News and notes from Google Down Under
Now on Stage: YouTube Sessions
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Want to see and hear more of the music you love on YouTube? Have something you’d like to ask local musicians and global artists? Looking for new tunes to add to your playlist? Didn’t get tickets to the latest secret gig in town?
We’re proud to announce the launch of
, an assortment of new music videos, premieres, exclusives, and of course a jam session or two with the artists you love and a few up and coming sensations. To start, we’ve asked Australian sensation Jessica Mauboy to perform a session for you, the YouTube community. Her single,
Running Back featuring Flo. Rida
has been viewed over 2 million times, and her highly-anticipated follow up album GET EM GIRLS, was released on 5th November featuring international stars Snoop Dogg, Jay Sean, and Iyaz.
To make sure everyone can get involved, she’s inviting you to ask her questions through Google Moderator on YouTube.
She’ll be performing, and answering your questions in an upcoming show, which we’ll re-broadcast on YouTube for all. But before we go in-studio, we want to hear your questions for Jess! What’s her inspiration? Need some advice on your own musical ambition? Simply submit your question via text or video at
, and vote for your favorites. Jess will answer the most popular questions and perform from her new album.
Let us know what you think: submit your questions, subscribe for more updates, and send us any suggestions for what Sessions you want to see on YouTube.
Stay tuned for the full show, and watch this space for more great music content coming your way!
Ernesto Soriano, YouTube Team recently watched Jessica Mauboy -
‘Get ‘Em Girls’ (Behind the Scenes)
Introducing Google Engage to help SMBs succeed online
Monday, November 29, 2010
At Google, we’re committed to the success of Australia’s digital economy and we believe that helping small business get online and thrive is fundamental to that success. We recognise that many SMBs call on freelancers and agencies to create and manage their online presence and help with their online marketing. Today, we’re excited to launch
, a new training and incentives program to support Australian digital freelancers and agencies that offer web services to SMBs.
If you’re a webmaster, digital agency, freelancer, IT consultant, or provide any other web services to Australian small businesses, you can
to join the program starting today. Google Engage participants will receive free access to educational resources, online training materials, and a select number of AdWords promotional vouchers to help your clients trial search advertising.
We hope this additional training and support will help you attract small business clients and make you more valuable to your existing ones. Check out
today and learn about the benefits the program can offer your business and the SMBs you support.
Posted by Richard Flanagan, Product Marketing Manager
Behind-the-Scenes and Around the Ground for a Summer of Cricket
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I love cricket, so it's great to see play underway at the Gabba. And my bet is that while the English have given it a
in the lead-up, our boys will be on top of their game this week and throughout the summer.
and the team take on the English in Brisbane this week, you can view special behind-the-scenes footage, including the
word on the street
and messages of support from some of our
. And you can view it from wherever you like - your lounge room, your phone or the lunch room - because it’s available on YouTube.
England Cricket Board
have launched new YouTube channels ahead of this year’s summer of cricket.
And now you can get right inside the ground - and see what it’s really like from the crease - with our set of new 3D stadium models. Check out
on Google Maps or watch the whole tour on
It's going to be an exciting summer of cricket, so be sure to keep up with the action on YouTube!
Posted by Richard North, YouTube
Knight News Challenge - Applications Due!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Got a great idea for improving digital journalism? Hurry up and apply to the Knight News Challenge! The media innovation competition plans to give away US$6 million through the challenge to projects focused on
four key areas
: mobile, sustainability, authenticity and community. Applications are due by December 1.
We’re proud to be
of the News Challenge this year, augmenting it with $1 million in prize money as part of our
to non-profit organizations developing new approaches to journalism in the digital age. Now in its fifth year, the News Challenge has funded such projects as
, which connects journalism projects with public funding and
, an aggregator of local data like crime stats and restaurant reviews.
The competition benefits more than just the grant winners - News Challenge recipients that develop software also need to
, so that their tools can be adopted by anyone interested in finding new ways to gather and transmit the news, whether they’re a national newspaper or a blogger.
has perhaps become one of the most famous winners (it won in 2009) and is a great example of how a good idea for news can spread as quickly as the news itself. It was started in 2007 by a Harvard law grad as an effort to track the violence surrounding the elections in Kenya (Ushahidi means testimony in Swahili). Using messages sent by 45,000 Kenyans via SMS and the Web, it built a near-instant view of where each part of the country was tilting over those terrifying weeks. Since then, the concept has proved remarkably adaptable. Platforms based on Ushahidi have been built to track this year’s
floods in the U.K.
and outbreaks of
cholera in Haiti
So far, international recipients have hailed from India, Latvia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lithuania, England and Russia - but none yet from Australia or New Zealand! If you’re interested in applying - or know of someone you think should apply - visit
to learn more.
