Technology

Google News Showcase is launching in CanadaGoogle News Showcase is launching in Canada

GoogleBlog - 6 hours 45 min ago

The need for reliable and credible journalism in Canada is greater today than perhaps it has ever been. Our mission here when it comes to news is simple: support Canadian journalism of all sizes.

Over the past 20 years, we have been working with the news industry and news publishers around the world to build a better future for news. We are committed to playing a role alongside other companies, governments and civil society groups in aiding the digital transformation of newsrooms and supporting quality journalism and reporting we all count on. As part of that commitment, today we’re announcing that we’re rolling out Google News Showcase, our new product experience and licensing program for news, across Canada in French and English.

We’re also announcing three new partnerships with Les coops de l’Information, Le Devoir and Torstar, who join Black Press Media, Glacier Media, The Globe and Mail, Métro Média, Narcity Media, Saltwire Network, Village Media and Winnipeg Free Press as partners with Google News Showcase. Together, these partnerships include over 100 publications across the country in both official languages.

Logos of our News Showcase partners in Canada

These deals represent support for journalism of all sizes, from the Toronto Star, which reaches millions of Canadians each month, to more regional outlets like Le Soleil or the Peterborough Examiner. Over 90% of News Showcase participants globally are local or regional publications.

Driven by our recent $1 billion global investment, News Showcase supports news publishers that are invested in comprehensive current events journalism in the public interest by giving them a new way to curate their high-quality content on Google News and Discover — and all clicks on the articles go directly to the publisher’s website. Through News Showcase, these publishers can help connect their readers with the news that matters to them.

As part of our licensing deals with publishers, we're also launching the ability for readers to access select paywalled content. This feature will give people the opportunity to read more of a publisher’s content than they would otherwise have access to, while enabling publishers to incentivize more readers to become subscribers.

An example of how News Showcase panels will look with some of our partners in Canada

This launch builds on News Showcase deals signed with nearly 1,000 news publications in more than a dozen countries, including India, Japan, Germany, Brazil, France, the U.K., Australia, Czechia, Italy, Austria, Ireland, Colombia and Argentina.

“Quality, fact-checked journalism is a vital way to connect and inform people, and a crucial tool against misinformation. News Showcase will bring more of our award-winning local and national reporting to Canadians, and the world,” says Jordan Bitove, Toronto Star publisher and Torstar co-owner. “It’s an investment into the future of our newsrooms, our top-quality journalism and the future of news.”

“Google News Showcase offers us new opportunities to bring the quality local journalism we produce to more readers,” says Stéphane Lavallée, Managing Director of Les Coops de l'information. “Enabling more audiences to connect with content from our six publications is an essential step in our ongoing digital growth. Ultimately, this new partnership with Google will help us produce even more relevant and useful content to the benefit of our communities.”

An example how different News Showcase panels look with some of our partners in Canada.

“Le Devoir is a proud partner of Google News Showcase. Today’s announcement marks a new era in our relationship. It is based on trust and a mutual understanding of our shared responsibility to strengthen the digital media landscape,” says Brian Myles, editor Le Devoir. “Google’s assistance and tools are critical in Le Devoir’s strategy to build a digital audience. We rely mainly on digital subscriptions and our business model is sustainable. In this regard, Google News Showcase fits perfectly with our current efforts to build a larger community of readers. This partnership will bring us a step forward in our digital transformation, while delivering our trusted and fact-based brand of independent journalism to a wider audience.”

News Showcase is just one of the ways we are supporting the news industry in Canada. Through our Google News Initiative, we also provide tools and training to help journalism in Canada thrive in the digital age. In June, we announced that we’re increasing our investments across a number of areas.

Over the next three years we’ll train 5,000 Canadian journalists and journalism students on strengthening digital skills in newsrooms –in addition to the 1,000 journalists we’ve already trained to date.

We are expanding our business-oriented workshops for small and mid-sized news organizations on topics including audience development, reader revenue and advertising revenue. The 10 sessions will be delivered in French and English and will use our Digital Growth Program resources and our award winning News Consumer Insights tools.

We have also just launched our first Google News Initiative Startups Boot Camp Canada in partnership with LION Publishers, an eight-week program that supports a group of aspiring, independent journalism entrepreneurs who are launching sustainable news products. Applications are now open until November 14.

All these efforts represent a collaborative effort between Google and publishers in Canada to contribute to quality journalism in this country. We’re here to support Canadian newsrooms, big and small, so that news can thrive in Canada for years to come.

Google News Showcase, our new product experience and licensing program for news, is launching across Canada in French and English.
Categories: Technology

4 YouTube series to watch on Google for Creators4 YouTube series to watch on Google for Creators

GoogleBlog - Tue, 10/26/2021 - 11:00

For many creators, YouTube is a go-to learning resource. That’s why we’ve created a series of entertaining and educational videos for the Google for Creators YouTube channel. Through interviews, hosted shows, tutorials and roundups, you’ll hear from successful creators sharing useful tips, strategies and best practices for making and monetizing content.

Here’s a little about each of our video series to help you get acquainted with the Google for Creators YouTube channel.

On an episode of “Creator Insights,” holistic wellness blogger Andi Eaton stresses the importance of finding work-life balance.

Creator Insights

Creator Insights taps into the expertise of successful content makers sharing their top insights and advice. Featured creators host a series of episodes, each one diving into a specific topic. Whether you’re interested in the value of evergreen content or the importance of setting boundaries to achieve work-life balance, you’ll get advice and easy-to-follow strategies to help you on your own creative journey. Recent Creator Insights contributors include lifestyle and beauty blogger Keiko Lynn, holistic wellness influencer Andi Eaton, and Black food and culture digital content makers Eden Hagos and Elle Asiedu — with many more to follow.

Google for Creators’ Raunak Mahesh interviews fashion blogger Tokes on an episode of "Creator Spotlight."

Creator Spotlight

Through one-on-one interviews, Creator Spotlight pulls the curtain back on interesting people creating unique online content. Learn from creators like fashion blogger Tokes of Tokes’ Take on Style about engaging your audience through live streaming; CityGirl Meets FarmBoy’s Kelly Ballard on growing an audience through Pinterest; Laughing Squid creator Scott Beale on curating viral content; and blogging expert Ryan Robinson on the ins and outs of creating online courses.

Shishir Malani hosts an episode of “Storytime” about using metrics to measure the impact of your Web Story.

Storytime

Follow along with Storytime, a weekly video series with guides for making and sharing compelling Web Stories — Google’s tappable visual stories format. Storytime gives step-by-step tutorials on Web Stories tools and features, including layout, design and monetization, to help you become a Web Stories master.

Google for Creators’ Paul Bakaus hosts the debut episode of “The Creator Update,” a rundown of the latest trends in the creator industry.

The Creator Update

If you’re having trouble keeping up with the latest trends in the creator economy, you’re not alone. Google for Creators recently launched its video series, The Creator Update, to help with just that. This hosted show shares trending topics in a bite-sized format, with a quick rundown of the latest tools, websites and people making a buzz in the creator community.

Check out all of these series by subscribing to the Google for Creators YouTube channel.

Check out a rundown of four video series on the Google for Creators YouTube channel.
Categories: Technology

Bringing COP26 to people everywhereBringing COP26 to people everywhereAlphabet and Google CFO

GoogleBlog - Tue, 10/26/2021 - 08:00

This November at COP26, global leaders will meet in Glasgow to discuss how to jointly address the challenge of climate change. Recent research has found that more than 70% of the global population is concerned or fearful about climate change. So we’re focused on making this year’s conference accessible to everyone. In partnership with the COP26 Presidency, we’ll livestream the activities through YouTube and Google Arts and Culture, helping COP26 expand the reach of its digital channels. YouTube creators at the conference will create content to share with their global audiences, and we’ll publish video, imagery and artworks from “the green zone” — the center of COP26 activity — via a new page on Google Arts and Culture, inviting people everywhere to learn about the discussions and activities taking place.

"I'm delighted COP26 is partnering with Google to help bring the Green Zone of COP26 to the world in a few days’ time,” COP President-Designate Alok Sharma said. “With more than 200 captivating and diverse events on offer we want everyone to have the opportunity to learn more about climate action and help protect our planet."

Our work at COP26 is part of our larger third decade of climate action strategy. We’re not only committed to be more sustainable in how Google operates as a business, but we’re also focused on building new technologies to make sure that partners, enterprise customers and the billions of people who use Google products every day can be more sustainable as well.

How we’re leading at Google

At Google, our goal is to achieve net zero emissions across all of our operations and value chain by 2030. We aim to reduce the majority of our emissions (versus our 2019 baseline) before 2030, and plan to invest in nature-based and technology-based carbon removal solutions to neutralize our remaining emissions.

