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General Google IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

Virtually Explore Heritage Sites in India, Thank you Google.

Starting today, people around the world will be able to virtually explore over 1400 cultural objects from India on the Google Cultural Institute, including new panoramic imagery of 76 heritage sites, and 30 new immersive exhibitions of arts and historical institutions from across India. With the support of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Google is releasing new 360-degree online imagery of 76 iconic historical sites, including the Safdarjung TombEllora Caves, and Purana Quila.

These immersive panoramas, collected using Street View technology, are available for viewing on the Google Cultural Institute site. This launch of 76 new ASI sites brings the number of ASI locations now online to over 100, including the heritage sites that launched in February 2014 such as the Taj Mahal and Humayun’s Tomb.

In addition, several arts and archival institutions will also be unveiling new exhibitions on the Google Cultural Institute. For the first time ever, the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, Daricha Foundation, Parzor Foundation, and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research will be coming onto the Google Cultural Institute and unveiling immersive online exhibitions of their collections, which include treasured photographs, prints, and paintings. Five institutions who are already on the Google Cultural Institute will be launching new content today, and these are: Delhi’s National Museum, Delhi’s National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Archive of Indian Music, Jana Natya Manch, and of course the ASI.

These exhibits are all online and available to anyone around the world for free. Here are some samples from the Safdarjung Tomb.

Google-maps-Safdarjung-Tomb

You can just walk through in and pretty much have a street view of the structures there.

Safdarjung-Tomb-exterior-close

Safdarjung-Tomb-interior

“Today, this partnership with Google makes it possible for billions of people across the world to see and explore India’s magnificent heritage, to take a walk at the Padmini Palace, to marvel at the Buddhist Caves of Baba-Pyara, and to relive history in Kangra Fort. With the release of this set of panoramic images, we aim to create a dynamic, immersive online experience by which people within India and around the world can appreciate more of India’s diverse cultural heritage,” said Honourable Union Minister of Culture Shri Shripad Naik.

“Google is deeply committed to helping preserve and showcase cultural heritage across the world. India is unique in terms of the her sheer wealth of heritage and iconic historical monuments, and it has been our privilege to work with the ASI and these partners to bring such diverse aspects of India’s culture online for people at home and abroad,” said Rajan Anandan, Vice President and Managing Director, Google India.

“I would like to thank all our partners. The mission of the Cultural Institute is to make the world’s heritage accessible for global audiences and to preserve it digitally for generations to come,” said Amit Sood, Director of the Google Cultural Institute.  “By putting online more imagery from India’s most iconic sites, we hope to invite more people from around the world to learn more about the fascinating world of Indian culture, history, and art. ”

Source: Google Mailing Lists. 

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Google

8 things to expect from Google IO 2014 as Announcements

Google IO is an annual conference conducted by Google to unveil different technology innovations and products which they have been working on. Google IO is just few hours away from now. Google was traditionally focussed on Consumer technologies; However, in the recent years, they have definitely made some good steps towards Enterprise Tech with Cloud, Chrome etc. If you are keen to watch the Keynote Live, you can check this link (June 25th, 9:00 AM PDT).

Update: Watch the Keynote here:

Firstly, with Vic writing about his plans beyond Google, it would be interesting to see who would present the Keynote this year. Here are somethings which I expect as Announcements in this year’s Google IO 2014. Let’s see, how many of these are blessed.

Google-IO-20141. Additions to the Android Ecosystem

No prizes for guessing, the top priority of Google has been its Android ecosystem and in the past year we have seen more Android devices hitting the market. The keynote may start with the statistics on devices and the Android footprints on these devices; followed with a couple of tech companies or startups who has used the platform to the best and unleash some new creative techs. I am not expecting a new version of Android; the KitKat on itself has been a very refined operating system. I would expect more and more devices to get upgraded to KitKat and then, lets move forward when Google make their plans for the next version of Android. I am not expecting a new Nexus Phone either. However, with rumours we may see a HTC tablet as a Nexus device. Not very sure on the form-factor, but it would be great, if they stick to 8′ and not something bigger than that.  For developers, we may see a new Android Development Studio to help better drag-drop controls.  We may also see some great applications on Home Automation solutions. We may definitely see some refinements w.r.t App Notifications etc  and that exactly brings to the next key area, wearables or rather, Android Wear.