Posted by Chris Gaither, Senior Manager for News Industry
A curious guide to browsers and the web
Thursday, November 18, 2010
This is a cross-post from the
Official Google Blog
Twenty years ago this month,
proposal for the World Wide Web
. Today, the web is an explosion of pages and apps teeming with videos, photos and interactive content. These powerful new web experiences—such as
“The Wilderness Downtown
with the band Arcade Fire—are possible thanks to cutting-edge web technologies that bring all this content to life in the modern browser.
But how do browsers and the web actually work? What is HTML5—or HTML, for that matter? What do terms like “cookies” or “cloud computing” even mean? More practically, how can we keep ourselves safe from security threats like viruses when we’re online?
To help answer these questions, we collaborated with the wonderful illustrator
to publish an online guidebook called “
20 Things I Learned about Browsers and the Web
.” This handy guide is for those of us who’d like to better understand the technologies we use every day.
“20 Things” is written by the Chrome team, and continues our tradition of finding
to help explain complex but fascinating ideas about technology. Many of the examples used to illustrate the features of the browser refer back to Chrome.
We built “20 Things” in HTML5 so that we could incorporate features that hearken back to
what we love
about books—feeling the heft of a book’s cover, flipping a page or even reading under the covers with a flashlight. In fact, once you’ve loaded “20 Things” in the browser, you can disconnect your laptop and continue reading, since this guidebook works offline. As such, this illustrated guidebook is best experienced in
or any up-to-date, HTML5-compliant modern browser.
For things you’ve always wanted to know about the web and browsers but may have been afraid to ask, read on at
(or, you can use the handy shortened URL at
). If you find “20 Things” informative, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family!
Posted by Min Li Chan, Product Marketing Manager, Google Chrome
Australia’s gone Google
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Our Apps business is one of the fastest growing at Google today, with Australia being one of the fastest growing markets in the Asia Pacific region. Today we are announcing that two leading Australian businesses are the latest to go Google.
Flight Centre is Australasia's largest travel agency group with more than 2,000 shops and businesses in 11 countries. Migrating to Gmail will cut their email system costs by approximately 30% annually, while giving their employees an unprecedented 25GB inbox - meaning staff will never need to be burdened by deleting emails. The new Google Apps suite has given them access to more than just email – they have a collaborative suite of tools that supports their entire global operation. Watch Flight Centre’s story
Ray White manages over $30 billion worth of real estate sales across Australia, New Zealand and Asia, writing $6 billion in home loans each year. In addition to providing 1,000 businesses, 8,000 agents and each of its customers a standardised communication and collaboration platform via Google Apps, Ray White also developed apmasphere - a dedicated rental property management system delivering greater efficiency and transparency for property management in Australia. Ray White developed this application on the Google App Engine platform, which provided a fast, efficient and robust development environment, with unique collaboration features. We’re convinced that Ray White’s pioneering work will form a template for other developments around the world. Watch Ray White’s Story
More than 3 million businesses worldwide have “gone Google” - including Australian businesses you can read about
Posted by Emma Robinson, Google Enterprise AU/NZ team
Google Maps Navigation comes to Australia
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
With the summer holidays coming up, I’m looking forward to picnics, visiting cafes and of course, road trips. My family and I will be enjoying a scenic drive from
Sydney to Hobart
. It’s a nice, long distance trip and of course, getting there is half the fun. Along the way, there are all sorts of places to explore: parks, restaurants and hotels in Melbourne. And of course everyone needs a few pit stops, especially with two small kids.
Today, we’re launching
Google Maps Navigation in Australia
and New Zealand, which means getting to Hobart this year (and exploring along the way) just got a lot easier. Google Maps Navigation is a feature of Google Maps for Mobile that provides voice-guided turn by turn directions in real time. That means that instead of printing out your directions in advance, or having your co-pilot read aloud from list of directions, you can use your
to guide you there directly.
Some of you may have already taken advantage of driving directions in Google Maps for Mobile. Google Maps Navigation builds on that by combining the best of Google Maps for mobile, Google Search, and a host of unique capabilities only available on smartphones, like GPS, compass, text-to-speech technology, a permanent Internet connection, and the ability to search by voice. How?
Search instead of type.
Maps Navigation is integrated with Google Search, as well as Google Voice Search. That means you don’t need to know your destination’s exact address, or even its name. You can search instead: try saying “art gallery sydney” instead of “Museum of Contemporary Art”
See where you’re going
. You don’t have to download imagery or data or store it on your phone. It’s always connected to the Internet, which means you can access satellite views of your route or preview your destination in Street View.
Explore along the way
. Once you’re on your route, you can search for anything along your route: petrol stations, restaurants, museums, hotels, parks, anything you can think of. Some common searches, like petrol stations, are built in as layers you can turn on and off. Because Google Maps Navigation is integrated with Google Search, you can search your surroundings just as easily as you search the Internet.