We were the first major company to operate as carbon neutral in 2007, and have matched our energy use with 100 percent renewable energy for four years in a row. Last year we set a moonshot goal to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030 for all of our data centers and campuses. That means that by the end of the decade, we aim to deliver every search, every email, and every YouTube video without emitting carbon. We’re making strong progress — in 2020 we achieved 67% carbon-free energy on an hourly basis across our data centers, up from 61% in 2019. Five of our data centers, including those in Denmark and Finland, are at or near 90% carbon-free energy.

On our campuses we’re investing in sustainable energy innovations, like dragonscale solar and geothermal pilings, to get us closer to our goal to be carbon-free by 2030. We hope these new technologies will inspire similar projects from others that advance sustainability without compromising design and aesthetics.

How we’re enabling our partners

Urban areas are currently responsible for 70% of the world’s carbon emissions. Last year we pledged to help more than 500 cities reduce one gigaton of carbon emissions per year by 2030 via Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE). EIE is helping major cities, including Amsterdam, Birmingham UK and Copenhagen, map their emissions data, solar potential, and air quality for their remediation plans.

Technology can also help cities decarbonize in more direct ways. We recently shared an early research project that is deploying AI to help cities make their traffic lights more efficient, and we have a pilot program in Israel accomplishing this. So far, we have seen a 10-20% reduction in fuel consumption and delay time at intersections. We’re excited to expand this pilot to Rio de Janeiro and beyond.

Finally, we’re helping business customers like Whirlpool, Etsy, HSBC, Unilever and Salesforce develop solutions for the specific climate change challenges they face. Unilever is working with the power of Google Cloud and satellite imagery through Google Earth Engine to help avoid deforestation in their supply chain. At Cloud Next, we launched Carbon Footprint, a tool that helps large and small businesses understand their gross carbon emissions associated with the electricity of their Google Cloud Platform usage. This new information will help companies track progress toward their own climate targets.

How we’re aiming to empower everyone

In addition to businesses, increasingly individuals are focused on what more they can do to help the planet. That’s why we committed to help 1 billion people make more sustainable choices by 2022 through Google’s products and services. Recently, we shared several new ways people can use Google’s products to make sustainable choices — from choosing eco-friendly routes and searching for greener flights, hotels, and appliances to supporting clean energy from home with Nest and surfacing authoritative information on climate change from sources like the United Nations.

Google’s goal is to make the sustainable choice an easier choice — for governments, businesses, and individuals. We look forward to a carbon-free future and are excited to continue the conversation at COP26.

In November global leaders will meet at COP26 to address climate change. Learn more about the event on YouTube and Google Arts and Culture.
Categories: Technology

Bring your WhatsApp chat history to AndroidBring your WhatsApp chat history to Android

GoogleBlog - Tue, 10/26/2021 - 07:07

Switching to a new phone can be a daunting experience, especially if you are moving to a completely different operating system. We want to make this process easier, so with the recent Android 12 release, we added the ability to transfer all your essentials by connecting your iPhone with your new Android phone using a cable. With your permission, Android automatically matches and installs the same apps from Google Play, and lets you easily bring your SMS and iMessage history with you, along with photos, videos, contacts, calendars and more.

But we can do more, too. Historically, certain types of data were impossible to bring across when switching from an iPhone to Android. Things like your WhatsApp chat history – those cherished memories, photos, voice messages and conversations with friends and family — can be really tough to leave behind, and that's something we wanted to fix. So starting today, you can safely transfer your chat history and memories from your WhatsApp account on iPhone to Android. We worked closely with the WhatsApp team to build a new set of capabilities, all designed to make it easier to switch from iPhone to Android and take your WhatsApp history with you.

Simply connect and transfer your WhatsApp data

All you need is a USB-C to Lightning cable to get started. Simply connect your phones, and when prompted while setting up your new Android device, scan a QR code on your iPhone to launch WhatsApp and move all your conversations, media and more over to your new device.

Your WhatsApp data securely travels between two phones

Our team has worked hand-in-hand with WhatsApp to ensure your data remains protected throughout the transfer process, so no one else can ever access your WhatsApp information and files. Your WhatsApp chat history will simply be copied from your iPhone to your new Android phone, and we’ll automatically make sure you don’t receive new messages on the old device while the transfer is in progress.

This transfer capability is available on Samsung Galaxy devices and now on all Pixel phones, and will become available on new smartphones that launch with Android 12, so you’ll never lose what’s most important to you when making the switch. There’s never been a better time to switch to Android.

Starting today, you can safely transfer your chat history and important information from your WhatsApp account on iPhone to Android.
Categories: Technology

Dragonscale: a beautiful approach to solarDragonscale: a beautiful approach to solar

GoogleBlog - Mon, 10/25/2021 - 11:00

Earlier this year, we shared our plans for ‘dragonscale’ solar skin — a first-of-its kind design made up of 90,000 silver solar panels with the capacity to generate nearly 7 megawatts of energy.

To hit our goal to operate on entirely carbon-free energy by 2030, we need to prioritize alternate sources of energy, like solar, and maximize the amount of solar energy our buildings can capture. So when the designs for our newest additions to our Silicon Valley campus evolved into a large, canopy structure, we knew we’d have to think beyond traditional rectangular solar panels to create something that balanced form and function. Today, the two main buildings that have this solar roof, Bay View and Charleston East, are nearly complete.

Enter the ‘dragonscale’ solar roof

As the person responsible for looking at sustainable systems design for our real estate developments, I helped lead the efforts to engineer this new solar panel design for Charleston East and Bay View. Over the course of this project, I’ve watched these designs turn from an idea into reality.

The dragonscale solar roof that will adorn both these buildings is the result of years of product development, collaboration with a handful of partners, and examining prototypes from manufacturers all over Europe. It wasn’t easy. At one point my 7-year-old son even jumped in to help with his own design concept.

Design suggestion from Asim Tahir’s son.

Eventually, our partners at SunStyle came to us with a highly textured prismatic glass shingle with a unique coating technology. The prismatic nature of the glass ‘trapped’ light that would normally escape from traditional flat solar panels and reduced reflective glare that can be a problem for drivers and pilots. That same texture that provides all that function, also gives the overlapping panels a unique sparkle that earned it its name ‘dragonscale’.

10:25

These panels coupled with the pavilion-like rooflines let us capture the power of the sun from multiple angles. Unlike a flat roof, which generates peak power at the same time of the day, our dragonscale solar skin will generate power during an extended amount of daylight hours. This will limit our contribution to California’s notorious duck curve — which tracks the difference between energy demand and the available solar energy throughout the day. When up-and-running, Charleston East and Bay View will have about 7 megawatts of installed renewable power—generating roughly 40% of their energy needs.

Shortly after construction began, we couldn’t help but think about how we might make this form-and-function approach to building design more scalable. After all, we can’t custom design and develop a new solar solution for every project.

The construction team installs BIPV at Google’s Bay View office development. Photo by Christopher Mcanneny, Heatherwick Studio.

Going mainstream with learnings from dragonscale

Solar panels that are integrated into the design of the building, rather than added later, are known as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Integrating solar panels into a roof, like we did with dragonscale, is one approach to using BIPV. Another is incorporating them into the skin of the building. But again, the challenge is to do it in a way that looks good.

The constraints of traditional manufacturing processes also make BIPV projects more difficult. Currently, buildings featuring integrated solar panels require custom designed and manufactured panels, which only niche producers using flexible manufacturing processes with limited output can produce. For our newer buildings, we chose to use a standard solar panel size (3 feet by 5 feet) with standard panel mounts in our designs. This allowed us to use more prevalent, high-volume manufacturing processes so that production and installation could ramp up quickly and at scale.

In a relatively short amount of time, we were able to work with different manufacturers, experiment with a range of facade aesthetics, land on a few designs and share them with our construction teams. Today, two of our newer projects in the Bay Area are implementing these facade photovoltaic panels.

Two examples at our R+D Lab of exploring how to add photovoltaics on facades: rearranging standard solar panels into more visually interesting mosaics (left) and integrating solar into standard window framing (right).

Investing in sustainable energy innovations will not only get us closer to our goal to be carbon free by 2030, but it will also help our partners and others get there. We hope that sharing our approach to blending design, aesthetics and manufacturing will inspire more projects like it.

