know exactly which direction to go. With a beta feature called Live View, you can use augmented reality (AR) to better see which way to walk. Arrows and directions are placed in the real world to guide your way. We’ve tested Live View with the Local Guides and Pixel community over the past few months, and are now expanding the beta to Android and iOS devices that support ARCore and ARKit starting this week.Use Live View to see the way you need to go in a new cityFind amazing local foodReal talk: Food is one of the main highlights of any vacation. With Google Maps, you can quickly find restaurants tailored to your tastes with Your Match, see how long the wait is, and even book a reservation without ever leaving the app (and no, we’re not talking about delicious dinner apps). With the popular dishes feature, you can quickly find out what the must-try items on the menu are.Find restaurants with Your MatchSee when a restaurant is most crowded, book a table, and find the most popular dishesSoak in the memories and share them with friendsThe best part about any life-changing trip? Reliving the memories, and sharing them with loved ones. If you’ve chosen to turn your Location History setting on, you can now use the updated version of Timeline to easily remember that amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurant you dined at or the cute vintage shop you popped into. You’ll also be able to see all of the places you went to in a country or a city, and even drill down to the categories of places you visited–including restaurants, shops, attractions, hotels and airports. So the next time someone asks you for trip recommendations, you can easily export the places you loved to a list, make notes about exactly what you liked (like the great picnic spot by the Louvre), and share that list with friends and family. Use Timeline to remember your trip and share recommendations with friendsYou can expect to see flight and hotel reservations, Live View (in countries where Street View is available), and the new Timeline on your phones in the coming weeks. Reservations and Live View are coming to Android and iOS, and the new Timeline is available on Android. To learn more about Google Maps, check out our website.


Want the best prices for your trip? Google can help.

We’re already a week into August, but there’s still time to book a trip before summer ends--or to get a jump start on holiday travel planning. After you’ve decided where to go for your next trip, these new features can help you get the best price and make travel planning a little simpler. Book flights with more confidenceWhen it comes to finding flights, it’s hard to know what the “right” price is--and even harder to know when to book. We already show you whether prices for a flight route are high, low or typical. Starting today you may see the same insights for your exact itinerary. Plus, for some flights we’ll show you how the price has changed over the past few months and notify you when we predict the price may go up soon or won’t get any lower. On top of this, we’re taking an additional step to give you more confidence when booking a flight. When we predict the price won’t decrease for select itineraries booked between August 13 and September 2, we’ll guarantee the price won’t drop, and we’ll refund you the difference if it does. We’ll monitor the price for you and if the price drops any time before departure, we’ll send you an email letting you know once your flight takes off--so there’s no work on your end. This feature is available for select itineraries originating in the U.S. with domestic or international destinations.Get suggestions to continue planning your tripIf you book a flight and receive a confirmation in Gmail, you’ll see your upcoming trip when you go to google.com/travel. Starting this week, we’ll assist you with recommendations for next steps—such as searching for hotels, restaurants and things to do. When you click on your trip, you’ll see your flights have been automatically added to a timeline. If you haven’t received a confirmation in Gmail for some of your trip reservations, you can now easily add them to your timeline.Find the best neighborhood, and hotel, for youWhen you’re booking a hotel, you may need intel on neighborhoods to stay in and what you’ll expect to pay. In the next few weeks, you’ll see helpful information about top neighborhoods, the best time to visit and typical hotel prices at the top of your hotel results on desktop at google.com/travel globally. Let’s say you’re planning a trip to Paris. Once you’ve searched for hotels for your destination and dates, click on “Where to stay” at the top of your hotel results. For each neighborhood you’ll see a description, the average price and more. You’ll be able to filter your results for hotels in a specific neighborhood. We’ll also help you pick the best place to stay by showing you personalized hotel results including places you’ve searched for or stayed at before, and hotels that are close to points of interest you’ve searched for. When you’re ready to go on your trip, you can now use Google Maps to access your travel reservations, explore the city you’re visiting or navigate from place to place. Read more about the new features that make Google Maps the perfect travel companion here. Whether you’re looking for the best flight prices and neighborhood for your stay, or you’re on-the-go during your trip, Google can help with your travel needs from start to finish.