Steer clear of traffic
. Maps Navigation displays live traffic conditions on top of your route: red means heavy, yellow means slow, and green means clear sailing. If traffic is looking bad, you can find an alternate route. Road traffic is available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Wollongong and Newcastle.
Seamlessly in sync
. Simply sign in to Google Maps on your desktop, click the star next to any result on
and that place will automatically be starred on your phone, making it easy to remember (and navigate to!).
Google Maps Navigation is available for smartphones running Android 1.6 and later in both Australia and New Zealand. To try it out, go to Android Market and download Google Maps.
We’re also excited to announce walking navigation too to help you explore your destination on foot. Your phone will vibrate when you need to make a turn. You can even turn off voice guidance and just use these notifications while soaking in the sights and sounds around you. Use it like a virtual compass with satellite imagery to look ahead or to help pick out landmarks along the way.
As for me, I’m looking forward to our family trip to Hobart even more, now that I have one less thing to worry about, and more time to spend playing “I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with...”
Posted by Andrew Foster, Product Manager
Two Weeks Left for a Chance to Play at the Sydney Opera House
Monday, November 15, 2010
A few weeks ago
the formation of the second
YouTube Symphony Orchestra
, which will be performing in the Sydney Opera House in March 2011. Last time, musicians from 70 countries from around the world sent in submissions from concert halls, living rooms, and studios, all for the chance to perform a sell-out concert in New York’s Carnegie Hall under the direction of renowned conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.
There are two weeks left for you to submit your video, for a chance to play in the next YouTube Symphony Orchestra. This time, we’re very excited to be playing host city to this truly global orchestra, for a celebration of music, technology, and global collaboration in an iconic venue of world class ideas and performances -- the Sydney Opera House. While still classically based, next year’s YouTube Symphony Orchestra opens the door for any musician.
Richard Evans, Chief Executive of Sydney Opera House
We’re calling on musicians from around Australia to audition for the opportunity to take part in YouTube Symphony Orchestra and perform at the Sydney Opera House. If you play trumpet, banjo or didgeridoo, from Sydney to Tassie, Brisbane or Broome, we want to hear from you! This year there are two ways for any musician to get involved.
To participate in the orchestral audition, visit the
YouTube Symphony Orchestra Channel
, select your instrument, download one of the pieces listed, and submit your audition video. You also have the chance to hear from world renowned musicians, who have prepared online masterclasses for your audition piece.
Diana Doherty, Principal Oboe of the Sydney Symphony, introduces Mozart’s Oboe Concerto, 1st movement, exposition:
Not an orchestral musician? This time around we’ve added a second video category -- a performance of your own devising as an improvisation to a portion of a piece composed for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra by Mason Bates. The music of Mason Bates fuses innovative orchestral writing, rhythms of electronica and techno, and imaginative narrative forms brought to life by cutting-edge sound design. This is a chance for you to display your musical creativity and originality. This video may be featured at the final event, and some of the best improvisers may be invited to perform with the Orchestra. To participate, grab the instrument of your choosing - any instrument - check out the
piece composed by Mason Bates
Have a look at the
for inspiration. Australia’s own William Barton plays the didgeridoo to Mason Bates’ Mothership:
Auditions close November 28, so visit the YouTube Symphony Channel to get started, and practise, practise, practise!
Posted by Ernesto Soriano, YouTube Team
Trev. It's green.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Cars are heavy. Try pushing one.
All that mass takes a lot of energy to propel, and using oil for propulsion creates a lot of pollution. To make matters worse, most of us commute alone in cars which could drive across the country at 110 km/h carrying five people and towing a caravan.
Most of our driving is done in cars which are too big, too heavy, and too dirty. There’s got to be a better way.
With this in mind, the University of South Australia developed 'Trev' (two-seater renewable energy vehicle), a simple, low mass car which is perfect for urban commuting. It's light enough to be pushed by a two year old.
In 2007 Trev drove 3,000 km across Australia using just $33 worth of green electricity. Now, with sponsorship from Google and others, Trev is currently driving around the world in Zero Race: the first around-the-world race for electric vehicles powered by renewable energy. Trev will drive 30,000 km in 80 days (plus shipping time) using about $400 worth of green electricity.
Trev was initially designed to carry one or two people, to have a range of 120 km, a top speed of 120 km/h and to be recharged in under 3 hours. This would suit the commuting needs of most people.
Trev has been significantly upgraded by ‘Team Trev’ to drive around the world. Team Trev is a group of volunteers who have borrowed Trev from UniSA; secured sponsorship from Google, Galaxy Resources, EcoGreen Electrical and ABN Newswire; and made some major upgrades to Trev. These upgrades include a bigger battery to increase driving range to 250 km, a different motor and better suspension, brakes and instrumentation.