New buildings at our Silicon Valley campus will have a dragonscale solar skin — a unique design made up of 90,000 silver solar panels.
Categories: Technology

Reflections on Filipino American History MonthReflections on Filipino American History Month

GoogleBlog - Mon, 10/25/2021 - 08:00

Understanding and celebrating my Filipino roots was an important part of my childhood, and my parents always encouraged me to experience my culture firsthand. I attended elementary school in the Philippines, where I learned to speak fluent Tagalog, joined thousands in the streets to advocate for justice, and witnessed the historic People Power Revolution. Watching Corazon Aquino become the Philippines’ first female president after 20 years of Ferdinand Marcos’ rule and experiencing a culture deeply committed to community greatly influenced my Filipino-American identity.

Regina with her uncle Eyo and aunt Ninay, who raised her in the Philippines.

These days, I love helping my own daughters build a connection to their heritage through trips to the Philippines and local events in our hometown. Growing up as mixed-race Asian Americans in the Bay Area, my girls were excited to learn that Filipinos were the first Asians to reach the United States in 1587 in Morro Bay, California. Similarly, my partner speaks to our daughters mostly in Hindi to help them connect to their Indian culture. I enjoy watching them explore their multi-racial identity as they playfully refer to themselves as “Indipinos.”

Regina’s daughters playing one of their favorite games, “Sungka,” a Philippine mancala game popular in Southeast Asia.

Today, I bring my passion for culture and community into my work. I’ve led efforts to bring Googlers from around the world to the Philippines through a leadership development program, and co-founded the Filipino Googler Network (FGN), an employee resource group to connect with and support our community.

Participants from our leadership development program hike Taal Volcano in Batangas, Philippines.

For Filipino American History Month — or “Kapamilya” Month, which captures our values of family and belonging — Google and the FGN are sharing the stories of impactful people and achievements in Filipino American history.

Google Arts & Culture is featuring two new stories from the Asian Art Museum about artists Stephanie Syjuco and Santiago Bose, as well as ​10 Ways to Celebrate Filipino American History Month. There you’ll discover the incredible and diverse stories of Filipino American veterans, Tony award winners, labor movement leaders, gold medalists, and many more.

At Google, we’ve hosted many special guests to celebrate the month. That included members of the Filipino American National Historical Society, the organization that led the effort for Congress to recognize October as Filipino American History Month in the U.S. We’ve welcomed the creators of the upcoming documentary “Nurse Unseen,” which explores the history of Filipino nurses and how they’ve risked their lives on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic – including the staggering data point that nearly one third of nurses who have died from COVID-19 in the United States are Filipino. The cast and crew of “Larry: A New Musical,” which celebrates labor movement leader Larry Itliong, joined us to talk about the musical workshop. And today, we’re premiering Jordan Clarkson’s Talks at Google event, where he shared how his Filipino heritage has helped shape his successful basketball career, including winning the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award.

I often talk with my girls about how important it is to celebrate our Filipino culture beyond just this one month. And I’m proud to be part of the Filipino Googler Network, which is committed to doing so through ongoing development programs, giving campaigns, and allyship. As my daughters see this work come to life and get excited to learn more about their culture, it gives me confidence that our next generation of Filipino American leaders will carry our community’s stories of resilience, strength and courage forward.

Learn what Filipino American History Month means to this Googler, and how our employee resource group celebrates rich stories and impact.
Categories: Technology

Climate change is humanity’s next big moonshotClimate change is humanity’s next big moonshot

GoogleBlog - Sat, 10/23/2021 - 16:45

Editor’s note: Today, Google GEO Sundar Pichai spoke at YouTube’s Dear Earthevent, sharing ways Google is working to solve climate change — and why he’s optimistic we can make meaningful progress. Below is a transcript of his remarks.

Hello fellow dear earthlings. Thanks for tuning in. I can’t think of another issue that would bring together former President Obama, Pope Francis and BLACKPINK. It’s more proof that climate change is the biggest challenge we face…and it’s one that will affect all of us in deeply personal ways.

You know, there was water scarcity when I was growing up and droughts were frequent events. Over time, the water table became really low and many homes didn’t have access to fresh water. We would have to wait for rationed water to be brought in on trucks, and then wait in long lines to carry water back home.

There were times when the trucks didn’t come at all — and it was all just part of normal life.

Fast forward to 2015, I woke up to the news that Chennai had a 1-in-100 year flood and saw pictures where the whole city was submerged in water. Over two million people were displaced. It really drove home for me, in a personal way, how climate change can impact communities, especially those already facing challenges.

A couple of years after that, I woke up to orange skies and smoke from nearby wildfires in California. It was another reminder how climate change is impacting so many of our communities.

Despite these challenges, I’m still optimistic about our future.

That’s because I believe in people. Throughout history, people have made the impossible, possible. We’ve developed life-saving vaccines, expanded opportunity through the internet and landed on the moon.

Solving climate change is humanity’s next big moonshot.

But unlike the moon landing — there is a clear deadline for action, and severe consequences if we fail.

Yet there’s good news, too: There are more people focused on solving climate change than ever before. From governments and academic researchers, to companies like ours, to people like you.

And your generation is rightfully demanding solutions and holding us to account.

The other bright spot is technology. A lot can change in ten years. Ten years ago most of Google’s energy consumption was from traditional sources. Today, we match 100 percent of our energy with renewable sources.

That shows you what is possible in a decade. And now, we’re focused on the next ten years.

Rather than tell you what we’re doing — let me show you. This is what it looks like inside one of Google’s data centers.

Data centers are what make the internet run. They power the games you stream and the YouTube videos you watch. And they run on about 1% of the world’s electricity, and so changing how that electricity is generated can make a big impact on the other 99%.

That’s why we want to run our data centers on carbon-free energy, 24/7. So, in the future, every search you do, every YouTube video you watch, every Gmail you send will be powered by clean energy — sources like wind, solar, and geothermal. And our goal is to do all this by 2030.

Right now, I’m standing inside our newest building at our headquarters in California. As you can see, it’s still under construction. It will take workspace design and sustainability to a new level. The lumber is all responsibly sourced. And when it rains, we collect the water, treat it and keep it in tanks for future use.

Maybe my favorite thing about this building is the roof. The outside is covered in solar panels that remind me of a dragon’s scales. And it will generate about 40% of the energy the building uses.

Sustainable operations and design can make a big difference. So can people.

Our goal is to find new ways that our products can help one billion people make more sustainable choices in their daily lives. Like choosing the most eco-friendly route home. Or finding the nearest bike share.

These small changes can add up to a big impact — and our planet and your future deserve nothing less.

There will be moments when it feels like progress isn’t fast enough. Or that action isn’t bold enough. So be impatient. That’s what will drive progress. It’s the only thing that ever does.

If you do that, together, we can make sure our planet’s best days are still ahead.

Sundar Pichai shares why he’s optimistic we can make meaningful progress on climate change in a decade.
Categories: Technology

16 founders with disabilities using technology for good16 founders with disabilities using technology for good

GoogleBlog - Fri, 10/22/2021 - 11:00

One billion people globally — including one in four people in the U.S. — are living with a disability, making it the largest minority group in the world. However, this diverse, vibrant and powerful community is often associated with pity and limitations. I have Cerebral Palsy, which, in my case, mainly affects my legs and motor skills. I still remember my elementary school classmate telling me his dad didn’t let him play with “weird” kids. Just last week, someone stopped me on the street asking if they could pray for me. These negative stereotypes can make entering the workforce challenging for many disabled people, who are unemployed at more than double the rate of nondisabled people.

How can we start to change these misconceptions? One word: entrepreneurship.

People with disabilities are innate problem solvers. From the moment we wake up, we have to figure out how to get dressed, how to drive, how to communicate, how to live in a world that is not built to fit our needs. In fact, people with disabilities are almost twice as likely compared to non-disabled individuals to start a business.

I founded 2Gether-International (2GI) to harness this entrepreneurial mindset. As the only startup accelerator run by and for entrepreneurs with disabilities, 2GI provides resources, training, opportunities and a community to help disabled founders create a pathway to funding and success. We envision a world in which disability is recognized as a source of innovation, strength and creativity.

This National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we teamed up with Google for Startups to launch our first-ever tech edition of the 2Gether-International Accelerator. This 10-week program is tailored to support early-stage tech startups around key areas of business growth, including market fit, management, sales, marketing and negotiations. The 16 selected founders work one-on-one with industry experts, accredited business coaches, and facilitators such as Bill Bellows, professor and co-director of the Entrepreneurship Incubator at American University, to leave the program with investor-ready pitches and a network of founders and Google experts.

