Addressing equity in CS curriculum with Kapor CenterAddressing equity in CS curriculum with Kapor Center

GoogleBlog - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 15:00

Editor’s note: This post is authored by Dr. Allison Scott, Chief Research Officer at the Kapor Center for Social Impact. The Kapor Center received a grant, as part of Code with Google’s $25 million commitment to increasing Black and Latinx students’ access to computer science education.

In our increasingly technology-driven world, computer science is critical for all students to learn. Computing is shaping the future of fields as diverse as medicine, entertainment, transportation, manufacturing and agriculture, and our students must be prepared with the technical skills to succeed in the fastest-growing and highest-paying occupations in our future.

However, not all students have the opportunity to learn computing concepts. Large access gaps exist, especially for low-income students and students of color. And even when computing courses are available, classrooms are not always inclusive and engaging for students from all backgrounds.

When developed intentionally, curriculum is a powerful tool for creating inclusivity. It’s the playbook that teachers build from, and provides an opportunity to incorporate students’ backgrounds, interests, and passions, with the knowledge and skills needed in their futures, regardless of what they choose to pursue. In computer science classrooms, students can assess air quality, predict performance of athletes or political candidates, consider the ethical implications of autonomous vehicles and facial recognition software, and understand how data can diagnose and treat cancer. 

Today the Kapor Center received a $3 million grant to establish the Equitable Computer Science Curriculum initiative. This effort will bring together leaders in education equity, inclusive teaching practices, and computer science education, along with teachers and students to improve K-12 CS curriculum and resources. Alongside a diverse advisory board, we'll develop guidelines for creating culturally-relevant learning materials and support curriculum providers to implement those best practices. Through this initiative, thousands of teachers will access CS curricula that counteracts stereotypes, builds CS interest, and affirms the diverse identities of the millions of students across the country.

It will take more than one organization or one intervention to improve computing education and we look forward to working with many experts across many disciplines to improve inclusion, participation, and equity in CS classrooms. Join us in this exciting initiative.

The Kapor Center for Social Impact is the recipient of a $3 million grant.
Categories: Technology

A home-grown news site for PeterboroughA home-grown news site for Peterborough

GoogleBlog - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 03:00

Editor’s note: Today’s guest post comes from John Baker, Chief Reporter, Peterborough Matters. 

I’ve worked in local news for 15 years and experienced how meaningful it is to a community. As I’ve walked through the city from my home in Woodston and visited local people in Cathedral Square, Bretton, Werrington and elsewhere, I’m reminded of what makes our city so vibrant and draws my friends to visit often. 

We love Cathedral Square with the iconic 17th century Guildhall, shops, and eateries, plus the Cathedral itself which is one of England’s finest Norman cathedrals. We love the many events that take place in Peterborough, like the Beer Festival, Heritage Festival, Queensgate, and the annual Perkins Great Eastern Run half marathon, to name a few. This strong sense of pride is why I’m proud to announce today’s launch of a digital news site for Peterborough. 

Peterborough Matters is the first of three local news sites launched by Archant’s Project Neon in partnership with the Google News Initiative’s Local News Experiments Project. The projects first partnered with American publisher McClatchy and launched Mahoning Matters in Youngstown, Ohio last year. These sites will test and build different editorial and business models as we work toward the goal of financial sustainability. 

Our team is proud of our Peterborough roots and eager to serve the community. I have lived in the Fens for 40 years and in Peterborough for a decade. Our reporter Shariqua Ahmed, who worked in newspapers in India before three years at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, will bring her broadcasting skills and knowledge of the city's diverse cultural heritage and communities into our newsroom. We’re also excited to introduce our other local reporter Carly Beech who grew up in Peterborough, attending Thomas Deacon Academy before studying journalism at university, followed by a stint at the Daily Star. Our content assistant Charlotte Moore was born and raised in Peterborough and worked as a library assistant for Vivacity for three years. She has a keen passion for the heritage of the city and its environmental issues. 

We will use our talents to make sure you know about important news like crime, road accidents, council meetings, and weather. We’ll also help connect the community more with compelling in-depth stories about the people, places, and events that make up the fabric of our community. You'll learn about people you don't know, stories you've not heard, and ideas you might not have considered.

This is an experiment and we will aim to earn your trust each day with each story. Our partnership with the Google News Initiative enables us to meld the best of our editorial minds with Google’s expertise in best product practices. We will work together in a transparent and experimental way and share our learnings publicly. 

Your feedback is of critical importance and we hope you will share more of what's important to you and why. We will have open-house events to engage with you where you can hear from those making the city tick.

Thank you to all of you who have helped us as we’ve prepared for this launch. Your support means a lot and we will work to be worthy of it. Join the conversation, contact us onFacebook, Twitter,or e-mail. Peterborough Matters to us and we look forward to building this together.

Archant launches Peterborough Matters in Peterborough, UK, the first site as part of the Neon Project and the second for the GNI’s Local Experiments Project.
Categories: Technology

Get the reach of TV and the relevance of digital with Display & Video 360Get the reach of TV and the relevance of digital with Display & Video 360

GoogleBlog - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 14:00

Connected TV combines the reach and familiarity of traditional TV with the relevance and measurability of digital. For marketers to get the best of both worlds, we’re investing in connected TV advertising solutions designed to reach households at scale with messages that are relevant to users and respectful of their privacy. 

The reach of TV 

Brands have historically turned to traditional TV to connect at an emotional level with a wide range of people as they watch premium content. But as the media landscape becomes increasingly fragmented, advertisers have been left searching for new ways to engage with viewers at scale and build their brands. Good news - with more and more premium TV content available via streaming and accessible with programmatic technology, achieving reach through connected TV in a high-quality, brand safe environment has never been easier.

To help marketers quantify this opportunity, we retained Comscore to evaluate the reach of Display & Video 360’s connected TV advertising solutions in the US. Comscore’s analysis found that with Display & Video 360 marketers can now reach 76 percent of all connected TV households in the US and 89 percent of ad-supported connected TV households.1 This accounts for more than half of all US Wi-Fi households and this number is expected to increase as connected TV penetration grows. In addition to YouTube, Display & Video 360 provides access to 9 of the top 10 most watched ad supported connected TV apps from cable and broadcast channels in the US.

