May is Bike Month, why not give pedaling a try?

By guest blogger Ann Briggs

Bicyclists enjoying a ride on one of Washington’s
many bike paths
Is your bicycle sitting in a corner of the garage gathering dust? Have you considered skipping the traffic jams and pedaling to your destination instead? What would it take for you to give up your four wheels for just one day and give two wheeling a try?

Governor Inslee has proclaimed May as Bike Month in Washington and May 13 to 17 is National “Bike to Work Week,” culminating in “Bike to Work Day” on Friday, May 17. So here’s an open challenge to you:  Pump up the tires, check the chain, dig out your helmet and safety gear, plan your route and give those wheels a spin!

A bicyclist and vanpooler
“Why?” you ask. How about, you’ll get some great exercise and can skip the gym tonight. Or, you won’t have to pay for gas and parking today. And, you’ll be doing something good for your community by not burning fuel and taking one more car off the road.

Trying something new can be scary at first, so we asked some of our regular bicycle commuters for advice on getting started and to share their experience. Here are their tips and stories:

Mike, a Web applications developer, has been a bicycle commuter for 16 years. He rides six miles to work nearly every day during the summer and travels by bike about half of the year overall. His tip: “Research your route. Find routes with good lighting and fewer vehicles and look for trails or shortcuts that are inaccessible by car. Exploring is half the fun.” Mike also recommends that you find a bicycle that fits and is comfortable to ride. “It’s much easier to stay consistent and enjoy the commute on a bicycle that fits you properly.” On Mike’s essential equipment list are helmet, patch kit, bicycle pump and side-view mirror, which he notes is especially useful on narrow roads with little or no shoulder to ride on.

Jenna, a construction analyst, has a goal to commute the 11 miles to work, twice a week, from May through October. She advises, “Keep it fun when you’re starting out. You don’t have to bike to work every day, just do it when you feel the urge.” On her essentials list are waterproof shoes, fenders and rain suit, along with a watertight container for rainy weather. “Everything that isn’t covered in a waterproof container will be wet – your change of clothes, wallet and other personal items that are along for the ride.” Trust her on this one – she speaks from experience.

Bicyclist utilizing Sound Transit
A relatively new bicycle commuter and tribal liaison, Megan, grew up in Bothell along the Burke Gilman trail. “I hadn’t ridden a bike in years, but starting up made me feel like a kid again!” She bikes the two miles to work two to three times a week between spring and fall. Her advice is to pack up your things the night before so that in the morning you can get on your bike and go. She also leaves an extra pair of shoes at work so she doesn’t have to haul them back and forth. Making sure there are no surprises is important to her. “Try out your route on a weekend, when there’s no pressure to get to or from work. That way, you’ll know what to expect and you can make adjustments as needed.”

Anna, a transportation planning specialist, started commuting the five miles to work for the exercise and to use her birthday gift – a “beautiful bicycle.” She explained, “I really love how stimulating it is – the physical movement, the smells, the feeling of a misty morning, the quietness when you’re riding on a path at 7 in the morning – and I love the feeling of accomplishment when I arrive at work under my own power!”  On her essentials list are a U-shaped bike lock (her cable lock was cut and her original bike stolen); strong, bright bike lights; biking gloves and a waterproof biking jacket. Her advice: “Ride as if you are invisible and obey all the rules of the road. Don’t assume drivers see you until you see them respond to your presence – make eye contact.”

Long-time cyclist, Streator, an administrative risk manager, has been pedaling to work for about 14 years. For him, bicycling the 2.5 miles to work is an everyday occurrence. “It just seems to be the right thing to do – for my health, for my pocketbook, for the environment.” His advice: “Just do it!”

So give bicycling to work a try. Let us know how it worked for you.

Matt Harding: Around the world, one dance at a time with Google Maps

Today is International Dance Day, a celebration of a universal art form that spans cultures and countries. But dancing isn’t just limited to holidays. Since 2003, Matt Harding has famously been dancing his way across the globe with people from all walks of life and sharing to millions on his YouTube channel. His mission is simple: Dance. Dance with everyone. Dance everywhere. Dance to spread joy.

Matt’s journey began with a serendipitous, single dance step in Hanoi. While traveling through Southeast Asia, his friend encouraged him to dance for the camera—and he just kept dancing. At first, he was amused by the idea of capturing himself dancing in front of famous landmarks and in famous cities around the world. Since then, Matt’s videos have evolved beyond a single man dancing; his videos now focus on individuals that gather together to share in the fun of dance, as you can see in his 2012 YouTube film.

The joy that goes into Matt’s work is apparent—and well documented. However, there’s also a fair amount of planning involved to choreograph his efforts. Matt relies on Google Maps for comprehensive, accurate and useful tools to execute and track his steps.

Before he sets off on each adventure, Matt uses Google Maps to scout various locations. Using Street View and photos in Google Maps, he finds landmarks and points of interest around the globe that are prefect dance spots. For instance, he came across Piazza del Popolo while exploring Rome with Street View. These tools come in handy to help Matt choose a backdrop to highlight his assembly of exuberant, local dancers.

Piazza del Popolo in Rome - View Larger Map

Scouting is only part of the process. Once Matt has coordinated a group in a city, he helps everyone get to the designated destination by creating a customized My Map and sharing it with the participants so they can easily navigate to the planned meetup location. The end result is something everyone around the world can relate to.

Follow Matt as he continues to travel the world on his site

Keep dancing!