How a village took a local festival to the global stage

Beautiful, ancient and home to fewer than 100 people, the village of Rokka in Kissamos, Chania seems like an idyllic place to live. But with young people moving away to pursue their ambitions in the city, and fewer visitors over the years, the Greek village started to feel empty. “A village is more than just trees and houses,” explains Eftichis Papadakis, who has lived in Rokka since he was a child. “It’s about the people.”To bring life back to their home, the community decided on a yearly summer festival as the perfect meeting point for people, culture and celebration. The centerpiece would be a dramatic symphony orchestra performance at the top of an ancient archeological site.It was a creative idea with far-reaching tourism potential, but the villagers lacked the expertise to use the web to promote their festival. With a little help from Google and Grow Greek Tourism Online, they were able to get the skills and support needed to share the festival with the whole world.Grow Greek Tourism Online (GGTO) runs under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Education, the Greek National Tourism Organization (EOT) and in partnership with the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE). The initiative is part of Grow with Google, which provides free training and tools to help people find jobs and grow their businesses. Since 2014, GGTO has trained more than 120,000 business owners and individuals in more than 100 Greek cities, including Rokka.Through the program’s digital skills seminar, locals learned how to promote the festival online. They created an event page where people could see photos of the village and find out more information. They also learned how to promote their businesses in the run-up to the festival, using social media and analytics. Thanks to the hard work of Rokka’s inhabitants, people from all over the world soon started making their way to the village. And as visitors sat down to enjoy the concert, a YouTube livestream made sure that anyone, anywhere in the world could experience it too. Rokka had gone from a pin on the map to a prime tourist destination.Rokka youthGrow Greek Tourism Online helped Rokka attract more visitors.Rokka concert at nightThe main event of the Rokka festival was a concert on the slope of a mountain.Rokka buildingsThe village's buildings inspired artists to create artifacts, using any material they might find.Rokka artA woman attending the Rokka festival creates art inspired by the village’s buildings.“Their passion and creativity are what make the people of both villages unique,” says Mety Panagiotopoulou, Creative Coordinator at Giortes Rokkas. “With the help of the Internet and technology, these villages in Crete are in contact with the whole world and vice versa”. Tourism provides jobs for one in five Greeks, makes up 20 percent of Greek GDP and shows plenty of promise for growth. An Oxford Economics study found that tourism-related online content could boost Greece’s GDP by 3.9 percent and create more than 176,000 new jobs.As a result of new digital skills, 67 percent of Greek businesses have already seen increased revenue or increased visitors to their website. The positive feedback we’ve received has led to partnerships with Greek universities to help train the next generation of tourism and hospitality leaders.As Grow Greek Tourism Online expands its reach, we look forward to being part of more inspiring stories like that of Rokka, where digital skills are helping businesses grow—and bringing a community back to life.