Just as connected TVs are becoming mainstream devices in US homes, buying connected TV ads programmatically is also becoming a mainstream way to engage with all sorts of audience groups ranging from cable subscribers to cord-cutters, and from Gen X to more senior viewers. To test this assumption, we looked at the reach of Display & Video 360 across different household types. As it turns out, while Display & Video 360 connected TV ads remain a must-have if you’re after cord-nevers and younger viewers, they are now relevant to your strategy no matter the age and TV subscription status of your core audience.

The relevance and measurability of digital 

What makes connected TV advertising especially powerful is its ability to apply best practices from the digital world. For example, frequency management helps you spend money efficiently and avoid ad fatigue with users.

Last year, we announced that Display & Video 360 was supporting the IAB Tech Lab guidelines and using the Identifier for Advertising (IFA) to effectively manage ad frequency for connected TV. IFA is a standardized identifier that can be disabled or reset by the user. Since then, the industry has widely adopted IFA. In fact, last year alone, Display & Video 360 saw an 88 percent increase in connected TV IFA adoption by publishers on our top five video exchange partners.2 Today, to further extend your frequency management capabilities, we’re working with inventory providers to support IFAs at the exchange and publisher levels. For example, we recently integrated with Telaria’s video management platform, enabling you to control frequency in a user-first way on publishers such as Hulu, Pluto TV or Lifetime.

To help you deliver a more pleasant and personalized viewing experience on connected TV, we have also integrated with audience and measurement partners investing in the IFA standard. Display & Video 360 now supports Comscore’s IFA-based audience segments across connected TV devices.

If you want to explore connected TV ads as a way to recreate your TV reach in 2020, Display & Video 360 will help you connect with a large number of streaming households. And to harness the digital capabilities of connected TV advertising, make sure you use IFA to manage how often viewers should see your spot and what is the most appropriate ad message.

1. Source: Comscore Total Home Panel Custom Report, Sept. 2019, U.S.

2. Internal data, IFA coverage for top exchanges, US, Jan 2020

Categories: Technology

The Suite Life: 4 tips for a more manageable Gmail inboxThe Suite Life: 4 tips for a more manageable Gmail inbox

GoogleBlog - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 12:00

The average person receives 120 emails a day, which means keeping your inbox under control can feel like an impossible task. Fortunately, G Suite gives you the tools you need to stay focused and organized. Welcome to the Gmail edition of The Suite Life, a series that brings you tips and tricks to get the most out of G Suite. In this post, we’ll provide advice to help you save time and get more done—right from your Gmail inbox.

Tip 1: Write now, send later with Schedule send

Whether you’re firing off a reply outside of normal work hours, collaborating with teammates across time zones, or want to send your future self a reminder, there are lots of reasons to schedule an email instead of hitting send right away. With Schedule send, you can plan exactly when your email will be sent in Gmail. This means your emails can reach teammates at a time that's convenient for them.

Here’s how:

  1. When you’re done writing your email, click the arrow to the right of the Send button in Gmail.

  2. Select “Schedule send.”

  3. Choose a date and time that works for you.

  4. Once you’ve scheduled at least one email, you’ll see a new box called Scheduled where you can view emails set to be sent, change times, or cancel the send.

Pro-tip: Curious to know how Googlers stay on top of things? Try out these tips.

Tip 2: Turn emails into Tasks in one step

A lot of emails require some sort of follow-up. With Google Tasks, you can quickly turn that email into an item on your to-do list without ever leaving your inbox.

Here’s how:

  1. Click and drag your email into the Tasks list located in the Gmail companion bar. 

  2. Type the text that describes your task, and a link to the email is attached to the bottom. You can also press SHIFT + K when you’re in an email to automatically add it to your Tasks list.

If you’re new to Tasks, check out this article to help you get started. Or if you’re used to using Google Keep, try out some of these tricks of the trade.

Tip 3: Send and archive emails at the same time

The secret to a tidy inbox is archiving emails when they’re no longer needed. Gmail gives you the option to reply to an email and archive it in the same step, which means you can get to Inbox Zero faster than ever.

Here’s how: 

  1. In Gmail settings, click the General tab, then click the “Show ‘Send & Archive’” button.

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes. Now, when you write an email, you’ll see the “Send & Archive” button at the bottom of the page; clicking on it will complete both actions at the same time.

Tip 4: Create a Google Calendar event in one click

Ever find yourself thinking “I should set up a meeting about this” after reading an email? Schedule it right from Gmail—no need to open Calendar separately.

Here’s how to create Calendar events from emails in one single step:

  1. When you’re in an email, navigate to the three dots and click Create Event. This will open a new Calendar tab. The subject of the email becomes the event title, anyone in the “To” or “Cc” line is added as a guest to the event, and the most recent reply to the thread is embedded in the description. 

  2. Click “Save,” and you’re done! 

We’ve got plenty more tips to help you better use G Suite tools like Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and more. Check out all the videos from The Suite Life.

Uplevel your inbox in no time with these Gmail tips.
Categories: Technology

One man's mission to add civil rights history to Google MapsOne man's mission to add civil rights history to Google MapsContributor

GoogleBlog - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 12:00

“I think in another life, I would have been a private investigator,” says Paul Kang. The Nashville resident is a paralegal for an immigration law firm, but it’s his hobby as a Local Guide on Google Maps that’s brought out his inner detective, turning him into something of a historian.