2. App Readiness for Wearable Computing

There have been considerable number of consumer devices which are already announced/available in Market. The Google Glass was definitely one of them for the luxury segment; however, we had some smart watches announcements from players like Samsung, LG and Motorola. My favourite being the Moto 360.  The wearable technology has pretty much been a buzz word in the past year and I’m sure, Google is going to address it with some very smart APIs and use-cases which can make these devices more meaningful in our daily lives.  Continuing from the previous point on Android advancements, the wearables play a crucial role in designing the right interface for these in-app notifications, be it for Messages, Emails, Navigation, Google Now updates etc. Also we may see some good amount of guidelines on working with the sensors available on these watches for Google Fit and other Health tracking applicationsI won’t be surprised if the attendees of Google IO walk out with a smart watch. 

3. Cloud Adoption and BigQuery

In the recent months, we saw some great efforts from Google in arranging for the Cloud road shows to talk to developers around the country to take head on with Amazon and Microsoft on the Cloud business. They  had showcased every reason on why should one choose the App Engine / Compute Engine against an AWS or a Microsoft Azure solution. A couple of months ago, they even introduced Managed VMs  and unveiled new lower pricing for Google Cloud Platform users through Sustained Use Discounts that the company made available to users who run large projects on virtual machines. Under the new pricing scheme, users will save more as they use more virtual machines in the Google Cloud. To know more on the Sustained Use Discounts, read here. This Google IO, we may hear more reasons to choose Google Cloud Platforms.

 4. ChromeBooks

Well, ChromeBooks have been here and there for a while now. Though the idea and the concept of the devices was revolutionary, it never took off to a great extent; mainly due to the price reasons and its offline functionalities. Hopefully, we should see more devices in this segment and some advancements in the chromium software.

5. Polymer

Google did speak about Polymer at the Google IO last year, however, it was very much an early preview. This time, we should see more applications of these components. Polymer is a new type of library for the web, targeting the modern web platform, and useful for building web applications based on Web Components. Polymer attempts to embrace HTML as much as possible. Polymer has a compatibility on most of the modern browsers and mobile devices too. 

6. Google Ads

Advertisements and Monetisation has always been one of the areas which gets addressed at every Google IO. This year, we may again see some more statistics on the percentage break-ups for App Developers and guidelines on how they can design their apps for effective ad placements.

7. Consumer Techs – Maps, Wallet, Google Domains etc

Of-course, its always not Developers, there would be a good amount of mention on the new dimensions of Maps for Google. I am also guessing more disk space for Google Drive users.  Wallet has been there for sometime now; again this technology hasn’t taken off really well. Recently Google did add Wallet Support on Gmail too. However, we should expect to see some more applications of this technology. Few days back, Google also announced their Domain registration services as an invite only service. Tradionally, one looks out to search for the best domain name for their business, websites etc. Who better knows names than Google, this one is going to take off pretty awesome.  There are already some features listed out for Google Domains. Some of them being, no Additional charges for Private registration, Branded emails, customisable sub domains, and the most awesome scalable Google Infrastructure for stability. Very soon, we may see some writers choosing Google platform for their websites – right from buying the domain, hosting and running WordPress through Google App Engine, and using Google Apps for other applications like Drive, Emails, and Docs.

8. Design Guidelines

No Google IO is complete without a good amount of emphasis on Design principles and best practices. We may see more guidelines on designing better UX for Applications. Be it web, Mobile or Wearables. Most Importantly, the concept of one ecosystem and unified experience across devices. 