Google Now on your iPhone and iPad, with the Google Search app

Many of us can no longer imagine life without our smartphones. We use them for all sorts of things, like getting reminders of important calendar appointments (say, a first date), and driving directions to the Italian restaurant where your table for two awaits. Today, with the launch of Google Now on iPhone and iPad, your smartphone will become even smarter.

Google Now is about giving you just the right information at just the right time. It can show you the day’s weather as you get dressed in the morning, or alert you that there’s heavy traffic between you and your butterfly-inducing date—so you’d better leave now! It can also share news updates on a story you’ve been following, remind you to leave for the airport so you can make your flight and much more. There’s no digging required: cards appear at the moment you need them most—and the more you use Google Now, the more you get out of it.

Google Now for iPhone and iPad is available as part of the updated Google Search app. Together, Google Now and voice search will make your day run a little smoother.

In addition to the handy cards in Google Now, the Google Search app still gives you instant answers to all your questions. Try tapping the microphone and speak to your phone—you’ll get quick answers spoken back to you. For example, ask Google, “Do I need an umbrella this weekend?” and you’ll get the forecast. Or ask “Who’s in the cast of ‘Oblivion’?” to decide if you want to see it. Voice Search is particularly handy on the go—try "Show me nearby pizza places" and you'll see a map of restaurants around you with directions, phone numbers, ratings and hours.

Get the Google Search app with Google Now from the App Store. Drag it to the tray, open it, sign in and you’re ready to go.

The Big Tent comes to Washington

When we started holding our Big Tent events in London two years ago, we wanted to stir up lively conversation about some of the hot topics relating to the Internet and society. After all, the political meaning of a “big tent” is to attract diverse viewpoints to come together in one place. Since then, we’ve held more than 20 Big Tents on three different continents to debate issues ranging from arts and culture online to the economic impact of the web.

Later today, the Big Tent is coming to Washington, D.C. for the first time. Along with our partner Bloomberg, we'll hear from some of the top names in media, government and the arts for discussions about one of the values we hold most dear: the right to free expression.

Can free speech survive in the digital age? At a time when too many governments deny their citizens the right to dissent, we’ll ask if the Internet is reaching its promise of empowering people around the world. We’ll have sessions on the limits to free speech online, national security in the Internet age, and creativity and freedom on the web.

Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt and senior vice president and chief legal officer David Drummond will be joined by a variety of speakers, including former U.S. attorney general Alberto Gonzales, deputy secretary of homeland security Jane Holl Lute, Bloomberg chief content officer Norman Pearlstine, former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller, and Saudi Arabian comedian and YouTube star Omar Hussein.

Things kick off at 1:30pm EDT today—you can watch the entire event on Bloomberg’s live stream and tune in to the Big Tent Google+ page for updates as the event unfolds. Later on, we’ll also upload video clips to the Big Tent YouTube channel. We hope you’ll join us for exciting conversations about how to best keep the Internet free and open.

Two Googlers elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

On Wednesday, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced its list of 2013 elected members. We’re proud to congratulate Peter Norvig, director of research, and Arun Majumdar, vice president for energy; two Googlers who are among the new members elected this year.

Membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is considered one of the nation’s highest honors, with those elected recognized as leaders in the arts, public affairs, business, and academic disciplines. With more than 250 Nobel Prize laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize winners among its fellows, the American Academy celebrates the exceptional contributions of the elected members to critical social and intellectual issues.

With their election, Peter and Arun join seven other Googlers as American Academy members: Eric Schmidt, Vint Cerf, Alfred Spector, Hal Varian, Ray Kurzweil and founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, all of whom embody our commitment to innovation and real-world impact. You can read more detailed summaries of Peter and Arun’s achievements below.

Dr. Peter Norvig, currently director of research at Google, is known most for his broad expertise in computer science and artificial intelligence, exemplified by his co-authorship (with Stuart Russell) of the leading college text, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. With more than 50 publications and a plethora of webpages, essays and software programs on a wide variety of CS topics, Peter is a catalyst of fundamental research across a wide range of disciplines while remaining a hands-on scientist who writes his own code. Recently, he has taught courses on artificial intelligence and the design of computer programs via massively open online courses (MOOC). Learn more about Peter and his research on

Dr. Arun Majumdar leads’s energy initiatives and advises Google on its broader energy strategy. Prior to joining Google last year, he was the founding director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), where he served from October 2009 until June 2012. Earlier, he was a professor of mechanical engineering as well as materials science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and headed the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has published several hundred papers, patents and conference proceedings. Find out more about Arun.

Transparency Report: More government removal requests than ever before

Three years ago when we launched the Transparency Report, we said we hoped it would shine some light on the scale and scope of government requests for censorship and data around the globe. Today, for the seventh time, we’re releasing new numbers showing requests from governments to remove content from our services. From July to December 2012, we received 2,285 government requests to remove 24,179 pieces of content—an increase from the 1,811 requests to remove 18,070 pieces of content that we received during the first half of 2012.

As we’ve gathered and released more data over time, it’s become increasingly clear that the scope of government attempts to censor content on Google services has grown. In more places than ever, we’ve been asked by governments to remove political content that people post on our services. In this particular time period, we received court orders in several countries to remove blog posts criticizing government officials or their associates.