Congratulations to the founders and startups selected for the inaugural 2Gether International tech class:

  • Adam David Jones (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) of Zeer, a 911 enhancement that uses machine learning and connected devices to create an autonomous safety response system.
  • Arianna Mallozzi (Boston, Massachusetts) of Puffin Innovations, an assistive technology startup focused on developing solutions for people with disabilities to lead more inclusive and independent lives.
  • Beth Kume-Holland (London, U.K.) of Patchwork Hub, an accessible employment platform connecting employers to highly skilled professionals who are looking for work opportunities outside the conventional 9-to-5 office job.
  • Denis Goncharov (St. Petersburg, Russia) of NOLI Music, a smart guitar synthesizer and musical education app that facilitates distance learning and tracks progress over time.
  • Elizabeth Tikoyan (Fairfax, Virginia) of Healp, a health social network that connects patients to community and to crowdsourced health solutions.
  • Gareth Walkom (Ghent, Belgium) of WithVR, an app that uses virtual reality to prepare people with speech disorders for real-life situations.
  • Hua Wang (Alexandria, Virginia) of SmartBridge Health, which aims to democratize access to optimal cancer care to improve health outcomes for patients.
  • Kristy McCann (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) of Go Coach, a business software platform designed to help candidates grow in their careers, unlock their potential and achieve greater happiness at work.
  • Kun Ho Kim (Seoul, South Korea) of Door Labs, a startup aiming to accelerate positive social changes in the real world by creating an inclusive virtual “metaverse” in which all identities are represented and celebrated.
  • Michael Zalle (Phoenix, Arizona) of YellowBird, an on-demand marketplace connecting environmental, health, and safety professionals with corporate needs and projects.
  • Nikolas Kelly (Rochester, New York) of Sign-Speak, an AI sign language interpreter for non-signers to easily communicate with individuals who are Deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Saida Florexil (West Palm Beach, Florida) of Imanyco, a live transcription app for people who are Deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Samantha Scott (Rockville, Maryland) of JuneBrain, a company building wearables and software monitoring solutions to detect and monitor eye and brain disease outside traditional clinical settings.
  • Sheryl Mattys (Westfield, Indiana) of Fetchadates, a social networking app for single pet lovers to connect with fellow animal lovers.
  • Toshe Ayo-Ariyo (Los Angeles, California) of UInclude, a bias mitigation tool that uses machine learning algorithms to identify and eliminate implicitly biased language in recruitment material.
  • Vanessa Gill (Los Angeles, California) of Social Cipher, a social-emotional learning platform offering games and curriculums designed to help neurodiverse youth develop learning skills and construct positive boundaries.

As 2GI looks to involve corporate partners to help us expand our offerings, it is critical we work with leaders who actually understand the impact people with disabilities have on the world. Whether it is by developing accessible products, partnering with community organizations, or hiring more people with disabilities, Google has continuously supported the disability community. I trust that Google's commitment to founders with disabilities will set a precedent for greater inclusion in the startup world.

Learn more about 2GI and Google for Startups on disability rights activist Judy Heumann’s podcast The Heumann Perspective, and stay tuned for updates from our group of founders over the next three months as they build and grow not only their companies, but also the perception of disabled founders around the world.

2Gether-International (2GI) is teaming up with Google for Startups to launch an accelerator for disabled founders building tech companies.
Categories: Technology

Advancing public-private partnerships with #ShareTheMicInCyberAdvancing public-private partnerships with #ShareTheMicInCyber

GoogleBlog - Fri, 10/22/2021 - 09:00

We know diverse security teams are more innovative, produce better products and enhance an organization's ability to defend against cyber threats.

Today, cybersecurity practitioners across Google and industry are elevating the voices and expertise of Black security practitioners as part of #ShareTheMicInCyber’s public and private partnerships campaign.

Amid increasingly sophisticated and dangerous ransomware and supply chain attacks on critical infrastructure and private sector entities, cybersecurity is a global imperative that requires new ways of thinking and partnering across government, industry and academia.

In the spirit of allyship, I’m honored to #ShareTheMicinCyber with a few of the Black security practitioners I work with everyday at Google. These practitioners have worked across sectors and offer a unique perspective on public-private partnerships and how critical they are to solving the threats we face.

Jordyn Cosme, Senior Security Advisor, Google Products

“Security is a team sport that requires trust and collaboration. While business objectives or the mission of organizations may vary, we all share the goal of protecting sensitive information and data for our customers, our people, and our communities. Prior to joining Google, I advised government executive leaders on their toughest security challenges, like designing, building and maturing security programs. It was during this period that I gained a tremendous understanding for the role public-private partnership plays in helping us achieve our common goals. Much like assembling an all star team, partnerships can bring our strengths and differences together leveraging diversity of experience to achieve better outcomes.

This month’s #ShareTheMicInCyber moment will highlight the true collaboration that currently exists between the public and private sectors, but it will also provide us with clarity on the things we need to continue to work towards, like building more diverse security teams.”

Lindsay Nuon, Senior Security Advisor, Privacy Safety and Security

“I began my security career in the US Military working at the intersection of Cybersecurity and Intelligence with government agencies including NCIS, the FBI, and HHS. Now, in my role as an Advisor at Google, I’m able to draw from an intimate understanding of the unique risks and challenges that each community faces as well as the special capabilities and immense value that diversity of thought can lend to protecting our users and defending our networks. These experiences taught me first hand that effective collaboration across the public/private sector is an imperative we must wholeheartedly support in order to secure our organizations and realize our shared vision of keeping our people, assets and infrastructure safe online. Without the collective intelligence of professionals on both sides, our blindspots grow larger, our adversaries grow more sophisticated, and as a result we will fail to keep-pace with the threat landscape as it evolves. That is why it has been so cool, over the course of my career, to witness the shift from security by obscurity to a more collaborative and community driven security approach.

I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation during the public-private partnership #ShareTheMicInCyber installment.”

John Davis, Privacy Engineer, Data Protection Office

“I serve as a Staff Privacy Engineer at Google where I focus on designing privacy-protecting features into Google's products and services, and making privacy easier for users to control.

My data stewardship and cyber attribution work prior to joining Google helped me recognize the importance of public-private partnerships. Technology intersects at so many different points in our lives and it requires collaboration to work effectively and safely for everyone. This was realized for me over the past year, as I worked with Google’s anonymization team to make important COVID insights available to the public while respecting user privacy. The COVID mobility reports project was designed to help health officials and other public and private entities make critical decisions to combat COVID-19.

We all have a responsibility to work together to solve the toughest challenges we face. I look forward to engaging in meaningful discussions on this and more during #ShareTheMicInCyber.”

Yousef Saed, Technical Program Manager, Vulnerability Management

“I believe knowledge sharing within the security industry is important regardless of being in the private or public sector considering that security professionals are often working towards the same goals of protecting data, minimizing risk, and eliminating attack surfaces.

Since public and private sector organizations often have different threat models and focus areas, being able to collaborate well allows for a wider perspective and unique approaches to solving security challenges. Security is improved by collaboration rather than siloed knowledge.”

I encourage you to follow, share, retweet, and act in support of #ShareTheMicInCyber on Twitter and LinkedIn, today, October 22. By strengthening our commitment to racial equity and inclusion we can build safer and more secure products for everyone.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about #ShareTheMicInCyber, click here.

Cybersecurity practitioners across Google and industry are elevating the voices and expertise of Black security practitioners as part of #ShareTheMicInCyber’s public and private partnerships campaign.
Categories: Technology

Android Enterprise invests big in security and controlsAndroid Enterprise invests big in security and controls

GoogleBlog - Thu, 10/21/2021 - 12:00

With hybrid and remote work as the new norm, effectively managing the growing number of mobile devices has become even more important for businesses. In fact, 84% of IT leaders are investing more in enterprise mobility, with mobile security and device management topping their list of priorities.

But just spending more on security and management solutions doesn’t necessarily provide the right level of control over enterprise data. And it can often make device management overly complex and costly to maintain. For mobility to truly work in the long term, it’s critical to balance strong platform security with effortless, flexible management that scales to specific needs around user choice, privacy and control.

Android Enterprise has made big investments to help businesses manage mobility on their terms, with strong, built-in and proactive security that is proven at scale; a spectrum of capabilities for every business; and effortless, consistent and cost-effective management. Today, we’re sharing a number of new features and updates to help you successfully balance your needs and achieve your mobility goals with Android Enterprise.

A platform you can trust

For years, we’ve developed multiple layers of security for business customers — from hardware to Google security services and enterprise management tools. In fact, research firm Gartner has consistently awarded the highest security ratings for a mobile OS to Android’s operating system with Google apps and services.

Android 12 extends our commitment to the multi-layered protections of Android.

With Android 12, we’re introducing even more features for enterprise customers — including improving password complexity controls to make it easier to protect company data, and disabling USB signaling on company-owned devices to limit USB-based attacks. We’ve also launched additional privacy-preserving security controls for the Android work profile, like network logging of work apps. Read more about these Android 12 enterprise features.

