Celebrating technical women on stage at global Women Techmakers events
To help increase visibility, community and resources for technical women, we’re launching a series of 100+ Women Techmakers events in 52 countries to celebrate and support passionate techmakers around the world. Starting today and throughout March, the event series will feature panel discussions with talented female technology leaders, hands-on career planning workshops, networking opportunities and more. To learn more about the program and find an event near you, visit g.co/womentechmakers.
Shining a light on women in history and their collective impact
The Google Cultural Institute is launching Women in Culture, a new channel featuring exhibits that tell stories of women—some familiar and some lesser-known—and their impact on the world. Starting today, you can browse 18 new exhibits, from both new and existing Cultural Institute partners, including:
- Showcasing Great Women by The National Women’s Hall of Fame
- Makers by WETA (Makers.com: the largest video collection of women’s stories ever)
- Frida Kahlo: ¡Viva la vida! by Museo Dolores Olmedo
- Pioneering Musicians: Women Superstars of the Early Gramophone Era by Archive of Indian Music
- Pathways to Equality by the National Women’s History Museum
- The Struggle for Suffrage by English Heritage
- Profiles for Peace by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
- This Mad, Wicked Folly: Victorian American Women by the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation
- World Changing Women by Vital Voices
- The painting Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out Back of Marie’s II contributed by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
A homepage homage
Women have been underrepresented in the history-telling of almost all fields: science, school curricula, business, politics—and, sadly, doodles. In addition to our continued effort for doodle diversity and inclusion, today’s truly International Women’s Day doodle features a host of more than 100 inspiring women from around the world, including the President of Lithuania, a brave Pakistani education activist, the most recorded artist in music history, an ever-curious explorer and dozens more.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Posted by Kyle Ewing, People Operations
I too have a Samsung Galaxy Mega and I gotta say, that’s one big darn smartphone. In fact, the screen is only 1/2-inch smaller than an iPad Mini, so you can imagine that it’s a darn versatile device, serving as a big screen for movies, YouTube videos, games, etc, while also offering up all the capabilities of a fast Android device. Finding cases for it, that’s another story, but thank goodness for eBay and Amazon.com, because the local stores just stare in fascination when I show ‘em the device and ask what they have available.
Running stock Android, the Galaxy Mega offers a surprising number of photographic options if you know how to find them. And that’s all accessible through the gear icon that’s shown in the photo viewfinder — if you can see it agains the background you’re shooting!
Indeed, the first time I took the screen captures in this tutorial, it was against a busy street and I afterwards reviewed them and realized that because all the Android icons were white, they were essentially invisible against the white of the street itself. Not good. And so, photos of a brick wall to take away the distractions!
To start, tap on the Camera icon:
Honestly, is it just me or are the Android icons a bit dorky?
Ah well, tap on Camera and you’ll get a preview of what it’s ready to photograph:
As I said, an exciting brick wall.
There’s a lot going on here that’s worth exploring. Starting on the bottom left, the tiny thumbnail shows the most recent image in the gallery: tap on it and you’re looking at photos you’ve already taken. The square in the middle is the focus box, the arrow at the bottom brings up a bunch of really cool image processing options like “solarize” and “vintage”, the lower right “Mode” button lets you chose the kind of subject you’re shooting for best effect, options like “best face”, “beauty face”, and “continuous shot”, the video button on the top right switches to video recording mode and the camera button on the right in the middle is the “take the shot” button, darn useful to know.
But let’s look at the top. By default there are two buttons: the camera button with the alternate facing arrows lets you switch between the backwards facing and front facing cameras and the gear icon? That gets you to some advanced features. Tap on it and here’s what you’ll see:
From left to right, the lightning bolt controls the flash, the mic button lets you configure voice controls (so you can say “cheese!” and it takes a pic. how cute is that?), the circle with the tick mark and “OFF” is the timer (we’ll get back to that), the video camera lets you control video recording modes so you can limit the video dimensions for sharing via MMS, the line with the two dots that also says “OFF” lets you enable immediate sharing of photos and video, and the left facing angle bracket closes this strip of buttons.
To take a timed photo, tap on the timer button on this strip (the one in the middle). Now you see this on your Samsung Galaxy Mega:
Chose the delay factor that’s most appropriate and the next time you tap on the ‘take picture’ shutter button instead of it immediately taking the photograph, it’ll start a countdown timer:
For me, when the timer ran out, yes, I got another beautiful photo of a brick wall. Thrilling.
But that’s how to work with the timer mode on your Samsung Galaxy Mega tablet / phone / phablet. Easy enough, I think!
The post Take timed photos on a Galaxy Mega running Android? appeared first on Ask Dave Taylor.
Though to me she's one-of-a-kind, it turns out there are other women like my mom out there. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, women make up 30 percent of U.S. business owners and employ nearly 7.8 million workers. Even though women-owned enterprises operate with far less capital, in the venture-backed tech industry, they produce 12 percent higher returns. That means that not only is supporting women in business the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do.