Paul and his family moved to Tennessee in 2012, and it was out of necessity that he was first introduced to Google Maps and soon after Local Guides, the community of everyday people who are passionate about sharing their experiences on Google Maps with reviews, photos, videos and more. Their efforts end up making Maps better for everyone. “My wife wanted to know where the post office near her work was, so I looked it up and sent her the map listing,” he says. “And when she went there, she told me it was all closed up.” The post office wasn’t open for business anymore. This sort of thing happened a few more times, and after becoming slightly frustrated, Paul realized he could use Google Maps to edit information. “I started closing things down, replacing duplicate listings,” he says. Eventually, Paul was doing much more than correcting listings. In 2017, the 1955 murder of Emmett Till resurfaced in the news when an interview with the woman who’d accused Till of harassing her—which led her husband and an accomplice to murder Till—admitted it wasn’t true. The tragic, senseless killing of the 14-year-old boy had been a catalyst in the civil rights movement, and the confession reignited interest in the story for Americans everywhere. 

Paul first learned about what happened to Emmett Till when he was a young adult. “I think one of the things I still remember is that the jury acquitted Till’s murderers in 59 minutes, but that they would have [done it] faster if they hadn’t all gone together to get a bottle of pop before rendering the verdict.” 

When he used Google Maps to try and find the site where Till’s body was found, a listing appeared—but didn’t seem like it was in the right spot according to what Paul had read. After using historical resources to learn more about the location, he was able to find it himself on Google Maps—and he decided that everyone else should be able to as well, so he loaded up his wife and kids and started the two-hour road trip south. 

“I just thought, you know what, I’m going to do this, I’m doing to drive my whole family down there,” Paul says. When they got there, he says they discovered a museum dedicated to Emmett Till, but it was only open by appointment--information that hadn’t been listed in Google Maps. Fortunately, the museum was holding an event, and Paul’s family was able to go in. What Paul didn’t realize is how important the experience was for his wife, who was learning about Emmett Till for the first time. “We talked about it as she was going through it. It was shocking to her. It was a big download of information for her, and I know it’s stuck with her and informs her when she’s reading the news today, too.”

Using a 360-degree camera, Paul also took Street View photos of the site where Till’s body was found, and updated the Google Maps data so others can find it. He was even able to find the barn where Till was tortured and added that information to Maps.

Paul's gone on to add more historical information to Google Maps; he thinks he’s added some 50 historic landmarks, give or take. In 2018, for the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, various sites and memorials in Memphis were being constructed. “I waited to see if the city or some nonprofit maybe was going to add them to Google Maps, but I didn’t see anything,” he says. “So I just started adding them.” 

He also made a point to update information about other memorials to Dr. King, including “I Have Been to the Mountaintop,” a sculpture unveiled in 1976 that was moved to a more prominent part of downtown Memphis. I AM A MAN plaza, an open air installation that opened in 2018 and dedicated to the sanitation workers’ strike of 1968, also wasn’t on Google Maps; Paul made sure both of these sites would surface, complete with historic information. Once when he went to take photos for Street View with his 360-degree camera, a few police officers acting as security at a site asked what he was doing. “I was like, ‘I’m making sure this gets on Google Maps, so people can find it!’” 

News archives and web research power Paul’s exploration of the history of his new state and  he says there’s work to be done to make sure this information remains accessible for future generations. “A lot of the websites cataloging information about these kinds of places with descriptions and photos are volunteer-led,” he says. “What if they decide not to or forget to renew their domain? Those websites could go away.”

Fortunately, Paul’s work won’t be going anywhere. “Even if all these websites go away, Google Maps will still be here.”

Paul Kang didn’t intend to become a Local Guide, but now he uses his hobby to help everyone use Google Maps to find historical sites.
Categories: Technology

GameSnacks brings quick, casual games to any deviceGameSnacks brings quick, casual games to any deviceGeneral Manager, GameSnacks

GoogleBlog - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 12:00

Look around on the bus, in line at a coffee shop, or even at the doctor’s office. You’ll likely see people playing games on their phones—and they’re a few of the two billion people around the world who are doing it. Unfortunately, many games (especially web games) don’t load well on low memory devices and 2G or 3G networks that hundreds of millions of people rely on.

Today, we’re announcing GameSnacks to help address this problem. Part of Area 120,Google’s lab for experimental projects, our goal is to make HTML5 games more accessible for phones on any network in the world. GameSnacks games are fast, easy to play, and available on any device that lets you connect to the internet. 

Additionally, people in Indonesia can soon access GameSnacks games though Gojek, a leading super app in southeast Asia. Let’s explore how GameSnacks works for users and developers.

Web games are slow for many people

Take a look at how a typical web game loads on a 1 GB RAM phone on a 3G network, which is what hundreds of millions of people around the world use

Over half of mobile site visitors leave a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, but this game took 12 seconds. 

GameSnacks games are easy to play and fast loading

Fortunately for many users, GameSnacks games can load within a few seconds in network conditions slower than 1 Mbps, which tens of millions of people worldwide experience. For instance, Tower, a popular GameSnacks game, is quickly ready to play on the same 1 GB RAM device connected to 3G from earlier:

Our Area 120 team works with developers to achieve fast performance by reducing the size of the initially-loaded HTML page, compressing additional assets such as scripts, images, and sounds, and waiting to load them until necessary.

Next, let’s look at the design of the games. GameSnacks games are simple, fun and ideal for casual gamers. Games only last for a few minutes, and have straightforward rules that can be learned without instructions. GameSnacks games are accessible on any web-capable device. Each game supports touch, keyboard, and mouse controls and can be played on Android, iOS, and desktop devices.

GameSnacks games will be in Gojek

We’ve also partnered with Gojek to bring GameSnacks games into the Gojek ecosystem through GoGames. Gojek is a leading technology platform in Southeast Asia focused on removing life’s daily frictions. Through this partnership, we’ll deliver more accessible gaming experiences to Southeast Asian users, starting in Indonesia.

Our team is always looking to add more high quality games to the GameSnacks game catalog. If you’re an HTML5 game developer interested in building fast-loading games for people around the world, please contact us

Additionally, if you develop an app that could embed GameSnacks games, please reach out. GameSnacks games can help entertain your users and increase the likelihood that they come back to your app. The presentation of the games can also be customized to feel native to your app.