Android 12 includes new privacy controls and transparency for employees

Android 12 already meets the most rigorous deployment requirements, including the United States Department of Defense's Security Technical Implementation Guide. And since we believe scrutiny and transparency are key to improving security, we’ve launched a new Android Enterprise category as part of the Android Security Rewards Program. We’re offering a reward of up to $250,000 for a full exploit on a Pixel device running Android Enterprise.

Expanded support for Zero Trust

As more mobile workers access data from remote devices outside of traditional security perimeters, companies are increasingly pursuing a Zero Trust security model. This means trust is never assumed, and access to corporate resources is continuously verified. We’ve developed many APIs and tools to support Zero Trust on Android, allowing organizations to tier access based on extensive device-based signals and security information.

We’re now supercharging the role of identity providers in Zero Trust environments on Android. Connecting their first-hand understanding of the user with a full breadth of device trust signals, identity providers can build a comprehensive analysis of trustworthiness before granting access to corporate resources. To make this happen, we are working with industry leaders to move beyond WebView for authentication and embrace Custom Tabs, which we believe is the best way for developers to integrate authentication into their apps.

While WebView is a flexible and powerful component for rendering web content, Custom Tabs are more modern and full-featured, allowing identity providers to gather device trust signals, improve employee security and enable single-sign-on across apps and the web. We’re partnering with ForgeRock, Microsoft, Okta, and Ping Identity to move the industry towards modernizing authentication.

Effortless management

Every organization is different, and has different management needs. So we’ve built a range of device management capabilities that can easily serve businesses across all sizes and sectors — whether you are managing a startup or a highly complex enterprise.

Android Management APi is the recommended method of management for customers and partners

For companies who use Android Enterprise with an Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution, we’re making management even more powerful, secure and user friendly with Android Management API. Built by the Android team at Google, this cloud-based API ensures customers receive the fastest delivery of all of our enterprise features, with best practices and Android Enterprise Recommended requirements set by default. And with the newly launched Android Management API Extensibility framework, EMMs can adjust Android Management API capabilities on the fly using on-device signals to trigger immediate policy changes and solve for unique and evolving business needs.

With this update, we’re publicly recommending Android Management API to customers and partners as our preferred method of management. More than 60 EMMs — including Microsoft, Citrix, and Google Workspace — have already launched solutions based on Android Management API with many more coming soon.

For our customers with fewer management requirements and IT resources, we launched Android Enterprise Essentials earlier this year to help provide automatic security. We’re now expanding reseller support to Mexico, Italy and Spain this quarter.

Separation for work and private life

One of the unique features of Android is the work profile, which has helped employees boost productivity, keep their personal apps and data private, and achieve a better work-life balance. And for organizations, it’s improved security for business apps and data. Previously, the work profile was only available on managed devices. Now, we’re planning to bring those same work profile benefits to unmanaged users with a business identity, too.

The Android work profile will become available to unmanaged Google Workspace users next year

This will eventually allow anyone using Android for business purposes to separate work and personal apps in one interface and pause all work-related apps in one click. This will be available to Google Workspace users first starting next year, with plans to expand to more identity providers soon after.

Join us for the Art of Control

On October 27, we're hosting a special event to talk about these new security and management solutions — and even more to come — to help you manage mobility your way. Register for the Art of Control, and find out how we’re bringing together security and management into one, uncomplicated offering. You’ll also hear from customers like the FBI, Walmart, and Schneider Electric about how they’re using Android Enterprise to achieve effortless control.

Categories: Technology

Our Content Removal Transparency Report for January to June 2021Our Content Removal Transparency Report for January to June 2021VP, Trust & Safety

GoogleBlog - Thu, 10/21/2021 - 11:30

Courts and government agencies around the world regularly require that we remove content and information from various Google services like Google Search and YouTube.

We review these demands carefully to determine if the content that is the subject of the request violates a specific local legal requirement. Because we value access to information, we work to minimize over-reaching removals whenever possible by seeking to narrow the scope of government demands and ensure that they are authorized by relevant laws.

For over a decade, we’ve also published a transparency report on Government Requests for Content Removal. This report includes only demands made by governments and courts. We report separately on requests by private actors under content-removal systems established by various governments such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the United States or the Right to be Forgotten included in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU.

Over the years, as use of our services has grown, our transparency report shows a rise in the number of government demands for content removal – as to both the volume of requests that we receive and the number of individual items of content we are asked to remove. Today’s transparency report, covering January to June 2021, represents the highest volumes we’ve seen on both measures to date.

January - June 2021 Data

Top countries by volume of requests:

  1. Russia
  2. India
  3. South Korea
  4. Turkey
  5. Pakistan
  6. Brazil
  7. United States
  8. Australia
  9. Vietnam
  10. Indonesia

Top countries by volume of items:

  1. Indonesia
  2. Russia
  3. Kazakhstan
  4. Pakistan
  5. South Korea
  6. India
  7. Vietnam
  8. United States
  9. Turkey
  10. Brazil

See the full report here.

As research by organizations like Freedom House makes clear, all online platforms are seeing a similar trend.

We’re also seeing a significant increase in the number of laws that require information to be removed from online services. These laws vary by country and region, and require the removal of content on a very wide range of issues – from hate speech to adult content and obscenity, to medical misinformation, to privacy and intellectual property violations.

Many of these laws seek to protect people online and align with Google's own platform policies and community guidelines that help ensure people have a good experience while they are using our services. But laws in some countries can also go significantly beyond those policies, affecting access to information on a range of topics.

Coupled with this, we’ve also seen new laws that impose individual liability on local employees for actions taken by a company offering online services. These types of laws have drawn concern from organizations like the Global Network Initiative because individuals can be pressured, prosecuted, and held personally liable, even when they are not responsible for the content decisions of the company they work for.

While content removal and local representative laws are often associated with repressive regimes, they are increasingly not limited to such nations. Findings from entities like the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), our own transparency report data, and any survey of international laws introduced over the past few years all point to the fact that we are likely to continue to see a rise in these types of laws across more countries around the world.

This is the transparency report from Google on Government Requests for Content Removal covering January to June 2021,
Categories: Technology

Learn a new word every dayLearn a new word every day

GoogleBlog - Thu, 10/21/2021 - 11:00

People come to Search every day to look up the definition of words – whether they want to know how the dictionary defines “love” as they write their wedding vows, or they simply came across an unfamiliar word in a newspaper article. Understanding the meaning of new words helps unlock information for people as they go about their daily lives, and worldwide in September, according to Google Trends the top-searched English definitions were “introvert” followed by “integrity.” With this in mind, we’ve created an easy-to-use feature that not only helps you learn about different words, but also sparks your curiosity.

Now, through the Google app on your phone, you can sign up to receive daily notifications that help you learn new words and some of the interesting facts behind them. For example, did you know the word “benefactor” comes from the Latin saying “bene facere,” which means “do good?”

To sign up, look up the definition of any English word – let’s say define serendipity, for example – then just click on the bell icon in the top right corner.

While this feature is currently only available in English, there are words tailored to both English learners and fluent speakers alike, and soon you will be able to choose different difficulty levels. So you can expand your vocabulary, develop your language proficiency, or just show off to your friends that you learned an interesting word or fun fact.

Check out the new feature we are launching on Search, which is helping users learn a new word every day and the interesting facts behind them.
Categories: Technology

BigCommerce merchants can now reach new customers across GoogleBigCommerce merchants can now reach new customers across Google

GoogleBlog - Thu, 10/21/2021 - 07:00

Since our earliest days, Google has been devoted to democratizing information and creating helpful resources that are accessible to as many people as possible. We've since extended that ethos to online shopping, building an open and free ecosystem that connects merchants and customers around the world. Starting today, we are making it even easier for BigCommerce’s 60,000 merchants to show up across Google.

BigCommerce works with small, medium and large merchants around the world. With this new integration, BigCommerce merchants of all sizes will be able to easily list their products for free on Google, create ad campaigns and review performance metrics directly in their BigCommerce store. This also means BigCommerce merchants can now integrate with Google’s shopping features across Search, Shopping, Image Search and YouTube.

The future of online shopping is open and free, and by teaming up with partners like BigCommerce we are expanding the opportunities for a global audience of merchants and shoppers.