You can read more about these requests by looking at the annotations section of the Transparency Report. Of particular note were three occurrences that took place in the second half of 2012:

  • There was a sharp increase in requests from Brazil, where we received 697 requests to remove content from our platforms (of which 640 were court orders—meaning we received an average of 3.5 court orders per day during this time period), up from 191 during the first half of the year. The big reason for the spike was the municipal elections, which took place last fall. Nearly half of the total requests—316 to be exact—called for the removal of 756 pieces of content related to alleged violations of the Brazilian Electoral Code, which forbids defamation and commentary that offends candidates. We’re appealing many of these cases, on the basis that the content is protected by freedom of expression under the Brazilian Constitution.
  • Another place where we saw an increase was from Russia, where a new law took effect last fall. In the first half of 2012, we received six requests, the most we had ever received in any given six-month period from Russia. But in the second half of the year, we received 114 requests to remove content—107 of them citing this new law.
  • During this period, we received inquiries from 20 countries regarding YouTube videos containing clips of the movie “Innocence of Muslims.” While the videos were within our Community Guidelines, we restricted videos from view in several countries in accordance with local law after receiving formal legal complaints. We also temporarily restricted videos from view in Egypt and Libya due to the particularly difficult circumstances there.

We’ve also made a couple of improvements to the Transparency Report since our last update:

  • We’re now breaking down government requests about YouTube videos to clarify whether we removed videos in response to government requests for violating Community Guidelines, or whether we restricted videos from view due to local laws. You can see the details by scrolling to the bottom of each country-specific page.
  • We’ve also refreshed the look of the Traffic section, making it easier to see where and when disruptions have occurred to Google services. You can see a map where our services are currently disrupted; you can see a map of all known disruptions since 2009; and you can more easily navigate between time periods and regions.

The information we share on the Transparency Report is just a sliver of what happens on the Internet. But as we disclose more data and continue to expand it over time, we hope it helps draw attention to the laws around the world that govern the free flow of information online.

Celebrating the 50th country on Street View

Whether you're planning a summer vacation to visit the Colosseum or exploring potential neighborhoods for your next move, Street View gives you instant access to the places you want to see—even before you leave the house. We launched Street View in 2007 in five U.S. cities to give you what we called a “feet on the ground” experience and have since been growing the program to make it more comprehensive, accurate and useful for everyone.

Today, we’ve reached 50 countries with the launch of Street View in Hungary and Lesotho and are significantly expanding our coverage in Poland and Romania, among other locations around the world. This is also the largest single update of Street View imagery we’ve ever pushed, including new and updated imagery for nearly 350,000 miles of roads across 14 countries.

Now you can take a virtual stroll through the historic center of Budapest, right along the Danube (the river that carves the city in two). See the Hungarian Parliament building or the famous Chain bridge.

Budapest, Lánchíd (Chain bridge)

Other Hungarian treasures to be discovered include the Széchenyi thermal bath, the largest medicinal bath in Europe, as well as the wonders of Buda castle.

Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, is the only independent state that sits entirely 1,000m or more above sea level. Explore some of the mountainous imagery captured by our Street View cars, including the winding roads and lakes.

Leribe District, Lesotho

Other sights include the Lesotho Evangelical Church, which is one of Africa's oldest Protestant churches, founded in 1833 by missionaries from Paris, and the traditional architecture in Nkesi, Maseru.

We’re also refreshing and expanding existing Street View coverage in France, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore and Thailand. And, we’ve added new special collections of a host of picturesque spots—using our Street View Trike technology—including Portugal’s Pena National Palace, or the Sha Tin Che Kung Temple in Hong Kong or the Kilkenny Castle in Ireland.

Kilkenny Castle, Ireland

From the first handful of U.S. cities, to the now thousands of cities and villages worldwide, we’ve spent the past six years updating Google Maps for you. From Antarctica to Australia, from South Korea to South Africa, from the snow-capped peaks of Everest to the Great Barrier Reef, you can navigate more than 5 million miles of the world, without ever leaving home. So spin the globe and take a walk through any one of the 50 countries now on Street View.

A new kind of summer job: open source coding with Google Summer of Code

If you’re a university student with CS chops looking to earn real-world experience this summer, consider writing code for a cool open source project with the Google Summer of Code program.

Over the past eight years more than 6,000 students have “graduated” from this global program, working with almost 400 different open source projects. Students who are accepted into the program will put the skills they have learned in university to good use by working on an actual software project over the summer. Students are paired with mentors to help address technical questions and concerns throughout the course of the project. With the knowledge and hands-on experience students gain during the summer they strengthen their future employment opportunities in fields related to their academic pursuits. Best of all, more source code is created and released for the use and benefit of all.

Interested students can submit proposals on the website starting now through Friday, May 3 at 12:00pm PDT. Get started by reviewing the ideas pages of the 177 open source projects in this year’s program, and decide which projects you’re interested in. Because Google Summer of Code has a limited number of spots for students, writing a great project proposal is essential to being selected to the program—be sure to check out the Student Manual for advice.

For ongoing information throughout the application period and beyond, see the Google Open Source blog, join our Summer of Code mailing lists or join us on Internet relay chat at #gsoc on Freenode.

Good luck to all the open source coders out there, and remember to submit your proposals early—you only have until May 3 to apply!

In support of a national STEM Teacher Corps

Last year, while hosting the White House Science Fair, President Obama said, “If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you're a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.” We agree—and we think the best science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers who inspire those young people should be honored and supported as well.

That’s why Google and our partner organizations support a national STEM Teacher Corps to acknowledge the great teachers who help students achieve amazing things in the fields of science and technology. We’re excited that the President has recommended funding for a STEM Teacher Corps in his budget (PDF).

Today we’re co-publishing a white paper (PDF) with Math For America and the Broad Institute that outlines some of the key features of such a corps. We gathered input from more than 80 organizations to make recommendations for a program that will reward teachers and schools with significant stipends, foster a community of teachers empowered to make broad improvements in STEM education, and recognize a larger percentage of teachers than any existing recognition program.