Now All Eyes on the Keynote which is just few hours away. Let’s circle back post Google IO. Do let me know, if I may have missed anything in this short article.

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Google Microsoft

Deliver Windows Apps on a Google Chromebook through Citrix XenApp

Is your enterprise planning or actively involved in a Windows XP migration project that includes Google Chromebooks as the new computing platform? To successfully make this transition, do you need to deliver business-critical Windows applications to these devices?  Citrix and Google have been working together since 2010 to ensure Chromebook users can easily access Windows apps—without them having to first launch a virtual desktop or IT having to migrate apps and data to the cloud and learn a whole new desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) management model.

Have a look at other cloud management models here

Citrix-Google-chromebooks

Citrix XenApp is the market-leading Windows virtual application delivery solution for Chromebooks. It’s based on 25 years of pioneering innovations in the delivery of secure apps and data to users over any network on any device.  With XenApp Platinum and Chromebooks, enterprise IT can:

  • Implement a stateless, app-centric computing solution that’s secure by design
  • Deliver five generations of Windows applications from the same infrastructure
  • Provision Windows, SaaS, Web, and Google Apps with an unmatched total cost of ownership
  • Adopt the latest Chromebooks from OEMs such as HP, Dell, Samsung, Acer and Toshiba
  • Enable a high-definition app user experience via Citrix Receiver for HTML5
  • Scale company-controlled Windows apps seamlessly to over 100,000 users

To learn more about the Citrix XenApp Platinum promotion for Chromebooks: Attend a Webinar here

Source: Citrix News

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Google

Send Money to Friends and Family on Gmail: Google Wallet

Google Wallet is now integrated with Gmail, so you can quickly and securely send money to friends and family directly within Gmail. Transferring funds is as simple as sending an email. With over 425 million users of gmail, this integration would instantly give Google Wallet a wider reach than other digital financial services like PayPal have.

It’s free to send money from your Google Wallet Balance or directly from a linked bank account. When you use your credit or debit card to send money, a 2.9% fee per transaction (minimum $0.30) will apply. Once you receive money into your Wallet Balance, you can access it instantly with the Google Wallet Card. You can purchase in stores by swiping the card at millions of MasterCard locations, or you can withdraw cash from ATMs. You can also transfer the money to your bank account, use it to buy on Google Play or send money to friends.
Attach Money on Gmail - Google Wallet

To send money, you must live in the US and have a US home address in Google Wallet.

Receiving money is also simple and free. All you would need to do is, Open Gmail, Open the message with attached money and click Claim money. You’ll be prompted to sign up for Google Wallet and verify your identity. Once you’ve completed identity verification, navigate back to the message and click Claim money again. After claiming money for the first time, funds will be automatically added to your Google Wallet Balance. To know more on Google Wallet, read here

Google is rolling this out to all US based Gmail users; if you haven’t got it yet, you just gotta wait for sometime :). You can also get earlier access if your friends have the feature and send money to you. If you’ve already claimed money from someone, you will need to wait about 30 minutes and then refresh Gmail to see the $ icon.

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Google

Google adds Managed VM to its Cloud Platform – Best of IaaS and PaaS

Google announces Managed Virtual Machines at the Google Platform Live Event in San Francisco. Managed VMs lets you run any binary inside a VM and turn it into a part of your App Engine app with just a few lines of code. App Engine will automatically manage these VMs.

Urs Hölzle, the senior vice president at Google overseeing the company’s datacenter and cloud services, talked up the appeal of PaaS services like Google App Engine, which provides a complete managed stack but lacks the flexibility of services like IaaS. The downside of IaaS, of course, is it requires extensive management.  Google’s Managed VMs give enterprises the complete managed platform of PaaS, while allowing a customer to add VMs. Those using Google App Engine who need more control can add a VM to the company’s PaaS service. This is not typically offered with PaaS offerings and often forces companies to use IaaS.