Google for Chile: Supporting development through tech

Over the last decade, Chile has become known as one of the most connected countries in Latin America, and its population has been an early adopter of new technologies. But the country still has important challenges and opportunities to connect and bring all Chileans closer to technology that can make both their work and home lives easier.Today we hosted our first Google for Chile, with a group of more than 300 people in Santiago. There, we discussed our ongoing commitment to the digital growth of Chile and Latin America, improving connectivity and creating a safer public cloud. Connecting Chile's entrepreneurial forceIn Chile and around the world, small and medium businesses increasingly need to be online in order to grow. Google My Business has become one of the best allies for entrepreneurs who want to see their businesses "on the map" and for their customers to find them. The number of verified companies on the platform in Chile has grown by 76% over the past year.More efficient cities, in the cloudIn Chile, almost 50 percent of drivers use Waze to drive around all types of streets. That means users can serve as a kind of “sensor” in addition to stationary ones like radar and cameras, and cities can learn a lot from their drivers. Now, all the information from the Waze for Cities program will be stored for free for its members on Google Cloud, making it even easier for cities to see movement patterns and measure the effects of interventions. Currently, more than 190 partners across Latin America have joined the program.  Partners like the Subsecretaría de Transportes de Chile have been using Waze data to improve traffic. They monitor more than 400 road segments to determine the periods with the most traffic. This information is used to program traffic lights, and whenever patterns change (like when traffic piles up or there’s an accident on the road), they can adapt the lights accordingly. Keeping Chilean children, teachers and parents safe onlineIn 2018, we launched Be Internet Awesome, which teaches children to be safe explorers of the online world. In Chile, we have been working with the Education Ministry so teachers and administrators can use our program’s tools. In the coming weeks, teachers using Be Internet Awesome will be able to find a new module—in Spanish—to teach students to think critically about the information they consume online, avoiding misinformation. Privacy for all New privacy tools are now officially available in Chile. People can now use Android phones as security keys, adding an extra layer of protection to their information. They can also check how data is being used in Maps, Search and the Assistant, by accessing the apps menu and choosing the option “Your data in …” There, you can review and delete your location activity in Maps or your search activity in Search. Soon, the same feature will be accessible on YouTube.Auto-delete controls for Web and Apps Activity are also now available globally, allowing people to easily manage the amount of time their data is saved. Choose a limit—3 or 18 months—and anything older than that will be automatically deleted on an ongoing basis.The cloud in QuilicuraThe first and only Google data center in Latin America is located in Chile, in the city of Quilicura. Announced in 2012, the data center allows us to provide support to and guarantee the operation of all of our products, not just for Chile but for all of Latin America. In September 2018, we announced the expansion of our data center, with an additional investment of US$140 million that will triple the size of the initial structure. And last April we announced the arrival of Curie on the coasts of the Valparaiso Region: Curie is the first submarine fiber optic cable to reach Chile in about 20 years.How AI is transforming industries in Chile At Google, we use artificial intelligence to make our products more useful, from email that is spam-free and easier to write to a digital assistant that understands you when you ask it questions.Much of the progress made with AI is based on our open source machine learning platform, TensorFlow. In Chile, machine learning is opening up new opportunities in several industries like food, construction and astronomy. Local technology company Odd Industries found potential in using AI with camera footage in the construction sector, letting data reveal what humans can’t see. Artificial intelligence processes images from construction sites and converts them into concrete data, allowing companies to build responsibly and intelligently. Working together with industry associations, academic institutions, government officials and our users, I’m excited to find new ways to use technology to help everyone succeed.


Hip-hop dancers show Paris in a new light on Street View

Editor's note: Sandrine Lescourant, also known as Mufasa, is an award-winning hip-hop and contemporary dancer in Paris. Today, she shares why she wanted to use Street View as a stage for dance. When I see videos of myself dancing, it’s hard to imagine that person was once a shy girl from the outskirts of Paris. Thanks to hip-hop, I’ve found my path, and now I seek to help others do the same by encouraging them to use dance as a vehicle for expression. When Google’s Street View team asked if I’d like to show Paris and its iconic Gare de Lyon train station with the world through the lens of dance, I immediately said yes. Video of Google Street viewIn this image collection, there are 360-degree images of me and my little sister, Jade Fehlmann, as we dance to Tismé Beats through the Gare de Lyon train station. Bringing our energy and creativity to these places was an unforgettable experience.This year marks the Gare de Lyon train station’s 170th anniversary, reminding us that for nearly two centuries it has been a place that connects people to different places, new experiences and each other. Every time I’m here, I’m inspired by how people move through the space and the energy inside of it. Not only does this collection give a sneak peek into this Parisian landmark, but it also gives a glimpse into what dance means to a woman like me. I use dance to fight against injustice and create hope and unity. I wish to help the next generation of dancers find the beauty in themselves and the world around them through dance.I hope you enjoy seeing my friends and I dance through Gare De Lyon in Street View. If there's a place that matters to you, you can add your own Street View imagery to Google Maps to show the world your view.