We must do more to retain the best teachers so our students have the opportunity to succeed in these growing fields, and we applaud the many organizations already working to elevate and celebrate the top STEM teachers nationwide. We look forward to continuing to support the development of the STEM Teacher Corps and doing our part to ensure that every student has access to truly great STEM teachers.

Following the lead of nature’s engineers

It’s no surprise that Google appreciates engineers. And this Earth Day, we’re looking at some of our favorite engineers from nature to see how they can teach us to treat the environment better. We’ve created a website where we can see the beauty and ingenuity of the natural world through photos from National Geographic. We also want to provide easy ways to be greener in our own lives, so this site shows us how we can all be like those organisms by taking simple actions to care for the environment.

For instance, until recently I’d never heard of a remora. Turns out that these fish latch on to other ocean creatures such as whales and turtles to catch rides. In a way, these fish are using their own form of mass transit. To be like the remora and travel with a lighter footprint, we can plan trips using rapid transit. Or we can be inspired by bears—the true experts on “sleep mode”—to save energy in our own lives by adjusting our home thermostat and using energy efficient appliances.

Our doodle today also acknowledges the interconnections of the natural world. You can interact with elements of the environment to affect the seasons, weather and wildlife.

As another way to move from awareness to action, we’re hosting a Google+ Hangout On Air series focused on pressing environmental issues. We’ll kick it off today at 12pm ET with a Hangout on Air connecting NASA (live from Greenland), National Geographic explorers from around the world, and Underwater Earth (live from the Great Barrier reef). Throughout the week, we’ll hold daily Hangouts on Air covering topics such as clean water and animal conservation.

This Earth Day and every day, let’s take a moment to marvel at the wonder of nature and do our part to protect the natural ecosystem we all depend on. A salute to nature’s engineers!

Happy birthday Campus London. You’ve grown up so fast.

Just over 12 months ago, Campus London opened its doors to the young, upcoming London tech startup community. I’d like to think we always knew it would succeed, but I don’t think any of us expected the level of engagement and enthusiasm we’ve seen in year one.

In just 365 days of operation, Campus now has more than 10,000 members, permanently houses more than 100 young companies and has hosted more than 850 events, attracting more than 60,000 guests through the door. From individual entrepreneurs looking to explore their back-of-a-napkin idea to global venture fund managers, there’s something for everyone in the London tech scene at Campus, and the vibe is electric.

We asked Campus members to provide their feedback and outlook on year one, and their response has been overwhelmingly positive. Campus-based companies are growing and creating jobs. One in four are already looking to find bigger office spaces to house their growing teams. We’ve also seen that the success of the London technology startup community as a whole has mirrored that of Campus.

Campus members are younger than the average Tech City entrepreneur, and with initiatives like Women@Campus, increasingly more female entrepreneurs are signing up. Campus is also truly international, with 22 nationalities working, interacting and attending the many mentoring sessions and classes we and our Google volunteers run every day.

Looking ahead to the next year and beyond, we’re offering even more: more globally-acclaimed speakers, a new Campus EDU education programme offering mentorship from Googlers, inspirational talks from thought leaders like Guy Kawasaki, Eric Schmidt and Jimmy Wales, and a curriculum of classes to develop the skills young startups need to build successful businesses.

Google started as a two-person startup in a garage in California. We’re looking to provide the best possible garage to our 10,000 members every day. And so far, all indicators show that Campus is one of the most exciting places in the world for technological innovation.

Expanding options for companies to buy renewable energy

We’re always looking for ways to expand the use of renewable energy. To date we’ve committed more than $1 billion to renewable energy project investments, signed agreements to procure wind power near our data centers, and installed solar panels at our corporate headquarters.

It’s also important to work directly with our utility partners to find solutions that will make more renewable energy available for us and for others. The most straightforward way to do this is for utilities to offer a renewable power option for companies that request it—something that’s not currently offered by most utilities. We’ve just published a white paper (PDF) laying out our thoughts on how and why such programs might work.

We’re also announcing our first effort to put this idea into practice. We’re expanding our Lenoir, N.C. data center, and our local electricity provider, Duke Energy, has pledged to develop a new program for large companies like Google who want to buy renewable power for their operations. Duke will file the plan with their state commission within 90 days.

Our Lenoir, N.C. data center

Offering companies like Google a renewable energy option has many advantages. Because the service is made available to a wide range of customers, companies that don’t have the ability or resources to pursue alternative approaches can participate. And by tapping utilities’ strengths in power generation and delivery, it makes it easier for companies to buy renewable energy on a larger scale. Of course, the approach is not without its challenges: utilities will need to work out the mechanics of the service within their local regulatory structure, and in many cases state utility commissions will need to approve the programs. There’s also the challenge of finding cost-effective renewable projects.

We'll continue to find creative ways to supply our facilities with renewable energy, but we think this solution can provide an important new way to increase the use of renewable energy nationwide. We look forward to working with utilities, state utility commissions, companies and other stakeholders to make it a reality.

What we know now...and didn’t know then – an evolution of environmental awareness

 By guest blogger Ann Briggs

Kelsey Creek, I-405 wetland, 2008
Recent talk about budgets and the effect environmental regulations have on transportation costs have people asking why we spend money on environmental studies, wetlands and things of that sort.