When it comes to gaming, fast is better than slow. We’re excited to bring GameSnacks games to more users around the world and make gaming more accessible.GameSnacks is a new web gaming platform from Area 120. GameSnacks games are fast, easy to play, and available on any device that lets you connect to the internet.
Categories: Technology

Project Witness shows life in prison from a child’s point of viewProject Witness shows life in prison from a child’s point of view

GoogleBlog - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 12:00

Editor's note: Today’s guest post comes from John Legend, artist, producer and activist; and Ty Stiklorius, veteran music manager, CEO of Friends at Work, Producer and Activist

At the age of 17, Jarrett Harper was sentenced to life in prison without parole. His crime was killing the man who had sexually abused him and his brother over a number of years. But he was not seen as a desperate child victim trying to stop the abuse he and his brother were enduring. Instead, he was sentenced as a child to die in prison. 

We were honored to meet Jarrett during a visit to Lancaster Prison in 2015. When we met, Jarrett was 33 years old and had already served 16 years behind bars. During that time, Jarrett devoted himself to learning and healing. He reached out to others who were incarcerated with him, to mentor and give counsel to them. This young man, who had suffered so much and been through so much trauma, was dedicated to transforming himself and to finding hope. 

Meeting Jarrett changed us. It reinvigorated our commitment to addressing how children are sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, the conditions of their confinement—and to Jarrett’s personal plea for freedom. We co-authored a letter to California Governor Jerry Brown petitioning for Jarrett’s sentence of life without parole to be reduced. In 2019, newly-elected Governor Gavin Newsom agreed with Governor Jerry Brown's decision. Jarrett was finally released after serving 20 years. 

From left to right, Baylon Harper (Jarrett's brother), Jarrett Harper, John Legend

Jarrett’s compelling voice is now part of Project Witness—created by theCampaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, YouTube and Google—which uses virtual reality to immerse the viewer in the experience of prison from a child’s point of view. 

Project Witness launches today against the backdrop of the release of “Just Mercy,” a film that  tells the story of acclaimed human rights advocate Bryan Stevenson and his struggle to challenge a broken criminal justice system. In his writing and speaking, Bryan always makes an abiding plea that we bear witness to the “places where there is despair.” He says: “If you are willing to get closer to people who are suffering, you will find the power to change the world.”

That has been so true for us. We have chosen to be proximate, to position ourselves in the places where justice has been denied, so that we might fight for a better world. We hope that Project Witness's immersive experiences will extend the chance for many others to be proximate to the lived experiences of children behind bars. 

We urge you to bear witness to the stories of being a child behind bars. And we hope you will join us in fighting for justice—for everyone. 

Project Witness—created by the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, YouTube and Google—uses VR and Google Lens to show the experience of prison from a child’s point of view.
Categories: Technology

Feeling all the feels? There’s an emoji sticker for that.Feeling all the feels? There’s an emoji sticker for that.

GoogleBlog - Wed, 02/12/2020 - 09:00

Have you ever been so overwhelmingly filled with love that it moved you to tears? Or, perhaps you’ve laughed so hard you felt sick—and wished your phone had an emoji to convey that feeling? Whether you’re sending a note to your galentines or your one true love, Gboard on Android now takes your favorite emoji and mixes them into customized stickers, helping you express those nuanced thoughts and feelings.

We affectionately refer to this feature as Emoji Kitchen, because you can explore new “recipes” of expressions using your favorite emoji as ingredients. Using Gboard on your Android phone, tap on any smiley emoji and Emoji Kitchen will reveal a number of stickers specially handcrafted by the designers at Google.

So when you tap the face with a cowboy hat emoji

Categories: Technology

GNI Subscriptions Lab expands to Europe to help publishers grow revenueGNI Subscriptions Lab expands to Europe to help publishers grow revenue

GoogleBlog - Wed, 02/12/2020 - 06:00

The news industry continues to face tough challenges as the way people find and access information changes. At the same time, we’re seeing promising results from publishers who are developing new business models and ways of working to support high quality journalism in the digital age. Our Google News Initiative is designed to support this innovation and help journalism thrive. 

As part of this, we’re hosting our second Google News Initiative Summit in Amsterdam this week which brings together hundreds of publishers, news executives, editors and academics from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa to discuss the latest opportunities and challenges for the news industry. We’ll talk about the latest products and innovations, as well as important topics like the role of machine learning in publishing and new ways of growing reader revenue.  

One of the topics we hear a lot about is which products or technologies can help publishers grow revenue from their digital content. While many large publishers have seen great success from digital subscriptions, we are doing more to ensure smaller and local news publishers have the same opportunity to find out what works for their content. 

At this week’s event, we’ll announce the expansion of our GNI Subscriptions Labs program to Europe, building on the success of similar Labs in North America and Latin America. The European Lab has been developed in partnership with FT Strategies and the International News Media Association (INMA) and is designed to help European publishers strengthen digital subscriptions capabilities and grow reader revenue. The nine-month program includes in-person consultancy and coaching to help publishers understand, experiment and optimise their subscription models. Applications open today and the experience and learnings gained from the GNI Subscriptions Lab will be shared with publishers around the world to help them implement their own digital subscription strategies.

The GNI Subscriptions Lab in Europe is one of several efforts to help publishers' find new ways to grow revenue from their digital content. We also work with many European publishers on products like Subscribe with Google which creates a simple way for readers to subscribe to news publications and maintain access everywhere. Groupe Le Monde in France and Il Fatto Quotidiano in Italy announced their implementations just this month.

Another key topic at the event is how to equip publishers and journalists with the latest information and insights on digital news. In the-last five years, we've trained 370,000 journalists in Europe through the Google News Initiative and this year we'll host three major training summits with the European Journalism Centre (EJC). Together with the EJC we'll also support over 40 news organizations to host a journalism student for the summer months. 

Alongside this, we’ve renewed our support of the Reuters Institute Digital News Report for an additional three years. This is an independent report which looks at changing reader behaviour around the world, providing important insights to publishers. Our partnership enables the Reuters Institute to cover more countries in the report, provide further in-depth analysis of developments in news and media, and support fellowships for mid-career journalists. This year, the partnership will also provide off-site leadership development programs for senior editors and media executives. 