BigCommerce merchants can easily integrate their product inventory across Google surfaces at no cost and in just a few clicks.
Categories: Technology

Prisha's path from YouTube vlogging to digital marketingPrisha's path from YouTube vlogging to digital marketing

GoogleBlog - Thu, 10/21/2021 - 04:00

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Prisha Bathia from our London office, whose passion for creating YouTube videos led to an interest in digital marketing and eventually a full-time job helping customers at Google.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

One of my hobbies is filming videos for my YouTube channel, where I raise awareness of my rare chronic condition called Sturge Weber Syndrome. It’s a neurological condition that affects my eyes, brain and face. I have a vascular birthmark on the left side of my face (also known as a port-wine stain), caused by larger blood vessels in my brain. It's also why I have an eye condition called glaucoma, which means I have limited vision in my left eye due to high pressure and retina detachment.

Growing up, I wasn't the most confident person. I struggled with my visible difference and I didn't see many people in the media talking about it. I wanted to change that and help others feel more confident. Part of my channel includes videos on self-confidence, bullying and my hospital journey. I also film travel vlogs to show that my condition doesn't stop me from achieving my goals.

What’s your role at Google?

At 20 years old, I’ve recently transitioned into a full-time role on the Google Customer Solutions team as an Associate Account Strategist. I manage a portfolio of small to medium businesses, educating them on Google Ads and how to get the best return on their investment.

Before that, I had an apprenticeship on the Hardware marketing team, where I supported product launches, seasonal campaigns and paid media campaigns for over 15 countries. I loved using data and Google Analytics to plan campaigns.

How did you get interested in digital marketing?

In 2018, Great Ormond Street Hospital — the hospital I volunteer with, and the one that’s treated me since I was a child — offered me a position on their digital marketing team. The role included setting up and optimizing campaigns, and analyzing data. I loved that this work was helping to raise funds for the hospital and making a real difference! That experience, combined with my own background in content creation, showed me the impact of digital presence and inspired me to pursue it as a career.

How did the Google recruitment process go for you?

I vividly remember the interview day because I met so many other amazing apprentices. It was my very first job interview so I didn't know what to expect. It was simultaneously scary and fun.

I was worried I wouldn't get the job because of my condition. Growing up, I was always anxious about my career and if my hospital life would get in the way. I worried that missing school would keep me from opportunities and negatively impact my future career, but I am so thankful that hasn’t been the case. In a way, my condition created my passion for filming and posting on social media — which led me to my career in digital marketing!

Can you tell us about accommodations at Google for your work?

Everyone at Google is so supportive and shows a genuine interest in learning more about my condition and how they can help me. They understand that my condition can worsen on random days, and that I have frequent doctor appointments.

One of the main issues that I face, especially at work, is getting tired. Because I’m only able to use my right eye, my eyes often become strained — and I struggled in the first few months of my apprenticeship. But I worked with my manager, mentor, and our employee accommodations team to make some changes to my day-to-day routine. Now we make sure that I can take regular breaks, work from home, and have flexibility to leave the office early.

Working from home in the last year has been challenging. The screen time increased significantly and caused my condition to worsen at times. But by staying transparent with my team, we found solutions. If you are navigating something similar, my biggest tip is to speak openly to your manager or someone you trust.

With voluntary return-to-work at the London office, how has the hybrid model been working for you?

I love the hybrid way of working — it's been a great way to balance work and my condition. I've been able to go to the office recently, and it's helped me reduce my screen time and think less about my chronic illness.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?

Take every opportunity you get. Each one is a chance to develop new skills and learn from mistakes. It's the best way to grow professionally and personally.

10:25Prisha Bathia’s passion for creating YouTube videos to find her voice and share her story led to an interest in digital marketing.
Categories: Technology

We support comprehensive climate and clean energy policyWe support comprehensive climate and clean energy policyChief Sustainability Officer

GoogleBlog - Wed, 10/20/2021 - 13:30

Last year we announced Google’s third decade of climate action and set an ambitious moonshot goal to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030. This means that every hour of every day, our data centers and campuses will use clean energy that doesn’t emit any carbon.

We’re already hard at work and as of 2020 we are operating at over 67% carbon-free energy across our data centers, up from 61% in 2019. We’re investing in new technologies like advanced geothermal and dragonscale solar to reduce emissions at our data centers and campuses, and are beginning to demonstrate that it’s possible to operate truly carbon free.

Beyond Google, a grid powered by clean energy will reduce a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and unleash sustainable innovation in other parts of our economy, like electrification of the transportation sector. This is good for the planet, good for business, and good for American competitiveness.

Corporate commitments for carbon-free energy are helping scale up clean energy across America, and we're seeing hundreds of companies take action. In fact, we’ve encouraged the U.S. government to adopt a 24/7 carbon-free energy goal for federal facilities and helped launch a 24/7 Carbon-free Energy Compact with SE4ALL and UN Energy.

But for us and other companies to realize this future, we need to galvanize investment and modernization of our energy infrastructure. It’s for this reason that we have supported strong climate policies like clean energy standards and renewable energy tax incentives, which have helped enable clean electricity generation to grow dramatically in dozens of states.

And it’s why we support the clean energy and climate provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure and budget reconciliation packages. These provisions provide the funding and supportive regulatory climate to promote important investments in clean energy that help the U.S. move toward a cleaner and greener energy system, putting the vision of carbon-free operations within reach.

This is a pivotal moment. Strong, comprehensive climate and clean energy policy can help lead the way to 24/7 carbon-free grids and to the transition to a 1.5°C world. The moment is now.

Why Google supports clean energy and climate provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure framework and reconciliation.
Categories: Technology

Google for Creators: Helping creators learn and growGoogle for Creators: Helping creators learn and grow

GoogleBlog - Wed, 10/20/2021 - 12:00

Whether you’re a fashion influencer, aspiring photographer or travel blogger, Google is committed to helping all content creators connect with their audiences. We believe that getting discovered on Google and having a presence on the open web is an important part of a creator’s success. So today, we’re introducing Google for Creators, a new home base for creators to learn, grow and get inspired.

Discover expert tips to grow and succeed

Google for Creators shows how the web can become part of your content mix. A quick quiz on the homepage provides personalized recommendations with topics most relevant to you. So if you’re just getting started, the quiz might recommend that you check out guides for finding a niche or creating a content strategy. Or if you’re a more seasoned creator, you might see recommendations for learning how to grow your audience and make more money.

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Take the creator quiz to get personalized recommendations for content on our site.

Get inspired by a community of creators

Our new site reflects the guidance and inspiration we’ve been sharing on our blog and YouTube channel. This includes profiles of creators like Nakisha Wynn, who started a blog for moms and has become a full-time content creator, coach and speaker. And Nomadic Matt who, after starting his travel-focused website in 2008, has become a best-selling author and still engages with the community he built on his site.

Matt Kepnes started his travel blog in 2008 and has become a two-time best-selling author, and the founder of both FLYTE and TravelCon.

Maximize your reach and control

Google for Creators has a comprehensive list of products and tools relevant for all parts of your journey as a creator on the web. This includes formats like Web Stories, which brings visual and engaging web content to Google surfaces. So far, we’ve seen more than 20 million Web Stories published, giving creators full control to monetize, host and share their content.

Creators like Marie Denee, founder of The Curvy Fashionista, are using Web Stories to reach the web’s broad audience and share their content in a visual-first way. We want to help other creators do the same, and Google for Creators is a great place to get started.

10:25

As a creator, it’s important to know if your content is resonating. On our new website, you can learn about Google products that help you understand your audience and grow your presence online. For example, Search Console Insights provides helpful data and insights in a dashboard so you can easily see how your content is performing. Creators are already seeing its value — since launching earlier this year, millions of websites are using Search Console Insights.

Search Console Insights makes it easy to understand how your content resonates with readers.

Stay connected with us

In the coming months, we’ll release much more on the site, including new guides, community programming and creator spotlights.

Sign up for our Google for Creators newsletter to hear about new content, tips and the latest Google products designed especially for creators. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel, or follow us on Instagram or Twitter. We can’t wait to see what you build, create and publish. Email us at creators@google.com or reach out to us on social to let us know what you’re working on — and what you think of Google for Creators!

Introducing Google for Creators, a new home for creators on the web with personalized guidance, product recommendations and inspiration.
Categories: Technology

How user research helped create unemployment assistance toolsHow user research helped create unemployment assistance tools

GoogleBlog - Wed, 10/20/2021 - 12:00

In 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the United States were losing their jobs or experiencing job insecurity. Over the course of the year, one in four people in the U.S. would apply for unemployment. People were looking for information on government assistance — in fact, searches for “unemployment benefits” increased by more than 5,000% in 2020.

While the pandemic caused a spike, people have long been searching for this kind of information. Back in 2019, a team at Google wanted to look into helping people navigate government services online. The team, led by User Experience Research (UXR) Manager John Webb, started looking into how Google could help. Initially, John explains, the team was seeking users’ input to build a Search feature that would explain civic services and government quickly and easily. “Obviously, things became more complex — and urgent — very quickly,” he says.