It has me thinking about my own views on the environment and how they have evolved. As a child of the 60s, I remember riding in my parents' car, tossing candy wrappers out the window (sigh!) and my dad dumping the car ashtray on the ground, scattering butts everywhere. We just didn’t give much thought back then about where this stuff ends up…as if it would simply disappear into the wind. We certainly know better now.

Thanks to better science and practices, an environmental awareness and evolution has taken place over the years in the world of transportation too. Much of what we do today to protect the environment and mitigate for the impacts of highway construction is based on lessons learned and a greater understanding of the effects the transportation system has on our surroundings. A significant amount of money is spent fixing the problems that were created in decades past.
Gold Creek side channel I-90, 2009

Environmental missteps, like those tossed candy wrappers, can pile up if we keep repeating them. We used to build roadways with drainage systems that funneled highway runoff directly into lakes and streams. Wetlands were soggy ponds that got in the way of progress, so we drained them. We built culverts to let the water through, but didn’t think about how fish would manage. We built highways in places that made good engineering sense, but not necessarily good community sense.

We now build highways with stormwater management systems to filter out oil and fluids from drippy cars before it enters our streams. We know now that wetlands are critical for reducing flooding, recharging groundwater supplies and providing habitat. Between 1988 and now, we’ve built and monitored 194 wetlands covering 942 acres. Since 1991, we’ve been replacing culverts that block fish and have restored fish passage to more than 900 miles of habitat. We conduct environmental studies to determine how our work will affect communities, cultures, habitats, air, water and noise, and find ways to avoid or mitigate for those impacts. And, we work hard to report the results of those studies in easy-to-read-and-understand formats.

SR 167 Panther Creek fish passage
culvert installation, 2012
While it’s true that none of this work comes cheap, we have to ask ourselves, “Can we really afford the ultimate price of not doing it?” I think not. We’ve made good strides in environmental stewardship, but we’re far from done and we’ll continue to work to create a transportation system that is compatible with communities and nature. We all have a responsibility to future generations to take care of the things that make the Pacific Northwest such a rich and vibrant place to live. It’s the right thing to do.

As we celebrate Earth Day on April 22, think about what you know now that you didn’t know then. What changes have you made as a result of your own environmental evolution?

Bringing Google+ Comments to Blogger

Reading and responding to comments can be one of the most rewarding aspects of blogging. Not only do they help you connect with your readers, they can also inspire later blog entries. The challenge, oftentimes, is following all the conversations around your content—on Google+, for instance, as well as on your website. So we're making things a lot simpler.

Starting today, you can bring Google+ Comments to your Blogger blog. Once you've enabled the feature through your Blogger Dashboard, you'll enjoy a number of important benefits:

View your blog and Google+ comments, all in one place
Now when you're browsing your blog's comment threads, you'll see activity from direct visitors, and from people talking about your content on Google+. For example, if there's a public Google+ discussion about one of your blog entries, those comments and replies will also appear on your Blogger blog. This way you can engage with more of your readers, all in one place.

Help readers comment and connect with their circles
Your blog readers will now have the option to comment publicly, or privately to their circles on Google+. And when they're browsing blog comments, they can view all of them, just the top ones, or only those from the people in their circles.

In all cases, you and your readers will only see the comments you have permission to see. Giving people these kinds of controls not only encourages more meaningful sharing—it can lead to more blog traffic.

To get started with Google+ Comments, just visit the Google+ tab of your Blogger Dashboard, and check “Use Google+ Comments.” (Older comments will continue to appear in the new widget.) You can also visit any post on the Official Google Blog (like this one), or on Blogger Buzz (like this one), to see Google+ Comments in action.

Happy commenting!

Google Fiber—on the Silicon Prairie, the Silicon Hills and now the Silicon Slopes

Today the Google Fiber team is in Provo, Utah, where Mayor John Curtis just announced that we intend to make Provo our third Google Fiber City.

Utah is already home to hundreds of tech companies and startups, and many of them are based in Provo. In fact, the Provo area ranks second in the nation in patent growth, and is consistently ranked as one of the top places to live and do business in the U.S. We believe the future of the Internet will be built on gigabit speeds, and we’re sure the businesses and residents of Provo already have some good ideas for what they’d build with a gig.

In order to bring Fiber to Provo, we’ve signed an agreement to purchase iProvo, an existing fiber-optic network owned by the city. As a part of the acquisition, we would commit to upgrade the network to gigabit technology and finish network construction so that every home along the existing iProvo network would have the opportunity to connect to Google Fiber. Our agreement with Provo isn’t approved yet—it’s pending a vote by the City Council scheduled for next Tuesday, April 23. We intend to begin the network upgrades as soon as the closing conditions are satisfied and the deal is closed.

Provo started building their own municipal network in 2004 because they decided that providing access to high speed connectivity was important to their community’s future. In 2011, they started looking for a partner that could acquire their network and deliver an affordable service for Provoans. We’re committed to keeping their vision alive, and, if the deal is approved and the acquisition closes, we’d offer our Free Internet service (5 Mbps speeds) to every home along the existing Provo network, for a $30 activation fee and no monthly charge for at least seven years. We would also offer Google Fiber Gigabit Internet—up to 100x faster Internet than today’s average broadband speeds—and the option for Google Fiber TV service with hundreds of your favorite channels. We’d also provide free Gigabit Internet service to 25 local public institutions like schools, hospitals and libraries.

Over the next few days, we’ll be in and around Provo with Mayor Curtis, attending community meetings and talking to residents about what widespread gigabit connectivity could mean for their community, and the ways in which we’d invest in their iProvo network. If you are a Provoan, we hope to see you there!