The Advanced Protection Program expands to Chrome

The Advanced Protection Program is our strongest level of protection for the personal Google Accounts of anyone at risk of targeted attacks — like journalists, activists, politicians and business leaders. It offers an evolving list of security offerings to protect our users holistically, across different ways an attacker can try to gain access to their accounts and data.Starting today, Advanced Protection Program users who have turned on sync in Chrome will automatically start receiving stronger protections against risky downloads across the web, like files containing malware. Advanced Protection users already benefit from malware protections beyond Gmail's standard, industry-leading safeguards. As a result, attackers are shifting their strategies to threaten Advanced Protection users outside of email with linked malware and “drive-by downloads” where users unknowingly download harmful software onto their devices.To protect our users proactively, attempts to download certain risky files will now show additional warnings, or in some cases even be blocked. While Chrome protects all users against malware, Advanced Protection users will get an even stronger level of protection.Warnings like these will prevent Advanced Protection users from downloading unsafe filesThis additional protection is part of a growing list of security offerings for those enrolled in the Advanced Protection Program. Just last week, we announced that Enterprise admins could extend the program’s protections to G Suite, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Cloud Identity customers. If you or your organization is interested in enrolling in the Advanced Protection Program, learn more at g.co/advancedprotection.


Pick an idea and make it happen with Google Images

When you're searching the web for something like a new hairstyle, flowers for your garden or a new jacket, it can be helpful to visualize your options. We've overhauled Google Images on desktop to make it easier for you to see what’s out there, learn more about the images you're interested in, and take the next step toward making your idea happen.Starting today, when you select an image, it appears in a side panel on the page, next to the search results. Importantly, it stays there as you scroll, letting you easily compare images with others on the page. Do this as many times as you want without losing track of what you looked at; just hit the back button to bring up the last image you clicked on.To help make shopping decisions easier, when you select an image of a product, you’ll now see details such as the brand, price, availability and reviews. We’ve also added captions to the related images shown under the image you’ve selected so you know where you're going before you click.For retailers and publishers, this updated interface also means people are more likely to visit a web page to get information to help them with a task, or to buy a product on your site. Developers can learn more about how to make sure brand, price, rating and availability information appear on product images. Visit the new Google Images and see where your imagination takes you.


Support for app-ads.txt to protect your app revenue and brand

To help build a safe and transparent advertising ecosystem, we’re introducing support for app-ads.txt across Google AdMob and Google Ad Manager. This will help app publishers prevent their inventory from being spoofed by bad actors while ensuring advertiser spend reaches the intended audience.  What is app-ads.txt?App-ads.txt is a standard released by the IAB Tech Lab that helps prevent unauthorized or domain-spoofed app inventory from being transacted across mobile, connected TV, and other devices. It defines a simple method for app publishers to publicly declare who is authorized to sell or resell their digital advertising inventory. App-ads.txt is an extension of the original ads.txt standard that was first published by the IAB in 2017. The ads.txt standard is one of the most successful industry standards and is now widely adopted by web publishers. Google’s support for IAB Tech Lab’s app-ads.txtWe’ve actively contributed to the specification of app-ads.txt since the beginning and will support the standard across all relevant products including AdMob and Ad Manager. Starting August 27, 2019, we will begin to block ad serving of unauthorized app inventory in both AdMob and Ad Manager as identified by a publisher’s app-ads.txt file. We strongly encourage you to create an app-ads.txt file and publish it to the developer domain you have listed in your App Store and/or Google Play store listing. This will help prevent unauthorized and domain-spoofed app inventory from damaging your brand and revenue.  Publishers who do not implement an app-ads.txt file will see no changes to their ad serving, but they will not benefit from these added spoofing protections.How to prepare for the enforcement  Correct implementation of app-ads.txt will help protect your inventory against bad actors. Implementation errors could cause interruptions to ad serving, so it is very important for you to verify that the app-ads.txt file you publish on your developer domain contains all your valid property codes before August 27. To prepare for the upcoming enforcement rollout, simply follow the steps below. You can find more details in our Help Center guides (AdMob, Ad Manager). Provide a developer website URL in app store listings on Google Play or the App StorePublish an app-ads.txt file in the root directory of your site (e.g. example.com/app-ads.txt)Include all authorized publisher codes for the networks your app sells through in the fileOnce you finish implementing the app-ads.txt file, we encourage you to carefully review it to ensure that it contains lines in the following format: google.com, pub-0000000000000000, DIRECTAs the sample line shows, your app-ads.txt file should include the name of the ad network you are working with (e.g. ‘google.com’) as the domain name and you should replace the publisher ID with your property code. To help you verify correct file implementation, we are currently rolling out verifications and warnings in the user interface for both AdMob and Ad Manager when errors are detected. The warnings will appear if we detect your publisher ID is missing from your app-ads.txt file.Example of error notifications in Ad ManagerExample of error notifications in AdMobThere will be no interruption to your ad serving should you choose not to implement the app-ads.txt file on your developer website, but your app may be at risk of inventory spoofing which could result in revenue loss. By supporting the new app-ads.txt standard, AdMob and Ad Manager will help you better protect your revenue and brand.