Sydney Hessel is also one of the leads on the project. She’s been a UX researcher for more than five years. As a result of COVID-19, she saw close friends lose their jobs suddenly. She knew how important this research could be. “We approached our work with empathy,” she says, “so we could deeply understand people’s experiences and how we could support them in the products we design.” The Google Experience Research Program recently relaunched its site, so more people can sign up to participate in future research like this to inform all kinds of products.

Being proactive and doing interviews in person before COVID became more serious is what allowed us to jump into building the product so quickly. It helped us create a more empathetic tool. John Webb
Google UXR Manager

As 2019 became 2020, the User Research team began recruiting study participants from a diverse group of people from different backgrounds and industries who’d been laid off, furloughed or had their shifts cut during COVID’s early days. Then, they used Google Meet for in-depth, one-on-one interviews. “We asked about their job situation, what they saw as their next steps to make ends meet and how Search could be designed to better support them,” Sydney says. Everyone from product managers to engineers joined the sessions.

“Our team also conducted both in-person and remote studies with more than 100 people,” John says. “Before COVID-19, we had teams in many different places, working to understand what people in these places needed.” On-the-ground research was cut short and interviewing moved to Google Meet, which John says went pretty smoothly. Being able to continue interviews via video calls was essential, and meant that people could offer insight about employment conditions as they developed. Plus, the early, in-person research had its benefits, too. “Being proactive and doing interviews in person before COVID became more serious is what allowed us to jump into building the product so quickly,” John explains. “It helped us create a more empathetic tool — we were more aware of cultural nuances, and how people in different countries with different government benefits would need different kinds of help.”

Information about unemployment benefits eligibility and other government services can be hard to understand, making it difficult to navigate the process and make informed decisions. “We actually found that a lot of the people we talked to didn’t even know there were benefits they qualified for,” John says. So UXR took what they learned back to product teams at Google — which soon led to the launch of new, dedicated information panels in Search for Unemployment and other benefits. These information panels include robust local information about eligibility, as well as direct links and information about how to apply in each state.

Sydney says seeing the team’s research inform the design of the product — and such an important one — was incredibly encouraging. “It was a really moving and motivating experience for the whole team,” she says. “These interviews fired us up to build quickly and intentionally for the many people facing economic hardship during this time.”

We encourage everyone to help shape the future of Google and our products. Sign up to lend your insights to the Google Research team.

Related Article

An update on our efforts to help Americans navigate COVID-19

How we’re keeping people safe and getting American businesses back up and running during COVID-19.

Read Article
Behind the scenes of how Google’s User Experience Research team helped build new unemployment and job tools.
Categories: Technology

Simple device management with Android Enterprise EssentialsSimple device management with Android Enterprise Essentials

GoogleBlog - Wed, 10/20/2021 - 12:00

Editor’s note: Today’s guest post is from William Vincent, Financial Controller, S. Morris Ltd.

S. Morris Ltd. is a family-owned business that creates and delivers high-quality construction materials to customers throughout southwest England. With products like concrete blocks and bricks, ready-mix concrete and flooring materials, we provide our customers with many of their building project essentials.

Strong customer service and timely delivery are key to our success, and we’re always looking to refine our operations. In fact, we recently shifted our ordering and delivery confirmation processes from paper to digital. As part of this move, we wanted to provide mobile devices to our delivery drivers so they could easily confirm orders and accept digital signatures.

To protect company data, we needed to have the right device management. But we didn’t want an overly complex solution. My team has many responsibilities, so we needed a smooth and efficient way to manage these devices. Android Enterprise Essentials was just what we were looking for — an easy way to manage Android devices with the security controls we needed to ensure data security and privacy for our small business.

Simple, secure device management

Setting up devices and getting them into the hands of our delivery drivers was quick and easy. We selected Samsung Galaxy A02 devices from our service provider Tela, which arrived at our office ready to use, right out of the box.

With Essentials, we were able to enforce necessary security policies, like requiring a PIN code to unlock the device and ensuring that the malware protection provided by Google Play Protect is always in place. Our devices are regularly shared among different drivers we contract with, some of whom will also work for our competitors. So when a contractor has completed their assignment, I simply jump into the portal and assign a new PIN to a device.

Our delivery teams have a lot to keep track of. With Android devices, they now have access to business-critical apps that make the delivery process smoother for our team and customers. And Essentials ensures that this customer data is secure on the device. No more paper receipts, and our inventory is automatically up to date.

New digital efforts through Essentials

Our success with Essentials has inspired us to look at other areas of the business that would benefit from digitization through Android — like capturing, sharing and saving information more efficiently. With Essentials’ security features and simple management tools, we’ll have the ability to scale our efforts with ease.

Categories: Technology

Inspiring 1.4 million students to learn computer scienceInspiring 1.4 million students to learn computer science

GoogleBlog - Wed, 10/20/2021 - 11:00

For many of the challenges our world faces — like access to healthcare and climate change — technology will be part of the solution. For those solutions to affect change, the technologists behind them should be reflective of everyone. However, in the U.S. today 26% of computing professionals are women, 8% are Hispanic and 9% are Black.

Access to education is at the root of this inequity. Girls, historically underrepresented groups and students from small and rural towns are less likely to have the opportunity to build interest and confidence in computer science and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills. To help make sure every student has the chance to build confidence and interest in computer science, 4-H, an organization working to give all youth equal access to opportunity, with Google.org support, created the Computer Science Pathway. This program teaches technical subjects — like data analytics and robotics — and equips students with essential life skills — like problem-solving and leadership.

In 2019, 4-H and Google.org set a goal that with Google.org’s support, 4-H would introduce one million students to computer science within three years. Members of our own Code with Google team assisted the National 4-H Council and local 4-H chapter leaders to pilot, train and iterate for several months to help establish the foundations of the Computer Science Pathway program. Fast forward to now, just two years later, and 4-H has already reached over 1.4 million students. Of those 1.4 million, 47% are from historically underrepresented groups in computer science, 65% live in rural areas and 56% of teen leaders for the program are girls.

These numbers represent real kids finding their voice, discovering a brighter future and realizing their dreams.

  • Aubree from Utah is using her newfound voice to encourage educators to offer computer science in their schools. “I am only the beginning of a long list of students,” says Aubree. “My greatest hope is that I will never be the end.”
  • Jeffery from South Carolina says the program inspired him to reach for a brighter future. “I want to become a Computer Engineer and create innovation that improves our daily lives.”
  • Aja from Illinois was looking for a place to belong as a student with learning difficulties. Now, she has her very own organization, See Me in STEM, to empower minority youth to get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “4-H inspired me to be the change I wanted to see.”
10:25

Throughout this journey, the 4-H team brought together nonprofits, businesses, community leaders and schools to create an inclusive and impactful computer science program for all ages across 50 states. For others looking to create computer science programs, here are a few things 4-H learned to help each and every student achieve their potential.

  1. Teach life skills, create career pathways, and provide ongoing mentorship to make computer science skills relevant.
  2. Develop equitable, accessible and inclusive content. Weave in teachings to relevant topics or existing student interests, partner with community organizations and invest in a technology lending infrastructure.
  3. Invest in your staff and volunteers. Provide regular training sessions, build a strong community culture and hire full-time employees with experience in computer science and proven approaches to engage youth.

As a 4-H alum myself, I’m proud to celebrate this incredible milestone and achievement toward equitable education and opportunities. We believe that the Computer Science Pathway, and the 4-H team’s thoughtful evaluation and collected learnings, will help make the future brighter — not just for the students who participate, but for their communities and the world as a whole. As we face global challenges, we’ll need the best and brightest out there solving them.

4-H and Google.org aimed to introduce 1 million students to computer science, and exceeded that goal early.
Categories: Technology

Phishing campaign targets YouTube creators with cookie theft malwarePhishing campaign targets YouTube creators with cookie theft malware

GoogleBlog - Wed, 10/20/2021 - 09:00

Google’s Threat Analysis Group tracks actors involved in disinformation campaigns, government backed hacking, and financially motivated abuse. Since late 2019, our team has disrupted financially motivated phishing campaigns targeting YouTubers with Cookie Theft malware.

The actors behind this campaign, which we attribute to a group of hackers recruited in a Russian-speaking forum, lure their target with fake collaboration opportunities (typically a demo for anti-virus software, VPN, music players, photo editing or online games), hijack their channel, then either sell it to the highest bidder or use it to broadcast cryptocurrency scams.