You can start with App Engine and if you ever run into a case where you need more control, or need to use a language or library that App Engine doesn’t support, you can replace part of your application with a VM. For example, your application may need access to a native resource, such as a file system or network stack; or you might require a library or framework that is only available in C or C++. Current Platform as a service offerings lack this type of support and developers are forced off the cliff into an Infrastructure as a service world. With Managed VMs, this is not the case.  You can also take an application built on unmanaged VMs and let Google handle management and scaling. You get a good combination of total control and freedom of Compute Engine VMs with the auto-management capabilities of App Engine.

Going a step further, Google is also re-architecting how cloud instances are sold. In the typical cloud model, on-demand based pricing for virtual resources is always more expensive than if a developer buys some form of a reserved instance. In order to bridge the gap between reserved and on-demand virtual instances, Google is now introducing the idea of sustained-use discounts. In the sustained-use model, an on-demand Google Cloud user will get a discount after a virtual instance is used for a specific amount of time.  For more details on the sustained-use discounts, click here

Google is also allowing operating systems such as Suse, Red Hat Linux and Microsoft Windows Server to be used within its cloud. This is considered a minimum necessity for many established businesses. BigQuery is being modified to take in 100,000 data records per second, allowing for the fast analysis of large streams of data.

Managed VMs are currently available to early access users and will soon be more broadly available as a preview technology. If you are keen to try it out, please sign up.

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Google

Google Offers Stock Android with Unlocked Galaxy S4

Finally a million prayers are listened. Today at Google I/O, the company has announced one of the most anticipated and requested products: a Samsung Galaxy S4 with the stock version of Google’s Android OS.

The Galaxy S4 has the top-of-the-line hardware of the traditional model, but with a sleek and minimalistic software that echoes the experience of Google’s Nexus 4.

But the device also has some drawbacks. It’s pricey — $649, to be exact — and is only available through the Google Play store.  The device also may buy Google a little time to get the much-rumored and highly anticipated Motorola phone ready.

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Google

A Google Doodle to cherish ‘Zipper’ by Gideon Sundback

Google’s latest doodle, a giant zipper running down the centre of the search engine’s homepage, marks the birthday of Gideon Sundback, the Swedish-American electrical engineer most commonly associated with the development of the fastening device that revolutionised the clothing industry – Zipper!!

Before Sundback’s intervention, the idea for a fastener based on interlocking teeth had circulated among engineers for more than 20 years but no one had perfected it. His innovation was to place a dimple on the underside of each tooth and a nib on the top that would sit securely within the dimple of the tooth above it. As a result, the join between two rows of teeth was then strong because no single tooth has enough room to move up or down and come apart. He also created the manufacturing machine for the new zipper.

You can have a look at the Picture (drawing of 1914 patent filling) explaining the Patent here

The name zipper was created in 1923 by B.F. Goodrich, who used the device on their new boots. Initially, boots and tobacco pouches were the primary use for zippers; it took another twenty years before they caught on in the fashion industry. About the time of World War II the zipper achieved wide acceptance for the flies of trousers and the plackets of skirts and dresses. (Source – WikiPedia)

More Doodles from Google here

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Google

Your Child’s design could be Google logo – Doodle 4 Google Contest

Doodle 4 Google, a competition where Google invites K-12 students to use their artistic talents to think big and redesign Google’s homepage logo for millions to see. This year they’re inviting U.S. kids to exercise their creative imaginations around the theme, “What I’d like to do someday…”

Whether students want to find a cure for cancer or take a trip to the moon, it all starts with art supplies and some 8.5″ x 11″ paper. And, one lucky student artist will take home a $15,000 college scholarship and $25,000 technology grant for their school, among many other prizes.

Register your kid’s design here for the Doodle 4 Google Contest

Registration closes at 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) on March 2, 2011, and entries must be postmarked by March 16, 2011 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT). The winning doodle will be featured on our Google.com homepage on May 20, 2011.