Code Next students merge computer science and activism

At this year’s Google Code Next Hackathon, students used computer science know-how to build applications that they hope will make a difference in the world. They pitched and presented projects like “AirFreeN’Free,” a website to fight the housing crisis in the Bay Area, “Know Your Rights,” which looked to inform citizens of their rights when stopped by law enforcement and “Equal Income,” which informs citizens on the gender pay gap. Code Next (a Code With Google program) is a free computer science education program for Black and Latinx high school students. The program works in communities to inspire students and equip students with the skills and education necessary for careers in CS. The two-day Hackathon, which took place in both Oakland and New York City in June, is one of the program’s most anticipated events of the year. Students use the knowledge learned in the classroom to come up with ideas, develop them and pitch prototypes. This year, students were challenged to develop a mobile or web application that addressed social justice, inequality or the environment. Day one of the Hackathon centered on ideas. In Oakland, a workshop was led by Anthony Mays, an advocate for inclusion and diversity in tech. He cheered the students and encouraged them to trust their instincts. “Whatever comes straight to mind.” Mays instructed the students, “I want you to write it down.” In Oakland, students spent time writing down ideas for apps that addressed inequality, social justice or environmental issues.In Oakland, students spent time writing down ideas for apps that addressed inequality, social justice or environmental issues. Code Next students began mapping process plans for their prototypes.Code Next students began mapping process plans for their prototypes. With the help of Code Next coaches, students began building the backend of their applications.With the help of Code Next coaches, students began building the backend of their applications. The group STEN presents their web application. to the judges’ panel.The group STEN presents their web application. to the judges’ panel.Students gather in an energizer activity on the second day of the Hackathon in Oakland.Students gather in an energizer activity on the second day of the Hackathon in Oakland.Day two centered on the coding and preparation for the pitch, which occurred at the end of the day. “We do discuss what we want to do for the world and how to save it, but we don’t usually pitch like this,” says Merelis Peralta, a Code Next student, whose “Police Brutality” app won third place in New York City.  “Having to pitch about how we want to help our community and make them safer opens our voice.” Both of this year’s winners addressed the environment. In Oakland, Code Next students Adesina Taylor, Luis Sanchez, Jacob Sonhthila, Xzavier Ceja and David Ung took home the first place prize. The team, which called their project “STEN,” created a web application that allows users to buy and distribute stone paper, an alternative to paper made from wood, as a means to fight deforestation. In New York, students Mohammad Hasan, Mohammed Ibrahim, Andy Asante, Alexander Leonardi and Rafid Almustaqim won first prize with a mobile application, “NextGen Carbon,” that tracks pollution levels. The app places users in competition with one another by tracking their day to day carbon emissions, encouraging them to reduce their numbers. “We want to emphasize that there are people that know what global warming is,” Andy says. “They just don’t know what causes it. Our app informs them.” At the conclusion of the two days, the students celebrated their achievements, their hard work and the challenges they overcame as a team in front of their Code Next mentors, coaches, family and friends. “After trying Code Next, I found out that although CS might be hard, it’s fun at the same time,” says student Ayan Cooper. “I want people to see that that it’s meaningful.”