In collaboration with YouTube, Gmail, Trust & Safety, CyberCrime Investigation Group and Safe Browsing teams, our protections have decreased the volume of related phishing emails on Gmail by 99.6% since May 2021. We blocked 1.6M messages to targets, displayed ~62K Safe Browsing phishing page warnings, blocked 2.4K files, and successfully restored ~4K accounts. With increased detection efforts, we’ve observed attackers shifting away from Gmail to other email providers (mostly email.cz, seznam.cz, post.cz and aol.com). Moreover, to protect our users, we have referred the below activity to the FBI for further investigation.

In this blog, we share examples of the specific tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) used to lure victims, as well as some guidance on how users can further protect themselves.

Tactics, techniques and procedures

Cookie Theft, also known as “pass-the-cookie attack,” is a session hijacking technique that enables access to user accounts with session cookies stored in the browser. While the technique has been around for decades, its resurgence as a top security risk could be due to a wider adoption of multi-factor authentication (MFA) making it difficult to conduct abuse, and shifting attacker focus to social engineering tactics.

Social engineering YouTubers with advertisement offer

Many YouTube creators provide an email address on their channel for business opportunities. In this case, the attackers sent forged business emails impersonating an existing company requesting a video advertisement collaboration.

Example phishing email message

The phishing typically started with a customized email introducing the company and its products. Once the target agreed to the deal, a malware landing page disguised as a software download URL was sent via email or a PDF on Google Drive, and in a few cases, Google documents containing the phishing links. Around 15,000 actor accounts were identified, most of which were created for this campaign specifically.

Fake software landing pages and social media accounts

The attackers registered various domains associated with forged companies and built multiple websites for malware delivery. To date, we’ve identified at least 1,011 domains created solely for this purpose. Some of the websites impersonated legitimate software sites, such as Luminar, Cisco VPN, games on Steam, and some were generated using online templates. During the pandemic, we also uncovered attackers posing as news providers with a “Covid19 news software.”

Lure message and landing pages for the forged covid news software.

In one case, we observed a fake social media page copying content from an existing software company. The following screenshot is an example of a fake page where the original URL is replaced with one leading to a cookie theft malware download.

Original (left) and fake (right) instagram accounts

Because Google actively detects and disrupts phishing links sent via Gmail, the actors were observed driving targets to messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram or Discord.

Delivering cookie theft malware

Once the target runs the fake software, a cookie stealing malware executes, taking browser cookies from the victim’s machine and uploading them to the actor's command & control servers. Although this type of malware can be configured to be persistent on the victim's machine, these actors are running all malware in non-persistent mode as a smash-and-grab technique. This is because if the malicious file is not detected when executed, there are less artifacts on an infected host and therefore security products fail to notify the user of a past compromise.

We have observed that actors use various types of malware based on personal preference, most of which are easily available on Github. Some commodity malware used included RedLine, Vidar, Predator The Thief, Nexus stealer, Azorult, Raccoon, Grand Stealer, Vikro Stealer, Masad (Google’s naming), and Kantal (Google’s naming) which shares code similarity with Vidar. Open source malware like Sorano and AdamantiumThief were also observed.Related hashes are listed in the Technical Details section, at the end of this report.

Most of the observed malware was capable of stealing both user passwords and cookies. Some of the samples employed several anti-sandboxing techniques including enlarged files, encrypted archive and download IP cloaking. A few were observed displaying a fake error message requiring user click-through to continue execution.

Fake error window require user click through

Cryptocurrency scams and channel selling

A large number of hijacked channels were rebranded for cryptocurrency scam live-streaming. The channel name, profile picture and content were all replaced with cryptocurrency branding to impersonate large tech or cryptocurrency exchange firms. The attacker live-streamed videos promising cryptocurrency giveaways in exchange for an initial contribution.

On account-trading markets, hijacked channels ranged from $3 USD to $4,000 USD depending on the number of subscribers.

Hack-for-Hire attackers

These campaigns were carried out by a number of hack-for-hire actors recruited on Russian-speaking forums via the following job description, offering two types of work:

This recruitment model explains the highly customized social engineering, as well as the varied malware types given each actor's choice of preferred malware.

Protecting our users from attacks

We are continuously improving our detection methods and investing in new tools and features that automatically identify and stop threats like this one. Some of these improvements include:

  • Additional heuristic rules to detect and block phishing & social engineering emails, cookie theft hijacking and crypto-scam livestreams.
  • Safe Browsing is further detecting and blocking malware landing pages and downloads.
  • YouTube has hardened channel transfer workflows, detected and auto-recovered over 99% of hijacked channels.
  • Account Security has hardened authentication workflows to block and notify the user on potential sensitive actions.

Sensitive action blocked in account

It is also important that users remain aware of these types of threats and take appropriate action to further protect themselves. Our recommendations:

  • Take Safe Browsing warnings seriously. To avoid malware triggering antivirus detections, threat actors social engineer users into turning off or ignoring warnings.
  • Before running software, perform virus scanning using an antivirus or online virus scanning tool like VirusTotal to verify file legitimacy.
  • Enable the “Enhanced Safe Browsing Protection” mode in your Chrome browser, a feature that increases warnings on potentially suspicious web pages & files.
  • Be aware of encrypted archives which are often bypassing antivirus detection scans, increasing the risk of running malicious files.
  • Protect your account with 2-Step-verification (multi-factor authentication) which provides an extra layer of security to your account in case your password is stolen. Starting November 1, monetizing YouTube creators must turn on 2-Step Verification on the Google Account used for their YouTube channel to access YouTube Studio or YouTube Studio Content Manager.

Additional resources: Avoid & Report Phishing Emails.

Technical Details

Related Malware hashes:

  • RedLine (commodity)
    • 501fe2509581d43288664f0d2825a6a47102cd614f676bf39f0f80ab2fd43f2c
    • c8b42437ffd8cfbbe568013eaaa707c212a2628232c01d809a3cf864fe24afa8
  • Vidar (commodity)
    • 9afc029ac5aa525e6fdcedf1e93a64980751eeeae3cf073fcbd1d223ab5c96d6
  • Kantal (share code similarity with Vidar)
    • F59534e6d9e0559d99d2b3a630672a514dbd105b0d6fc9447d573ebd0053caba (zip archive)
    • Edea528804e505d202351eda0c186d7c200c854c41049d7b06d1971591142358 (unpacked sample)
  • Predator The Thief (commodity)
    • 0d8cfa02515d504ca34273d8cfbe9d1d0f223e5d2cece00533c48a990fd8ce72 (zip archive)
  • Sorano (open source)
    • c7c8466a66187f78d953c64cbbd2be916328085aa3c5e48fde6767bc9890516b
  • Nexus stealer (commodity)
    • ed8b2af133b4144bef2b89dbec1526bf80cc06fe053ece1fa873f6bd1e99f0be
    • efc88a933a8baa6e7521c8d0cf78c52b0e3feb22985de3d35316a8b00c5073b3
  • Azorult (commodity)
    • 8cafd480ac2a6018a4e716a4f9fd1254c4e93501a84ee1731ed7b98b67ab15dd
  • Raccoon (commodity)
    • 85066962ba1e8a0a8d6989fffe38ff564a6cf6f8a07782b3fbc0dcb19d2497cb
  • Grand Stealer (commodity)
    • 6359d5fa7437164b300abc69c8366f9481cb91b7558d68c9e3b0c2a535ddc243
  • Vikro Stealer (commodity)
    • 04deb8d8aee87b24c7ba0db55610bb12f7d8ec1e75765650e5b2b4f933b18f6d
  • Masad (commodity)
    • 6235573d8d178341dbfbead7c18a2f419808dc8c7c302ac61e4f9645d024ed85
  • AdamantiumThief (open source)
    • Db45bb99c44a96118bc5673a7ad65dc2a451ea70d4066715006107f65d906715

Top Phishing Domains:

  • pro-swapper[.]com
  • downloadnature[.]space
  • downloadnature[.]com
  • fast-redirect[.]host
  • bragi-studio[.]com
  • plplme[.]site
  • fenzor[.]com
  • universe-photo[.]com
  • rainway-gaming[.]com
  • awaken1337[.]xyz
  • pixelka[.]fun
  • vortex-cloudgaming[.]com
  • vontex[.]tech
  • user52406.majorcore[.]space
  • voneditor[.]tech
  • spaceditor[.]space
  • roudar[.]com
  • peoplep[.]site
  • anypon[.]online
  • zeneditor[.]tech
  • yourworld[.]site
  • playerupbo[.]xyz
  • dizzify[.]me
Google’s Threat Analysis Group tracks actors involved in disinformation campaigns, government backed hacking, and financially motivated abuse. Since late 2019, our team has disrupted financially motivated phishing campaigns targeting YouTubers with Cookie Theft malware.
Categories: Technology

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