Comodo Dragon Web Browser 26.0 Grab it Now

What is Comodo Dragon?

Comodo Dragon is a freeware web browsing software developed with Chromium technology. This is the most suitable software to those who are extremely cautious about their internet security. This distinct software assures the complete safety of its user. It has speed, user friendly features, almost zero crashes or freeze screen, customized add-ons and plugins. This is similar to Google Chrome, but with a wider and more effective security system.

Why Comodo Dragon?

Since its birth, the web has gone through many major developments and experienced many threats in different times. Hackers, scammers, thieves, and malicious threats completely wrapped the system up from the very beginning. To avoid these threats and to protect one’s personal information, Comodo is the best option for auto guard. This is one of the best software including Chromes all feature to secure user’s computer and data.


1.    The latest version 26.0 has master password option.

2.    Shiny browser icon, which gives a stylish look to it.

3.    Comodo has its own DNS server. It provides user the opportunity to configure whether the Dragon or the entire PC should be using the server. This secure DNS automatically blocks threats while surfing the web. It has its own threat-detection network. It automatically blocks the site which seems to be flagged as untrustworthy.

4.    Almost every browser accepts domain-only certificate while visiting a site. Comodo does not consider it safe as these certificates are available to anyone. Thus, Comodo without proof does encourage the user to continue visiting the particular site.

5.    Especially sites that use technology of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) for online banking, credit card entering etc. will be verified by Comodo. If the site is actually safe and real, then it will not be a problem. Regarding security issue, a padlock will appear showing the exact level of security. If the site is fake, or the security situation is not up to the level, Comodo will block it automatically.

6.    It keeps user’s internet travel information private.

7.    Extensions supported.

8.    Personalized web browser and custom profile for individuals.

9.    It provides Incognito Mode to secure the navigation.

10.    Portable installation is available.

11.    It has own custom updater due to privacy policy. Cleans cookies and history automatically while exit the browser.

12.    It has a site inspector service which tells the user if it is a safe site or source of malware.
Type- Web Browser
Genre- Chromium based software
Size- 33.21 MB
License- Freeware
Operating system- Windows Vista/Xp/7/8
Language- Multiple

Comodo Dragon is for those who are extra cautious of web browsing and Google’s data mining. Besides, it has speed and easiness to become the first choice for the users.
So you can use this browser for extra protection.

Download Here 

Top 10 free Web Hosting Providers

You have to buy the need to buy the web space from a web hosting company to set up a new blog or website. Large number of free web hosting companies provides you with web hosting services at uneven prices. Your capacity to run a thriving website is going to be held up devoid of quality web hosting. Some may prefer web hosting contributors based on price which is not always a good practice. You can host your blog or website without paying money by making use of free web hosting providers. If you want to create a new website or blog then you can set up a demo blog or website on a free hosting site to learn basic things. Most of the companies listed here bid you the professional-grade free webhosting service and it is your choice to ¬pick the best one out.

1.    Freehostia

Freehostia offers the free webhosting package that you can that can be used to install the popular CMS like WordPress, Joomla, etc. They presents you with NO Top/Bottom banner ads,6 GB Monthly Traffic, 1-click 40+ Scripts Installer and 24/7 Customer Support.

2.     1freehosting

1freehosting offers free web hosting without displaying their ads on their free hosting accounts. Features include: Disk Space 10GB, Bandwidth 100GB/month, Unlimited Add-on Domains, Email Accounts, 5 Databases, 5 FTP accounts, 5 Sub domains, cPanel, Website builder.

3.    AwardSpace

AwardSpace is a reputed company that offers free Web hosting with 5 GB Traffic, 1 Domains Hosting, 3 Subdomains, MySQL Databases, 100% NO ADS, PHP 5, Perl/CGI-BIN, FTP Access, 1 Email and SMTP.

4.    ServersFree

ServersFree offers an exciting armory of features that constitutes:
100GB bandwidth
10GB space
5 Ftp accounts
5 MySQL Databases
Free Subdomains
Parked domain
Professional Web Design Templates
Latest cPanel
99.9% Uptime and much more.

5.    RedRoyalHost

RedRoyalHost offers you with first-class features that include:
10 GB Disk Space
100 GB Data Transfer
Unlimited! Addon domains
Easy WebSite Builder
Script Auto Installer
No ads
5 Email accounts
cURL and  99.9% Uptime Guarantee

6.    888WebHost

888WebHost provides you with no hidden costs, no set up fees and the credit card details are also not required. Features:  100GB Bandwidth, 10GB Disk space, Website builder, Weekly backups and more.

7.    Host1Free

Host1Free is a quality service provider that offers you with 2GB Disk Space, 10GB Bandwidth, 5 Domain Names, 2 MySQL Databases and Community Support.

8.    000WebHost

000webhost provides you with free web hosting along with a chance to refer to other people over internet that helps earn money. Features provided are:
1500 MB disk space
100 GB / month bandwidth
Free domain hosting
Free php hosting
Free cPanel hosting
Free website builder
Fantastico Auto installer
Website templates
Free hosting with MySQl

9.    2 Zymic

Zymic offers proficient Web Hosting that is more consistent and quick. You are expected to get a 6GB space, 50GB Bandwidth, Unlimited website hosting, No ads, Community support and more.

10.    ByteHost

ByteHost provides free web hosting that ranges from small business brochure, pictures to the powerful dynamic websites for a gaming community. They offer 1GB space, 5 MySQL databases, Control Panel, No ads and more.
So you can find any one of them hosting service for your website. let me know if you have any problem l

Helping entrepreneurs take the “NEXT” step

Entrepreneurs around the world tell us that they want to launch new businesses—but that before they do, they need to make sure they have the skills to make those companies as successful as possible. Starting today, a new partnership with our friends at Startup Weekend will help these entrepreneurs realize that dream.