Google is committed to collaborating with publishers on their digital strategies and is investing more into programs and partnerships across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We look forward to an exciting event of discussions, insights and ideas from publishers across the region.

Categories: Technology

Annie Jean-Baptiste keeps asking, “who else?”Annie Jean-Baptiste keeps asking, “who else?”

GoogleBlog - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 12:00

As a child, Annie Jean-Baptiste wanted to be a pediatrician. But when her freshman year of college rolled around, her dream took a turn. “I started taking some of the classes and thinking ‘I don’t know if this is really what I should be doing…’” she laughs. Now, as Google’s Head of Product Inclusion, Annie helps teams make sure Google products are made for everyone. She’s not wearing scrubs, but she says she’s found another way to help people live fuller lives. 

“I feel most alive when I’m interacting with people and really connecting with them,” she says. Annie, who’s Haitian-American, knows what it’s like to be underrepresented in the world, and brings this perspective to her work. “I’ve discovered that when technology is done correctly, it has such potential to amplify peoples’ lives in a positive way.” 

In our latest installment of The She Word, we talked with Annie about diversity and intersectionality, her vision-boarding process and what she loves most about Haiti.

How do you explain your job at a dinner party?

I help teams that create Google products—so things like Pixel, Chrome, Assistant—bring an inclusive lens to the design process. Because we’re building for billions of users who may not look or act or think like the teams building them, we need to make sure we’re bringing different perspectives to the table at key points in the process. 

What's the hardest part of your job? 

We try to focus on multiple dimensions of diversity, and then also the intersections of those dimensions—and that can be challenging. I always say “I’m not Black on Monday, a woman on Tuesday, and left-handed on Wednesday.” All of those things are always within me and affect how I move through the world. When you apply that to billions of users, it can get complicated. 

What we don’t want to do is rank dimensions of diversity, or look at them individually; we really want to look at people in a complete way. We want to ask, “who else?” And it can be challenging to ask “who else?” and bring people into the fold at critical points while also balancing deadlines and needs of product teams. 

Thankfully, teams are super excited to do this work and they’ve been really awesome partners in taking the feedback, in asking “who else?,” in bringing other people in, in changing the way they’re doing their work—even changing products or features. 

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? 

Hands down, it’s hearing from people who say they felt seen or validated in a product. “The Pixel camera takes really beautiful pictures of my family, and we all feel seen,” or “I asked the Assistant to tell me something about Pride and it said something really beautiful to me and it made me cry”—those are the things that make the work worth it. It’s a testament to the incredible efforts of our product and design teams. 

You touched on it earlier, but how would you describe “intersectionality” to someone who’s never heard the term before?

Intersectionality looks at the intersections of dimensions of underrepresented people and acknowledges how those intersections can potentially result in negative experiences. 

The easiest way to describe it is that I'm a Black woman, right? Both of those things are always within me and both of those demographics—women and Black people—historically have experienced barriers. If a Black woman also has a disability, those barriers might be amplified further. You have to think about what that means in terms of what you’re building, especially if that isn’t the background you come from. 

What’s one habit that’s made you successful?

Relationships are the core of everything. When people trust you, they’re more likely to take risks with you and try new things with you. That’s really important to my work, including with users who share their experiences with us. When we get feedback from users and they tell us how they use a product  with their family, that’s really personal stuff. There needs to be a baseline of trust, mutual understanding and empathy. Working with Google teams, it’s similar: Relationships are important, so I make sure I take time to get to know product teams. 

What's something most people don't know about you?

I’m definitely an introvert. Presenting to teams does not come naturally to me; it’s something I have to work at and psyche myself up for. I recharge by spending a lot of introspective time alone. I’ve also been trying to read more. When I was younger, my parents didn’t allow my brother and I to watch TV on weekdays until my senior spring of high school. Looking back, that was such an amazing thing because I was a voracious reader! Now, being able to watch TV as much as I want…there are times where I’m like, “why am I watching this?! I could be doing so many other things!” I’m trying to balance that decompression time with more focused activities. I read 10 pages a day last year and I ended up reading 15 books. I want to constantly be curious and for that to be part of my me time. 

I scanned your Twitter, and have to ask: What is your vision boarding process?

I love vision boarding! I’ve hosted vision boarding parties for the past five years. My approach is to first reflect on the past year: What went well, what didn’t go well, what am I proud of. Then, decide on what you want the themes of the year ahead to be. It’s helpful to have a baseline of what you want to accomplish in different areas of your life, whether it’s family, relationships, work or giving back. 

I tried vision boarding with a friend once without any direction, and she had a minor internal crisis! 

It can be emotional! I’m a Pisces, I get it! 

Your parents are from Haiti and moved here when they were young adults. What are some ways you keep Haiti with you? 

Haiti courses through my veins and I’m intentional about being proud of my heritage. I mentor people at and outside of Google, and I’ve been really surprised how many people tell me, “It’s so nice to see you being so proud of being Haitian and it’s inspired me to be proud of who I am and my heritage, too!” 

What was it like for you when the earthquake struck Haiti in 2010?

I had family there; it was terrifying. Haitian people have had so many things thrown at them. It was sort of like “how is there another devastating thing happening?” You’d think something like that could make people cynical about life or unhappy all the time, and that’s just not the case. They’re the warmest, most positive, brilliant people. Even looking at all the technology that came out following the earthquake to mitigate this disaster; it’s a testament to Haiti’s resilience.

What’s the first thing you do...

[Laughing] Eat. 

...when you go back to Haiti?

Definitely eat! Rice, beans, plantains. Obviously the food is delicious, but it also reminds me of my family. And then of course, going to the beach. Ideally if I could eat on the beach, that would be the first thing I’d do.

What is one of your favorite memories of Haiti?

When I was around 11, we went to my grandparents’ house for a month. Every afternoon, I would sit on the porch and eat sugar cane with my grandfather, and it was so simple and so nice to just be outside and spend this quality time with someone I love. It felt like the epitome of island life and I treasure those moments.