Our hardware sustainability commitments

Most of us can’t get through the day without a phone, tablet, computer or smart speaker. My team at Google understands this well—we’ve been making consumer hardware (like Pixel phones and Google Home Minis) for just over three years now. But building these devices and getting them into the hands of our customers takes a lot of resources, and disposing of our old electronics can create significant waste. My job is to integrate sustainability into our products, operations and communities—making it not just an aspect of how we do business, but the centerpiece of it. It’s an ongoing endeavor that involves designing in sustainability from the start and embedding it into the entire product development process and across our operations, all while creating the products our customers want. This is how we will achieve our ambition to leave people, the planet, and our communities better than we found them. To help us get a step closer to reaching our goals, we’re sharing a set of hardware and services sustainability commitments: By 2020, 100 percent of all shipments going to or from customers will be carbon neutral Starting in 2022, 100 percent of Made by Google products will include recycled materials with a drive to maximize recycled content wherever possible.And we will make technology that puts people first and expands access to the benefits of technology. These commitments will build on the foundation and progress we’ve already made. In 2018, we began publishing our product environmental reports, which help everyone understand exactly what our products are made of, how they’re built and how they get shipped to you. And from 2017 to 2018, our carbon emissions for product shipments decreased by 40 percent. we’ve also launched our Power Project, which will bring one million energy- and money-saving Nest thermostats to families in need by 2023, and built much of our Nest product portfolio with post-consumer recycled plastic.  We’re always working to do more, faster. But today we’re laying the foundation for what we believe will be a way of doing business that commits to building better products better.


Power down with Google Fit

I recently took up running to improve my overall health and wellbeing. And let me tell you, it's harder than it looks. I've learned that it's not just about building my mileage every week, but it's also about making bigger lifestyle changes like getting more sleep and building healthier habits.The Google Fit app already tracks my Heart Points and Move Minutes, and I've been monitoring my sleep through apps that I connect to Google Fit so I can make sure I’m well rested for my daily routine. At Google Fit, we understand that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is more than just tracking what you do on the go. It’s also about resting up and powering down. So today, we’re bringing improved sleep insights and dark theme to our Google Fit app.Catch some ZZZ’s You can now track your sleep patterns alongside all the other activities you do throughout the day. Connect your favorite sleep app to Google Fit and you’ll see charts that show you your sleep patterns over time. You’ll also be able to add, edit or access your sleep history through the journal.Paint it blackNow you can enable dark theme to help you wind down at the right time and get a better night’s sleep. Even better, dark theme can be gentler on the eyes and help save your battery life. All you need to do is turn on the feature in your settings.Now on iOS: See your routeOn Android, Google Fit captures a summary of your workouts along with a map of your route, whether you ran, hiked or biked. Now we’re bringing the same useful map routes into the iPhone app for workouts actively tracked on your Wear OS by Google smartwatch, Apple Watch or other connected apps.We’ll be rolling out these updates on your phone over the next week. If you’re new to Google Fit, try the app out on your Android phone or iPhone.


An update on Android for search providers in Europe

Earlier this year, we presented Android users with an option to download additional search and browser apps in Google Play. This follows the changes we made to comply with the European Commission’s decision on Android. Next year, we'll introduce a new way for Android users to select a search provider to power a search box on their home screen and as the default in Chrome (if installed). Search providers can apply to be part of the new choice screen, which will appear when someone is setting up a new Android smartphone or tablet in Europe.An illustrative version of the choice screen. Providers will vary by country.As always, people can continue to customize and personalize their devices at any time after set up. This includes selecting which apps to download, changing how apps are arranged on the screen, and switching the default search provider in apps like Google Chrome. The application process for search providers opens today and the new choice screen will be introduced to new Android phones in Europe in early 2020. If you are a search provider who would like to participate, please click here to learn more.


With a tap on your phone, get help in an emergency

A quick, informative conversation with an operator during an emergency call is critical, but in some cases, people are unable to verbally communicate, whether they’re injured, in a dangerous situation or have a speech impairment.Soon, you'll be able to share information about the assistance you require, along with your location, to the emergency operator without speaking. This feature will be available in the Phone app on Pixel and select Android devices.Tapping on the “Medical,” “Fire” or “Police” buttons during an emergency call will convey the type of emergency to the operator through an automated voice service. That service works on device, which means the information stays between you and emergency services, and the service functions whether or not you have a data connection. After you activate the service, you can always speak directly to the operator as well.Your location, which comes from your phone’s GPS, is often already shared with the operator when you make a 911 call. This new feature provides similar location information through the automated voice service, along with the caller’s plus code, which is another reliable way to help emergency services accurately locate them. Like the rest of the content shared with the operator using this feature, your  location stays between them and emergency services. This feature will become available in the U.S. over the coming months, starting with Pixel phones. We’ve been collecting feedback from public safety organizations, including the National Emergency Number Association, to make this feature as helpful as possible, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with the emergency services community to make people safer.