Startup Weekend NEXT, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, will enable any entrepreneur to register for a comprehensive, five-week course developed by renowned entrepreneur and educator Steve Blank. The curriculum, built around customer development and in-person interaction, helps entrepreneurs validate and modify their business models. And it lets them sit next to and work with established entrepreneurs and peers who’ve experienced the exact same challenges they face.

Active in a number of cities now, Startup Weekend NEXT will expand globally over the course of 2013. Using Google+ Hangouts, NEXT experts will train local instructors from Reykjavik to Ramallah, enabling entrepreneurs all over the world to launch and build their businesses.

We were excited to officially launch this partnership at Campus London, with Steve Blank joining us live over Google+ Hangout to kick things off. Campus opened a year ago this month and now has 10,000 members, is home to more than 100 young businesses and has hosted more than 800 entrepreneurship events.

We’ve been energized by the incredible momentum and connections that are happening within Campus’ walls and through our partners’ programs—including Startup Weekend’s, which runs its European operations from Campus London. Together, we look forward to equipping entrepreneurs with the skills they need to start and scale great companies.

Secretary of State John Kerry kicks off “Hangouts at State” series on Google+

Over the past year, Google+ has been used across the globe to connect people and enable free expression—from Syria Deeply, an independent news site which regularly uses Google+ and Hangouts to report about the crisis in Syria to Tom Fletcher, the British Ambassador to Lebanon, who issues dispatches from one country to another via Hangout.

Today, the U.S. Department of State is building on this trend by announcing a new series of discussions called “Hangouts at State.” Each month, these conversations will bring people together across global boundaries to discuss the most pressing U.S. foreign policy issues, like democracy promotion, human rights, counterterrorism efforts, economic development, climate change and drug interdiction.

The series kicks off on Friday, April 19 with a Hangout with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, entitled “The U.S. in the World: What’s In It for Us” and moderated by NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell. The Secretary will be joined by a group of Americans to discuss the impact of U.S. foreign policy on people at home.

Tune in on Friday at 1 p.m. E.T. to watch the conversation unfold, and keep your eye on the Google Politics and Elections page for news about the next “Hangout at State.”

Taking a minute to enjoy some art on World Art Day

Today is World Art Day and it's around two years since we launched Google Art Project. In honour of this and all our partners, large and small, traditional and modern, let’s take a quick look at how people are interacting with art online.

The Internet brings paintings to life and it seems that The Starry Night by van Gogh is the one that visitors to Art Project admire the most. In the past six months, this was the most viewed painting in gigapixel—an extremely high resolution painting which allows viewers to zoom in to brushstroke level. While nothing beats seeing a painting in real life, the ability to examine a work of art in this level of detail seems to be encouraging viewers to linger. One minute is the average time spent looking at any given painting on the Art Project website, compared to under 20 seconds (according to several studies) in a museum.

The Starry Night is also the most frequently included painting in user galleries, where individuals create and share their own virtual art collections. We have 40,000 works of art on the platform but some remain perennial favourites. The other most popular inclusions in user galleries (in order) are :

The Starry Night on Art Project

Viewings of user galleries were in fact higher than any individual artist or painting. To date, 360,000 galleries have been created, 14,000 of which are public on the web. To mark World Art Day, we asked some of our partners to curate user galleries of their own. Take a look through the selections of eight museum directors here.

Given the list above, it’s clear the classics remain popular with viewers, but there is increasing interest in modern art as well, with Dali and Klimt featuring among the most searched for artists. The Internet has also allowed users to explore multiple genres in a single destination. More than 30 different mediums co-exist on Art Project with oil on canvas next to over 5,000 objects including silk textiles, sculptures and furniture. There can't be many places where you can find Brazilian street art alongside Botticelli.

Many partners who have contributed an art collection have also opted to put their museums on Street View. On average, visitors spend around two minutes exploring the interior of the buildings and viewing the paintings on display. The most-visited Street View destination on Art Project is The White House. As the majority of us will never get the opportunity to go inside, the Internet allows a rare glimpse into a global institution that also houses an extensive art collection.

With over 200 partners from 43 countries, we continue our quest to open up access to art to millions of professionals, students, beginners and amateur enthusiasts. At 1pm ET today, we’ll be holding the latest in our Art Talks series on our G+ page, which aims to put art lovers in touch with art experts online. Sign up here to hangout with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to chat about multimedia in the arts from the comfort of your armchair on World Art Day.

You Tube Video SEO Guide

Hello. Today I will discuss about you tube SEO guide. Our topic is how to increase You Tube Video ranking. Many of us need it for client or personal website. Sometimes, You Tube video ranking seems easier than website ranking.

Step by Step process:

1. Channel name: 

For each of your product/video you have to open up a new separate channel. Suppose, your target area is “Download software”. Then your channel name should be “Download software free” or “Free download software” or simply “software free download”. It’s called the key factor for your SEO. It will help to mark key words as you have set.

2. Title: 

This is very important for your page factor. Therefore, choose your title very carefully. Your title should be something which only targets your key word. Do not exaggerate your title. Keep it relevant. For example, if your key word is “Download software”, then your title should be also this.

3. Description: 

This is also an important on page factor. Remember always start the sentence with your key word while writing description. For instance, “Download software”, highlight this and then write a nice description. You can also do key word stuffing here. You can mention key word 3 to 4 times. Besides you can use LSI key word too.