Google's Head of Product Inclusion brings personal experience to her job while looking outside of herself to see who's being missed.
Categories: Technology

Helping families Be Internet Awesome on Safer Internet DayHelping families Be Internet Awesome on Safer Internet Day

GoogleBlog - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 10:30

Editor’s note: This is adapted from remarks Parisa gave today at the Grow with Google NYC Learning Center.

When I was a kid, my brothers and I had to “take turns” using our family computer with slow, dial-up internet access. It wasn’t until college that I got my own computer and cell phone—which was only for making calls. Now, it’s so different for kids who are growing up with access to the web and mobile apps at home and school; most parents are buying smartphones for their kids at 9.5 years old.

With technology at their fingertips, online safety education is so important for young people. We need to put online safety in the same class, literally, as math, science, and history—it’s a fundamental skill in navigating our digital world.  This is why I’m so proud of the work we’ve done with Be Internet Awesome. The idea behind Be Internet Awesome is to make sure the most important people in young people’s lives—their parents and teachers—have the resources to teach online safety and citizenship. 

Since launching in 2017, Be Internet Awesome is now available in over 26 countries, 12 languages, and millions of people around the world have used the program. But we aren’t there yet. Anew Google survey found that 2 out of 3 parents believe conversations about online safety should happen both in the home and in the classroom, but only 4 in 10 parents feel confident enough to talk to their families about online safety. 

Google wants to help, and we couldn't do it without enthusiastic and deeply committed partners. Today we’re announcing a partnership with the National PTA and YMCA to host more than 400 family online safety, citizenship, and digital wellbeing workshops this week across the country to help parents have the tech talk with their kids. The workshops will also help people learn about our Family Link parental controls, YouTube Kids and Digital Wellbeing tools. We’re hosting many of these free workshops right here at the Grow with Google NYC Learning Center alongside a pop-up online safety experience open to the public, and we’re empowering parents and volunteers via YMCA and PTA to help their fellow parents by hosting them across the US. 

Along with these partnerships, we’re expanding Be Internet Awesome to the Netherlands, Indonesia, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. We’re also teaming up with to encourage teachers in over 3,500 classrooms to teach kids about online safety with the Be Internet Awesome Classrooms Rewards Program. And we’re partnering with Scholastic to provide 2 million families with Be Internet Awesome tips and resources for teachers and parents.

Most kids won't know what it's like to wait until college to get a cell phone. So it's even more important that they learn how to make smart choices online at an early age, and Be Internet Awesome can help them get there. We’re excited to kick off these workshops on Safer Internet Day, and continue our work to share these insights for years to come.

We're partnering with the National PTA and YMCA to host more than 400 family online safety, citizenship, and digital wellbeing workshops.
Categories: Technology

1,000 of the most stunning landscapes in Google Earth1,000 of the most stunning landscapes in Google Earth

GoogleBlog - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 09:00

Ten years ago, I was flying over San Francisco when this strange but kaleidoscopically beautiful vista opened up outside of my tiny airplane window. When I got home, I fired up Google Earth to investigate. The aerial wonder along the southern tip of the bay turned out to be the Salt Ponds. Microorganisms reacting to the salt runoff in these waters color the pools surreal hues, and the resulting chromatic smudge is visible miles above Earth's surface. As an amateur photographer, I instinctively took a screenshot of the landscape now clear on my laptop. And with that simple act, Earth View was born.

Our first Earth View, the San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds

Earth View is a collection of thousands of the planet's most beautiful landscapes, seen from space. Over the last decade, the collection has been witnessed by millions around the world as wallpapers for Android devices, screensavers for Chromecast and Google Home, and as an interactive exhibit in Google Earth's Voyager. Earth View was even once featured on the world's biggest billboard to bring a little zen to Times Square during the holidays.

Today, we're making our biggest update to Earth View by adding more than 1,000 new images to the collection, bringing the total to more than 2,500 striking landscapes. The upgraded imagery features more locations around the globe and is optimized for today's high-resolution screens—featuring brighter colors, sharper images and resolutions up to 4K.

All the new imagery is available in the Earth View Gallery, as well as the popular Earth View Chrome Extension. The gallery also now features a nifty color map to help you visualize the thousands of Earth View locations, and find a landscape featuring your favorite color.

Filter more than 2,500 Earth Views by color or region

To bring Earth View to life, we've collaborated with our friends at Ubilabs in Hamburg, Germany. Together over the past several years, we've refined a set of tools that help us scour 36 million square miles of satellite imagery, while maintaining fine camera control to get just the right shot. To prepare the final image, we optimize the color profile for the particular landscape, and export the final image in ultra high resolution.

Learn how we capture Earth Views

Earth View started simply enough—a curiosity pursued by the curious. Over the decade, that tiny seed sprouted several limbs, and today this imagery has been seen by millions of people the world over. For me, Earth View's resonance is the bigger curiosity. As a species, we've only had access to views from space for the last 50 years. Yet something encoded in us long ago seems to wake up when we see the world at this unprecedented scale. 

Earth View has the power to elevate our minds from our tiny screens to outer space—the landscapes that materialize when you open a new tab or unlock your phone punctuate your day with a global looking glass. My hope then is this funny, little project—along with Google Earth as a whole—moves us to care more deeply about this strange but kaleidoscopically beautiful planet. 

More than 1,000 new aerial landscapes have been added to the popular Earth View Chrome Extension and Gallery.
Categories: Technology

More protection for Nest accountsMore protection for Nest accounts

GoogleBlog - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 09:00

Privacy and security are foundational to Nest’s mission to create a more helpful home. When you invite our products into your home, you trust us to help you solve everyday problems—whether that’s saving on your monthly energy bills, keeping an eye on things when you’re away or helping you with life’s little challenges. You want to feel safe in your home, and making sure our devices add to that sense of security is a responsibility we take very seriously.

We’re always exploring how to protect your privacy and security while also giving you control over the ease of access to your account and what you share. After all, devices like cameras and smoke alarms are essential in emergencies. However, an extra layer of defense gives you more control over your home devices in the long run by making sure only trusted people and devices can use them. 