In an effort to find new ways to advance female entrepreneurs, this week Google for Entrepreneurs is committing $1 million in aggregate to 40 startup-focused organizations, challenging them to increase the representation of women in their respective tech communities. From simply changing the times of events to accommodate busy moms to teaching young girls to see themselves as entrepreneurs, 40 of our partner communities will soon launch new programs and outreach initiatives to encourage women founders. We’re calling this collective effort #40Forward. Here are a few highlights from our global community:
- 1871 in Chicago is launching a new accelerator program for women founded or co-founded companies that’s more flexible and family-friendly, with a customized plan for each startup.
- Gaza Sky Geeks in Gaza is providing rewards for women attending startup events to demonstrate the economic value of them getting involved in tech to their families.
- Startup Grind chapters all over the world are hosting Women Take the Stage fireside chats featuring successful women business leaders in their communities.
- Outbox in Uganda is launching a year-long training to teach young women programming and entrepreneurial skills.
- Astia is increasing female entrepreneurs’ access to capital by creating monthly opportunities for women-led companies to pitch to world-class investors.
Along with our 40 partners, we hope to create more inclusive networks and to move the needle for entrepreneurs like my mom—and young women like me who aspire to be like her. Follow and participate in the conversation throughout the month of March using #40Forward on Google+ and Twitter.
Posted by Bridgette Sexton Beam, Global Entrepreneurship Manager
While a number of Win8 capabilities are tricky to work with, compressed folders are a breeze. In fact, you’ll be surprised how few clicks are involved in creating a special “compressed” folder and dragging whatever you’d like to include within. Having said that, I’ll also say that this feature hasn’t changed much at all in a long time and works the same in Windows 7, Vista and probably Windows ME and Windows 3.1 if you’re still running that. Well…. maybe not Windows 3.1.
I’ll demonstrate how to create a compressed folder, but it’s a bit hard to understand what it’s doing: the system presents it as if it’s just a regular data folder, but as you add things, they’re automatically being compressed, and if you attach the folder to an email, for example, it’s actually a file itself with the “.zip” suffix. Weird.
To start, go to your Desktop in Windows 8 (or any other version of Windows you might be running), and right-click on the background.
A menu pops up:
As you can see, the last entry under the “New” submenu is “Compressed (zipped) Folder”.
Choose that and a new “folder” shows up on the Desktop:
Not a very creative name, so the first thing Microsoft assumes you want to do is rename it. Since the name is already selected, simply start typing in a better name like “Miller Project” or “Africa Pics”. Or leave it as is by clicking on the Desktop.
Now you can drag files, pictures, music, movies, whatever you’d like into the folder and it’ll be compressed as it goes. I prefer to put copies of files in the folder, however, which is easily accomplished by holding down the Control key while you drag things in. That looks like this in action:
When you let go of the Control key and the mouse / trackpad, a tiny menu pops up:
Choose “Copy Here” and add everything you want to the folder .
At any point you can double-click on the folder to see how it’s doing with the compression:
You can see that I’ve added a text file (which it confusingly says is a “3 File” type), two PNG images and a MOV movie. The third column shows the compressed size of the file, the fifth the original size and – most interestingly! – the last column shows how well the compression algorithm did trying to shrink the file down. The first data file was reduced by a whopping 90%, from 37K to 4K. Impressive. On the other end of the scale, Win8 couldn’t compress the DSC00434 image at all, with the starting size and final “compressed” size the same.
Still, we went from a combined 38K down to a far more transportable 11K. Add another dozen files and the size reduction could be even more dramatic.
Note that this is also how you work with zip archives too, so if your boss says “zip it up and send it”, this is the fast way to do just that, by creating a Compressed Folder. Want to extract something? Easy enough, just drag it out of the folder.
Though it may initially not make sense, corporations really don’t want to hear from you and they don’t want your ideas.
Yup. Sorry about that.
Why? Because imagine this scenario: you have a great idea for a different way to organize email, a way that’s far better than what we have now. You contact Google’s Gmail group and eagerly share with them what you’ve come up with. What you don’t know, however, is that they already have that idea and are busy implementing it in secret. Two weeks after your chat they release the new email organizational system and you say “Hey! You stole that from me!”
See the problem? If you’re part of the company then it’s different because your inventions and ideas are covered under your employment agreement, but if you’re just part of the general public, they have no claim or ownership of your invention, which makes things dangerous for them.
And there’s a second scenario that’s just as risky for a corporation: let’s say that you do approach them and they really like what you propose. Then they meet with Susan, and after with Bill and Chetan, and guess what? They’re pitching the very same idea. Who wins? And what stops them from claiming the company stole their idea?
There’s another factor at work here too, something that investors talk about all the time: ideas are a dime a dozen, it’s all about the implementation.