4. Tag: 

Another important factor. You can tag you niche related topic here. Or else, also you can tag that you tube recommends. For single tag you tube allows 30 characters and for combined tag it is maximum 500 characters. So you can use like that.

If your on page optimization is complete, then we can now move onto off page factor.

a. It is normal that your views should be higher in number compare to your competitors view. If your on page optimization is better than you can expect increasing view rate. Other than that, you can also buy views directly. But, it should look like natural. Not like bot style where your video gets 10000 views in 3 hours. You Tube can easily detect this type of fraud. It should be “slow view” to look like natural. It will be much better if you sign up in some social exchange sites like- (,,

b. You can campaign on to naturally create subscribers, comments and likes for your channel.

c. Whenever we upload video on you tube, we get an embed code which we can use in other sites too. Use this code in maximum places you can. For example, in your personal blog, facebook page, web properties, squidoo etc. which you can control by yourself. There are some sites given below where you can use the code-










Ok, in brief, this is you can call You Tube marketing. Along with it, to get Google serp you have to do some more works. For this, you need social bookmark, forum profile these type of back links. Please, it is advised to not implement any kind of black hat strategy, although the risk is all yours.

Extra suggestion: Rename your video according to your key word before uploading. Always try to make your channel head of the authority by enriching it. For that you can place relevant video along with your targeted video. For example- Dieting tips, Keeping fit, workout tips etc. This will help you to be the authority head along with serp ranking. You Tube now has introduced a new option to feature other channel. So now you can feature channels that are related to your topic to increase your authority chance. But do not direct targeted competitor directly.  Let me know what you have learned for this guide.

How to Add Slideshow in Blogger Blog

How to Add Slideshow in Blogger
Today it is very common to have an own blog for oneself. But many of us have little knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript.  So what, can’t you create a professional Blog? Of course you can do it yourself. If you are new, I suggest you try free blogger of Google. With the help of Google search you can get many more tutorials you need. In this post I am going to show how to add slideshow in blogger above blog post. Using a slideshow you can attract your visitors to your hot and topmost posts. Besides, it makes your blog look professional and beautiful.

Please carefully follow the steps to add a slideshow in blogger blog.

Step 1: Go to your Blogger’s Dashboard > Click on Arrow button > and click Layout from dropdown menu.

Step 2: Click on Add a Gadget above you Blog post > than add HTML/JavaScript Gadget from pop up window. If cannot see “Add a Gadget” above Blog post, you have to add widget container above blog post.

Add slideshow in blogger

Step 3: Now put the following code in HTML box

<style type="text/css">
 /* JavaScript Image Slider/ */

#mcis {
 display: none;

#sliderFrame {
 position: relative;
 width: 100%;
 margin: 0 auto;
        border:5px solid #000;

#ribbon {
 width: 111px;
 height: 111px;
 position: absolute;
 top: -4px;
 left: -4px;
 background: url( no-repeat;
 z-index: 7;

#slider {
 width: 100%;
 height: 250px;
 background: #fff url( no-repeat 50% 50%;
 position: relative;
 margin: 0 auto;
 box-shadow: 0px 1px 5px #999999;

#slider img {
 position: relavive;
 border: none;
 display: none;

#slider a.imgLink {
 z-index: 2;
 display: none;
 position: absolute;
 top: 0px;
 left: 0px;
 border: 0;
 padding: 0;
 margin: 0;
 width: 100%;
 height: 100%;
}, {
 position: absolute;
 width: 100%;
 height: auto;
 padding: 0;
 left: 0px;
 bottom: 0px;
 z-index: 3;
 overflow: hidden;
 font-size: 0;
} {
 background-color: black;
} {
 font: bold 14px/20px Arial;
 color: #EEE;
 z-index: 4;
 padding: 10px 0;
 text-align: center;
} a {
 color: #FB0;
} a:hover {
 color: #DA0;

div.navBulletsWrapper {
 top: 250px;
 left: 190px;
 width: 150px;
 background: none;
 padding-left: 20px;
 position: relative;
 z-index: 5;
 cursor: pointer;

div.navBulletsWrapper div {
 width: 11px;
 height: 11px;
 background: transparent url( no-repeat 0 0;
 float: left;
 overflow: hidden;
 vertical-align: middle;
 cursor: pointer;
 margin-right: 11px;
 _position: relative;

div.navBulletsWrapper {
 background-position: 0 -11px;

#slider {
 transform: translate3d(0,0,0);
 -ms-transform: translate3d(0,0,0);
 -moz-transform: translate3d(0,0,0);
 -o-transform: translate3d(0,0,0);
 -webkit-transform: translate3d(0,0,0);

<script src="" type="text/javascript"></script>
<br />
<div id="sliderFrame">
<div id="ribbon">

<div id="slider">
<a href=""><img alt="Put your Post Title" src=""/></a>

<a href=""><img alt="Put your Post Title" src="" /></a>

<a href=""><img alt="Put your Post Title" src="image link" /></a>

<a href=""><img alt="Put your Post Title" src="image link"/></a>
<a href="#"><img alt="Get SSC 2013 Results" src="" /></a>

To customize the height of the Slider, change the following code. Width does not need changing.

#slider {
 width: 100%;
 height: 250px

To change image of Slideshow
Change the Post link,  image link and Alt tag with your post title.

<a href="Post _link"><img alt="Post title" src="Image_link"/></a>

Hope you can easily do it yourself. If you need any help don’t hesitate to comment and ask your question.