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Google

Google Chrome OS – Pre-Beta Computers, Pilot Program and Availability.

Last year, Google announced their effort towards designing an operating system that is built and optimized for the web. Yesterday, in a limited presence of the press, they announced that Chrome OS is not available for consumers yet., but Chrome OS is at the stage where they need feedback from real users.

Some of the features of Chrome OS require new hardware. Instead of selling pre-beta computers, they’re launching a pilot program where they will give test notebooks to qualified users, developers, schools and businesses. The Pilot program is starting with the U.S. and will expand to other countries. To participate in the pilot program, apply here.

The test notebooks exist only to test the software—they are black, have no branding, no logos, no stickers, nothing. They do have 12.1 inch screens, full-sized keyboards and touch pads, integrated 3G from Verizon, eight hours of battery life and eight days of standby time. Chrome notebooks are designed to reach the web instantly, are easy to share among friends and family, and simply by logging in, all of your apps, bookmarks and other browser settings are there. Setting up a new machine takes less than a minute.

Google claims that, even at this early stage, there is no consumer or business operating system that is more secure.

In the first half of next year Chrome notebooks will be available for sale from Acer and Samsung. More manufacturers will follow. Also, Chrome OS is designed to work across a wide range of screen sizes and form factors, enabling their partners to deliver computing devices beyond notebooks.

Some of the key features of the Chrome OS –

Instant web – Chrome notebooks boot in about 10 seconds and resume from sleep instantly. Favorite websites load quickly and run smoothly, with full support for the latest web standards and Adobe Flash.

Same experience Everywhere – All apps, documents, and settings are stored safely in the cloud. So even if you lose your computer, you can just log into another Chrome notebook and get right back to work.

Always connected – Integrated Wi-Fi for home and work, and 3G for all the places in between.

Built-in Security –Chrome notebooks use advanced technology to help prevent malware and viruses from accessing your data. And you never have to lift a finger.

Web Apps – Every Chrome notebook runs millions of web apps, from games to spreadsheets to photo editors. Try the latest apps from the Chrome Web Store or just type URLs into the address bar – no CDs required.

Courtesy: Google Chrome Pilot Program

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Google

Did you try out the New AdSense User Interface Beta from Google?

This morning, while I was looking on my Adsense account to see if I have managed to earn some money, I was little surprised to be welcomed with the new AdSense interface. Google has added new features and made the existing features easier to use.  If you are a publisher and use Adsense, this information must be a welcome addition to you. The new interface is designed to help publishers get more out of AdSense.

Google has added new features and made the existing features easier to use.

  • Comprehensive performance reports: View your daily stats in graph format, and gain insight into your performance with new metrics detailing the amount you’re earning from different ad types, ad sizes, targeting types, and more. Learn more
  • Quicker account maintenance: Google has streamlined the process for a number of common tasks to help you get things done more quickly. Whether you’re updating your contact information or editing a number of ad units at the same time, you’ll find that these types of tasks require fewer clicks and less account navigation than before.
  • Prominent help links: There’s now help content available on every page, so you’ll be able to quickly find answers to your questions while navigating through your account.
  • Easier access to online resources: Visit the redesigned Resources page, where you can find the latest content from the Inside AdSense blog, our YouTube channel, and our Twitter account, all within your own account.
  • Renamed features: Google has updated the names of several features in your account, in an effort to more clearly explain their purpose. While we hope the new names are more intuitive, if you’re unclear what they do, refer to the help links on the page or in the sidebar.

Try out the new user experience of Google Adsense here – http://www.google.com/ads/newadsense

What hasn’t changed in this new interface-

With all the enhancements to AdSense, you may be wondering if everything is different about the program. Some things we’ve left alone:

  • Payments: The payment methods and schedule have not changed.
  • Ad code: You do not need to update the code on your pages, and the process for adding the code to your site remains the same.
  • Ad targeting: Ads will continue to be matched to your pages as they have in the past.

Courtesy: Google Support Pages