The best way to do this is by migrating to a Google account, which comes with lots of added benefits, including security protections like suspicious activity detection and Security Checkup. But for those who haven’t migrated yet, here are some new measures we’ve put in place to invest in keeping your Nest account secure.

An extra layer of protection

Two-factor authentication has long been available to all users as a way to prevent the wrong person from gaining access to your account, even if they have your username and password. Starting this spring, we’re requiring all Nest users who have not enrolled in this option or migrated to a Google account to take an extra step by verifying their identity via email. When a new login into your account is initiated, you’ll receive an email from with a six-digit verification code. That code will be used to make sure it’s you trying to login. Without it, you won’t be able to access your account. This will greatly reduce the likelihood of an unauthorized person gaining access to your Nest account.

Safeguarding from automated attacks

Automated attacks like credential stuffing are becoming more common. That’s when stolen information like email addresses and passwords used on other websites are repurposed to gain unauthorized access to an account or device. Google accounts come with added protection against this, and now we’re addressing this issue for those who haven’t migrated to Google accounts. Earlier this year we began applying a Google Cloud security technology called reCAPTCHA Enterprise to Nest accounts, which detects when an automated attack is attempted and reduces the likelihood of it being successful. This safeguard is already active and you didn’t have to do anything to enable it.

Know who and when someone logs into your account

Knowing when someone has logged into your account can be all it takes to spot something potentially suspicious. Back in December we rolled out login notifications to Nest accounts, so every time someone on your account logs in you’ll receive an email notification. That way if it wasn’t you, you can take action immediately.

Here are some additional protections that we’ve been using for a while to help keep your account secure:

  • When you supply a password for your Nest account, we check to see if that password was potentially exposed in previously-known credential breaches outside of Google.

  • We proactively reset accounts when we detect suspicious activity.

  • We use automatic updates, don’t allow default or easy-to-guess device passwords and verified boot, which prevents your devices from running malicious code.

And finally, we suggest everyone keep these best practices in mind for their Google Nest devices:

  • Migrate to a Google account. In addition to security features, Nest and Google product integrations will be streamlined and work together to create seamless experiences. For example, if you have a Nest Thermostat and a Google Home, just say, "Ok Google, make it warmer.”

  • Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. Millions have enabled this feature on their Nest accounts.

  • If you have multiple people in your non-migrated Nest household who need access to your Nest devices, create a Family account so you don't need to share your personal credentials with anyone. Remind them to sign up for two-factor authentication, too.

  • Use unique passwords for every account, change them occasionally and ask people you've added to your devices to do the same.

  • Rather than memorizing your passwords, use a password manager, like the one offered in the Chrome browser. Password managers store your passwords securely and some even generate complicated passwords for you.

  • Check on whether your passwords or accounts have been compromised using the new tool offered by Chrome; another great tool is 

  • Avoid clicking on suspicious-looking emails and never provide personal information in response to them.

On Safer Internet Day and every day, we’ll continue to work hard to improve our devices and protect our users.

For those who haven’t migrated yet, email verification will roll out this spring.
Categories: Technology

Searching for love this Valentine’s DaySearching for love this Valentine’s Day

GoogleBlog - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 09:00

Love is in the air this week as searches for “love” peak (as they do every year around this time!). Ahead of the most romantic day of the year, we looked at fun Valentine’s Day trends, from romantic comedies and love songs to gift ideas, that will get everyone in the spirit. 

People across the country are searching for love, but these states are feeling extra romantic. They’ve had the most searches for the word “love” since 2004.

  1. Virginia 

  2. Oregon

  3. Mississippi 

  4. Texas

  5. California 

"As if" you needed a reason to post up on the couch, this map will give you 10 things to love about Valentine's Day, with the most-searched rom coms per state. To us, this is perfect.

Love songs are a festive way to set the mood for your Valentine’s day sweetheart. We looked at the most-searched love songs since 2004 in the U.S. Trust us, they’ll keep replaying in your head.

  1. “Love Story,” Taylor Swift

  2. “Endless Love,” Diana Ross & Lionel Richie

  3. “Unchained Melody,” The Righteous Brothers

  4. “Amazed,” Lonestar

  5. “My Girl,” The Temptations

If rom-coms and love songs don’t get you in the Valentine’s Day mood, celebrity couples definitely will. Here are the most-searched celebrity couples in the U.S. this year. 

  1. Brad and Jen

  2. William and Kate

  3. Ellen and Portia

  4. Harry and Meghan

  5. Madonna and boyfriend

And if you need some last-minute gift  ideas to say “I love you,” these ones won’t fail—they’re the most-searched gifts this week in the U.S. 

  1. Flowers

  2. Ecards

  3. Teddy bears

  4. Rose bears

  5. Chocolate covered strawberries

This Valentine’s day, celebrate with your favorite rom com, love song, and maybe some chocolate covered strawberries!

Google Trends is celebrating Valentine’s Day with romantic comedies, love songs, celebrity couples and gift ideas.
Categories: Technology

Teaming up with Defending Digital Campaigns on election securityTeaming up with Defending Digital Campaigns on election securitySenior Director for Account Security, Identity, and Abuse

GoogleBlog - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 06:00

Last week, we shared an overview of how we’re equipping campaigns with security tools like Project Shield and supporting programs like the new Election Security and Information Project. We also just announced a major update of our Advanced Protection Program which will make it easier for members of campaigns to get our strongest level of Google Account security, in an instant.

Today is Safer Internet Day and we’re announcing a new partnership with Defending Digital Campaigns to provide federal campaigns access to free Titan Security Keys, the strongest form of two-factor authentication. Last year, the Federal Elections Commission granted special approval for DDC to offer cybersecurity services to presidential and congressional campaigns. We’re working with this bipartisan organization to help make all qualifying campaigns safer and make it easier for people to enroll in our Advanced Protection program.

Security keys aren’t the only thing campaigns can do to stay safer. Here are three things that any campaign can do to make their members, and their entire organizations, more secure right now.

