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Newsfeeds from around the industry
The Official Google Blog
Insights from Googlers into our products, technology, and the Google culture.

  • Through the Google lens: Search trends January 16-22
    Here’s a side of search trends to go along with your Friday. Read on to find out what got people talking–and searching–this week.

    Deflate-gate and other scandals
    Super Bowl drama is already here, and it’s not even February 1. After the New England Patriots dominated the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 to win the AFC Championship, news broke out that 11 out of the 12 balls used by New England quarterback Tom Brady were under inflated, which is a no-no in the NFL. The league has strict rules about the air pressure in game day balls since alterations could give one team an advantage. Both Brady and head coach Bill Belichick are singing Shaggy's greatest hit “It Wasn’t Me,” so we’ll all have to wait and see how the mystery unfolds.

    On the other “football” field, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team goalkeeper Hope Solo is back in trouble with the law after she and her husband, Jerramy Stevens, were pulled over for suspicions of driving under the influence. The kicker? This all happened while Stevens was driving the U.S. team van, which promptly resulted in a 30-day suspension for Solo. This event comes just seven days after charges of domestic violence were dropped against the athlete.

    The last laugh
    On Tuesday, President Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union address to outline his legislative agenda for the year ahead. Then, on Thursday, the President took questions about his remarks from YouTube Creators. While topics like education, the economy and foreign relations got people searching, the Internet had a field day after Obama dropped the proverbial mic at the expense of his Republican counterparts during his speech. In the midst of his talk, Obama stated “I have no more campaigns to run,” generating applause from some of his opponents. But Obama -- not one to be the butt of a joke -- responded as smooth as butter: “I know because I won both of them.” Burn.
    Not what you expected
    Search left people salivating after news that milk’s favorite cookie, the Oreo, was getting a new flavor inspired by Valentine’s Day. Confection-maker Nabisco decided to bring cupcake and cookie together in holy matrimony with the launch of a red velvet version of their snack on February 2. And as some people tried to satisfy their sweet tooth, it looks like Tiger Woods may have lost his...literally. The famed golfer made an appearance at his girlfriend Lindsey Vonn’s World Cup skiing race in Italy sporting a missing tooth, causing a stir on the web as people tried to find an explanation for his gap-toothed smile.

    Meanwhile, things took a turn for the worse at the happiest place on earth. Disneyland was linked to an outbreak of more than 50 cases of the measles. Health officials are declaring the park safe for those who have their immunizations, but the situation has drummed up more controversy around the anti-vaccination movement.

    Tip of the Week
    Still sticking to your diet resolution? If you need a little help knowing the number of calories you’re eating just ask, “Ok Google, how many calories are in an avocado?” to stay in tip-top shape.

    Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [hope for hope] and [all scandals that end in -gate]

  • Through the Google lens: Search trends January 9-15
    This time of year may be cold and dark, but there was plenty to brighten our days—and keep us searching—this week.
    Top of the pack
    El Capitan is a stunning sight on a normal day—the sheer granite face rising above the valley in Yosemite National Park is hard to miss. But this week, people around the world had an extra reason to keep their eyes on El Cap: two mountain climbers, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson, made history on Wednesday when they completed the first ever free climb of the 3,000-foot wall. Searches for [el capitan climb] went up more than 1,000% as people looked to learn more about the feat.

    Back on firm ground, Ohio State beat #2-ranked Oregon in an upset victory in the College Football Playoff championship. Though the Buckeyes may have won on the field, the Ducks still held the top of the search charts, with more than 2 million searches on Monday. People were also searching for the teams’ top players, especially Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones, who announced this week that he had decided to stay with the team for another year, passing on the NFL draft. (His Oregon counterpart in Monday’s game, Marcus Mariota, made the opposite call.)

    Glitter and glamour
    We’re officially in peak entertainment awards season. The “72nd and finalGolden Globes took place on Sunday with hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. Of particular interest on search were Jane the Virgin and its star Gina Rodriguez, whose win was considered a surprise and whose speech was considered a win, and The Honourable Woman’s Maggie Gyllenhaal, who gave a quietly passionate speech about women in Hollywood. And Michael Keaton, who won best actor in a drama for the film Birdman, brought some company with him to search, as well as the ceremony: his son and “best friend,” Sean Douglas, who spiked in search after Keaton sang his praises in his acceptance speech.

    Then just when we’d finished analyzing the Globes’ winners and losers, the Oscar nominations were announced, meaning we officially have just over a month to catch up on all the films before the ceremony on February 22. Top nominees include Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Boyhood. (Someone get Sean Douglas a tux rental for February.) Want help with your Oscar pool? There’s no telling which film will win, but over the past year, the title of top film in Search is a close race between Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel.
    Finally, in addition to all the glitz on the red carpet, there was a different kind of glitter in search this week. A start-up business that lets you “ship your enemies glitter” went viral, giving you a new way to show that special (un)loved one how you feel. Millions of clicks and a website crash later, the founder is now saying he wants to quit. All that glitters is, apparently, not gold.

    Tip of the week
    Time to catch up on all those movies you haven’t seen. Just say “Ok Google” then “movie times” or “Selma movies times” and you’ll get a list of theaters and films playing near you.

    Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched for [lucy parks and rec] and [spanish homophones]

  • Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through community service
    This Monday, January 19, we’re celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and marking the national MLK Day of Service. It’s a holiday that’s especially meaningful this year: 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March, and it’s a time when civil rights is at the forefront of our national conversation.

    Next Monday, Googlers across the country are heeding the call to give back to their communities, and we hope you’ll join us. Take some time to honor Dr. King by volunteering in your community—you can find opportunities at All for Good. In the meantime, here’s a look at some of the projects Googlers will be participating in, and the reasons why they’ve made the commitment to serve this MLK Day.

    Dona Bellow, a legal assistant, will be helping middle school students in New York with computer science and STEM activities. She says, "doing something to help further the goals of someone else is reclaiming power: power to choose love over conflict, power to recognize and celebrate our differences, power to achieve an equitable outcome for all.”

    In California, Googlers will be volunteering with the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation as it hosts a full day of festivities including the annual parade/march in San Francisco. Eliana Murillo, who is head of multicultural marketing and will be participating in Monday’s event, told us that “giving a hand to those in need helps build compassion and understanding of the diversity of life experiences.”

    Leadership coordinator Aerica Banks says that she serves to ”break down barriers and build community. We are all able to serve, and we all stand to benefit.” She helped organize volunteers in our Atlanta office for the Atlanta Food Bank Kids In Need program event, which provides school supplies free of charge to teachers in low-income schools.

    And Fabian Elliott, from our ads team in Chicago, helped organize Google volunteers in the Windy City to help middle school students practice compassion by writing letters to children struggling with terminal illnesses. He says, “Even the most obscure challenges of the world impact each of us at varying levels...It’s as simple as doing something that you love that supports a cause you believe in. What are you waiting for?”

    Dr. King said: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" Googler volunteers are joining in the national efforts to honor the legacy of Dr. King—and we know that a commitment to service goes well beyond Monday. So we also support projects throughout the year to help to deepen our connections with local communities. Together, let’s make Martin Luther King Jr. Day “a day on, not a day off!”

    Posted by Johanne Sterling, on behalf of the Black Googlers Network and GooglersGive

  • YouTube Creators interview President Obama following the State of the Union
    Every year since 2010, President Obama has turned to YouTube and Google after his State of the Union speech to answer questions that are top of mind for the American people. Asked through YouTube video submissions or live via Google+ Hangouts, these questions always bring an interesting perspective to the issues the president addresses in his speech. This year we’re doing something we’ve never done before: bringing a handful of YouTube creators directly to the White House to talk with the president in person in a live broadcast on Thursday, January 22.

    YouTube creators Bethany Mota, GloZell Green and Hank Green will interview President Obama about the top concerns facing them and their audiences. Over the next few days, the creators will ask you to share the questions you have for the president, some of which may be asked during the interview. In years past, people across the United States have used this interview to ask important questions about jobs, immigration and even Valentine’s Day. Use #YouTubeAsksObama on social media to suggest issues that are important to you or any questions that are on your mind.

    Finally, don’t forget to tune in on January 20 at 9 p.m. EST to watch the State of the Union address, as well as the Republican response, live on YouTube.

    Posted by Steve Grove, Director, News Lab

  • Hallo, hola, olá to the new, more powerful Google Translate app
    Often the hardest part of traveling is navigating the local language. If you've ever asked for "pain" in Paris and gotten funny looks, confused "embarazada" with "embarrassed" in Mexico, or stumbled over pronunciation pretty much anywhere, you know the feeling. Now Google Translate can be your guide in new ways. We’ve updated the Translate app on Android and iOS to transform your mobile device into an even more powerful translation tool.

    Instant translation with Word Lens
    The Translate app already lets you use camera mode to snap a photo of text and get a translation for it in 36 languages. Now, we’re taking it to the next level and letting you instantly translate text using your camera—so it’s way easier to navigate street signs in the Italian countryside or decide what to order off a Barcelona menu. While using the Translate app, just point your camera at a sign or text and you’ll see the translated text overlaid on your screen—even if you don't have an Internet or data connection.

    This instant translation currently works for translation from English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, and we’re working to expand to more languages.
    Have an easier conversation using the Translate app
    When talking with someone in an unfamiliar language, conversations can... get... realllllllly... sloowwww. While we’ve had real-time conversation mode on Android since 2013, our new update makes the conversation flow faster and more naturally.

    Starting today, simply tap the mic to start speaking in a selected language, then tap the mic again, and the Google Translate app will automatically recognize which of the two languages are being spoken, letting you have a more fluid conversation. For the rest of the conversation, you won’t need to tap the mic again—it'll be ready as you need it. Asking for directions to the Rive Gauche, ordering bacalhau in Lisbon, or chatting with your grandmother in her native Spanish just got a lot faster.

    These updates will be coming to both Android and iOS, rolling out over the next few days. This is the first time some of these advanced features, like camera translations and conversation mode, will be available for iOS users.

    More than 500 million people use Google Translate every month, making more than 1 billion translations a day to more easily communicate and access information across languages. Today’s updates take us one step closer to turning your phone into a universal translator and to a world where language is no longer a barrier to discovering information or connecting with each other.

    Posted by Barak Turovsky, Product Lead, Google Translate

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