You can imagine suggesting your idea to a Yahoo and they realize it’s a good one, but will cost tens of millions to implement because what you propose actually isn’t very practical. If you were to implement it and have a so-called “production” version, however, then the picture changes because you’ve proven that it’s doable, and by a team that likely doesn’t have millions in resources.
Indeed, building a small company to create and deploy your idea, to turn the idea into a business, is really the only fruitful path, even though it’s a lot of work.
Turns out that these big corporations buy small startups all the time, often 50-100 companies each year, to get the intellectual property and the team. Not a week goes by that there’s not a story about a nimble startup with some great tech being acquired by Google, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc.
But that’s because they’ve put the work in to go from an idea to a business, a huge journey.
So don’t look for the online contacts, they’re not likely to do you much good. If you have a really groundbreaking idea, I instead encourage you to start exploring how to turn that idea into a startup business, then let your success be what gets you on the radar for one of these large corporations. And good luck!
The Cambridge Audio Minx 100 is one of the best speakers I’ve had a chance to audition and for the size, you’ll be amazed at how much sound it pumps out!
Even better, it features Bluetooth and Airplay support, so just about every device, from computers to smartphones, will have an easy time pairing and using it.
The post Video review: Cambridge Audio Minx 100 wireless speaker appeared first on Ask Dave Taylor.
It’s a curious design decision on Apple’s part to allow you to pick one of the eight built-in photo processing filters for the current photo and have it remember that basically forever, until you disable the filter. I’d expect that it would reset after the current photo, but then perhaps people would complain that they have to keep selecting a photo filter if they prefer it to the default “normal” image processing model. Ya can’t win.
Turns out that the camera app actually shows you that there’s a filter selected for photo processing, but it’s crazy subtle, so subtle that I had to poke around to figure things out myself. How did I know? I didn’t, actually, I just noticed that the photos I was taking with my iPhone 5s were suddenly all yellow and not up to their usual quality.
To demonstrate how to tell when the filter is enabled and how to disable it, I have selected a very dramatic one: high contract black & white.
This means that when I go to take a photo, I face this rather weird preview:
Notice that the three circle icon on the top right are shown as three bright, primary colors. That’s how you know a filter is active. I warned you it was subtle, didn’t I?
When I take the photo, the result is, unsurprisingly, black & white:
To fix the problem, go back to the camera app as if you are going to take another picture with the filter in place.
Now tap on the three colored circles icon and you’ll bring up a view that shows you the different filter possibilities in the camera app:
The most important one is in the center: “None”. That’s the one that disables the filter.
Soo…. tap on it.
Now the preview looks a lot better:
Notice how the three circles icon on the top right are now in three shades of grey. This means we’re back to “no filter” and, of course, a photo now reveals that my crazy cat is grey, not black & white:
Yeah, he definitely looks fed up with all the photography at this point.
Anyway, learn to pay attention to the three-circle graphic on the camera app. If it’s primary colors, you have a filter enabled. If it’s grey, you’re fine and will take unfiltered images with your iPhone.
I’m glad that you’re still seeing this as a feature, because it definitely is helpful in a lot of programs. For example, the slick Bing Maps app in Microsoft Windows 8 is far more useful if it starts out at your current location rather than you having to type in your current address, and weather? I’m usually far more interested in my local weather than I am the weather across the globe.
Then again, there’s also a privacy issue. The most obvious is with photos and video. Record those with embedded geolocation info and when you post it on social media sites to share with your friends and family, you might be surprised that they can then pinpoint your exact location on a map, sometimes quite easily. If you’re sitting at home at the time, having your home address available for everyone online might be more sharing than you’re ready for. I know I disable this!
In previous versions of Windows it was hard to find this setting, but in Win8 / Win8.1 it’s not bad.
Let’s start with bringing up the Charms bar on your laptop, desktop or tablet. You know the icon:
Tap on it and you’ll see a number of options, but what you want is near the bottom:
Click on “Change PC settings” and look for “Privacy”:
Tap on “Privacy” and you’ll see a number of different options:
As the purple bar indicates, choose “Location” and you’ll see all sorts of interesting information from the Windows 8 configuration:
You can see that by default Finance, Health & Fitness, Maps, News, Travel and Weather all want to use your location information. You can turn them off individually, as I have done, or you can just choose “Off” and disable them all in one fell swoop.
You may be wondering where the photo privacy settings are — they should be here but aren’t — and the answer is that when you go to use your camera, you should see a prompt “Can Camera use your location?” which lets you say “yes” or “no”. (well, actually, “Allow” or “Block”). I wish it’d be in the Locations area as the other apps are, but so it goes…
The post Prevent Windows 8 Apps from Reporting my Location? appeared first on Ask Dave Taylor.
Yes, it’s expensive at $199, but you’ll be amazed at how much better all your audio will sound from your Mac or PC, whether it’s music, streaming radio, or even a video. Bonus: it’s super small so easily transported.