Enroll in the strongest security offering

From candidates to canvassers, every member of a campaign should understand how to add extra layers of security and protect their information. We recommend everyone associated with political campaigns enroll in our Advanced Protection Program, which bundles all our strongest Google Account security options together. Advanced Protection is available for both personal and G Suite accounts and we recommend campaign members enroll both types of accounts in the program, which they can now enroll instantly with their Android or iPhone. Qualifying campaigns can also request a free physical security key as a backup via Defending Digital Campaigns.

Protect everyone, not just the name at the top of the ticket

Every member of a campaign needs to understand the basics of keeping their information safe. Of course that applies to candidates themselves, but it’s equally important for everyone else with access to campaign information. In fact, it might be more important to educate the vendors, consultants, and support staff because they may not think of themselves as at risk.

If you’re working on a political campaign we recommend that you enroll in the Advanced Protection Program. But, if you decide that’s not for you, these five security tips can strengthen your security in just a few minutes. For example, our research found that simply adding a recovery phone number to your Google Account can block up to 100 percent of automated bots, 99 percent of bulk phishing attacks, and 66 percent of targeted attacks. Campaigns can check out The Belfer Center’s Cybersecurity Campaign Playbook and their overview video for more extensive information.

Make sure someone is accountable for your campaign’s security

Campaigns and political committees should make sure someone at a senior level is responsible for implementing security best practices. You wouldn’t expect the employees of a bank to tolerate consultants with personal email accounts, staffers checking sensitive data on the family iPad, or vendors emailing documents back and forth. Political campaigns, despite often having more of a startup feel, shouldn’t tolerate these lax practices either.

It’s never too late for campaigns to take these simple steps, and much easier to dial up the defense than many people think.

We’re announcing a new partnership with Defending Digital Campaigns to provide federal campaigns access to free Titan Security Keys.
Categories: Technology

A safer internet for Europe, the Middle East and AfricaA safer internet for Europe, the Middle East and Africa

GoogleBlog - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 03:00

Chances are you’re reading this in a country that formally recognizes Safer Internet Day—an initiative that originated in the European Union two decades ago and is now observed in as many as 150 countries around the world. 

Whether you’re spurred into doing a Security Checkup, trying our Phishing Quiz, or setting digital ground rules through Family Link, you’ll know the importance of safety in your online life. We take your safety online seriously, and are investing heavily in building, developing and sharing tools and projects to help you and your family stay safer.

Last year, we opened the Google Safety Engineering Center (GSEC) in Germany as the center of that ongoing investment. At this hub of global privacy engineering, we’ve built products such as Password Manager, which scans hundreds of millions of passwords every day and warns you if any of your credentials have been compromised. More than 100 million users have run a Password Checkup since we launched the feature last year.

More than 1,000 employees now work at GSEC, combining the best in privacy and safety engineering, product development and user experience design to help make the digital world work for everyone more safely.

Helping children learn how to be safer online

Because you want your children to be able to make the most of the web safely, we developed Be Internet Awesome in 2017 to help make digital safety knowledge as accessible as possible. Since then, we have trained millions of children through the program in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. And today, we’re launching in four more countries: Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and the Netherlands. 

With Be Internet Awesome (InternetHelden in the Netherlands) Google works with non-governmental organizations to teach children how to be safer, more confident explorers of the online world. For example, we help children practice smart tactics for analyzing and evaluating information, sharing media with care, creating strong passwords, and handling bullying. 

We’re proud that the program has been awarded the Seal of Alignment by the International Society for Technology in Education, and pleased to make it available to many more children.

Helping experts make the online world saferEmpowering vulnerable women through an anonymous chat service

We know Google can’t tackle online safety alone, so we’re partnering with cross-sector experts and developers to address evolving challenges on the web. Just this month, we announced the 29 grant recipients of the Impact Challenge on Safety, a €10 million fund to support organizations across Europe who are working to address hate, extremism and child safety. 

One of them—Mama Chat, from its headquarters in Italy—has built a chat service that gives free and anonymous support for women and girls in need. Another, the Fare Network, is working to fight racism in football. You can learn more about all the grantees on our Impact Challenge website

Helping protect your devices from attack

And of course we’re continuing to build improvements into the core of our products and services that help protect people from harm. 

For example, over the last year, we made our strongest security program more accessible than ever before, by enabling you to use your Android or iOS phone as a security key instead of a standard physical security key that you need to carry around. You shouldn’t need to be an expert in computer security to stay safe, which is why this year we’ll continue to build best-in-class security features to help keep you protected against evolving online threats wherever you are on the internet.

To learn more about our resources to help keep you and your family safer, please visit the Google Safety Center

On Safer Internet Day, Google investing in safety in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Categories: Technology

Hey Google, turn up the loveHey Google, turn up the love

GoogleBlog - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 22:45

Whether you’re planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your partner or best friends (or maybe it’ll be a day of self-care), the Google Assistant can help transform your home from forgettable to festive. On your Assistant-enabled smart speaker or Smart Display, likeNest Hub Max, just say "Hey Google, turn up the love” and let the magic unfold. The Assistant will play smooth jazz music and if you have color-changing smart lights, they’ll glow romantic red and purple tones. This feature is available in English across the globe.

Sweeten up your day by asking the Assistant:

  • “Hey Google, play romantic music.” 
  • “Hey Google, show romantic dinner recipes.”
  • “Hey Google, serenade me.”
  • "Hey Google, play a podcast about relationships.” 
  • “Hey Google, tell me a fact about love” to learn about love in the animal kingdom.
  • “Hey Google, Happy Valentine’s Day” to learn how to say “I love you” in 8 different languages (Korean, Mandarin, Hindi, French, Spanish, Danish, Gujarati, Indonesian). 
  • “Hey Google, do you love me?” to create a heartfelt poem with the Assistant.

And if you’re planning date night out on the town, the Assistant is at your service:
  • “Hey Google, show me some restaurants near me with a nice ambiance.”
  • “Hey Google, directions to a flower shop near me.”
  • “Hey Google, show me movie times.” 
No matter how you plan to spend Valentine’s Day, the Assistant can help you add a little love.
Categories: Technology

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