Zero Race started in Geneva on 16 August, and has subsequently covered 16,000 km. We've driven across Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and China.
Besides Trev, Zero Race entrants include ZeroTracer (a high-performance enclosed motorcycle), a Vectrix electric scooter and a custom Korean electric car. This is the inaugural Zero Race, and it is expected to be held every couple of years to showcase electric vehicles to the world.
The next leg of Zero Race starts in Vancouver - from which we'll drive across North America to Cancun in Mexico and arrive in time for the UN Climate Change Conference. Zero Race vehicles will feature at this conference as a viable solution to our future urban personal transportation needs.
The final leg of Zero Race will take us from Portugal back to Geneva. We'll finish our circumnavigation in late January 2011.
Come join us on our journey
Trev. It’s green.
Posted by Andrew Dickson, Guest Blogger from Team Trev. Team Trev kicked off their North American leg this weekend.
Share your AdWords story
Friday, November 12, 2010
AdWords, our online advertising program, is ten years old and we want to mark the birthday celebration in the right way - by honouring and applauding the advertisers large and small who have reached new customers online, grown their business success and made AdWords what it is today.
In December, we’ll publish a global map of businesses sharing their stories and we’d love to feature the stories of Aussie and Kiwi businesses. Are you a surf shop in Byron? A NZ wine exporter?
We’d love to hear your story
. You can take part by creating a (3 minute or less) YouTube video or written piece (750 characters or less) telling us your story: who you are, what your business is about, how it’s grown, and the role AdWords has played in your success.
Here’s the story of fabulous Sydney entrepreneurs
Shoes of Prey
You can learn more and see submission instructions at
Posted by Lucinda Barlow, Head of Marketing, Google Australia and New Zealand
Helping you find emergency information when you need it
Thursday, November 11, 2010
We know that in times of crisis, it's especially important for you to find the crucial information you're looking for—and find it fast. Today we've started displaying special search results for searches in Australia for poisoning and suicide that point to emergency information.
This effort started last year when I received an email from a mother in the U.S. who had trouble finding the phone number for the poisoning hotline after her daughter accidentally ingested something potentially poisonous (fortunately, her daughter was fine). As a result, people in the U.S. performing various searches including "poison control" began to see a special result displaying the national phone number for the American Association of Poison Control Centers last autumn.
Soon after we added poison control information to search results, we heard from some of my Google colleagues whose lives had been affected by suicide and who thought that suicide prevention could be another case for a special search result. In April we began prominently displaying the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at the top of the results page for certain search queries in the U.S. Since then, our friends at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline have reported a 9 percent increase in legitimate calls to its hotline.
So, following positive feedback from consumers and our hotline partners, we decided to expand the poison control and suicide prevention special search results beyond the U.S - including to Australia. We looked for hotlines that are available nationally and 24/7.
From today, in Australia, search queries related to suicide will return the result for the hotline number of
, and those related to poisoning will show the hotline number for the
Poisons Information Centre
An emergency is stressful enough. We hope this small step helps connect people with the information they need immediately.
Posted by Roni Zeiger, MD, Chief Health Strategist
Your new map of Australia
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
One of the exciting challenges of working on Maps at Google is that the physical world is constantly changing, and keeping on top of these changes is a never-ending endeavour. At the same time, we are fortunate to have a large and active community of users who want to share detailed information about the places they live, work, and travel to.
So, as part of our ongoing commitment to provide the richest, most up-to-date, and accurate maps possible, we continuously explore ways to integrate new information into Google Maps.
Two years ago
, we began allowing you to move map markers to improve address precision and
since early last year
, you've been able to add locations.
You may notice that Australia looks a bit different in Google Maps -- those new traffic lights and more detailed outlines of prominent buildings were probably a giveaway. This change is being rolled out over the next couple of days.
The best part about these changes is that we've been able to add a lot of new, detailed information to Google Maps -- information that helps people better explore and get around the real world. For example, university students will be pleased to see maps of
with more detailed internal roads and building outlines.
So where do you fit into this? Well, we've found our users are a great source of information about the world, so we've added a new tool to Google Maps in Australia that lets you communicate directly with us about any updates that you think need to be made to our maps.
You'll find this "Report a Problem" link on the bottom right of Google Maps (you can also find it by right-clicking on the map). Has that new freeway finally opened up? Do we have an outdated name for your local park? Did we tell you driving directions that could be improved upon? Tell us! Once we've received your edit or suggestion we'll confirm it with other users, data sources, or imagery. We hope to resolve each edit within a couple of months. If you submit your email address, we'll even keep you posted on our progress. The video below walks you through the process, or
learn more here
We're constantly working on making sure Google Maps is up-to-date, accurate, and includes the information that you care about most. Your edits and feedback will not only help us achieve this goal, but will help everyone get around town better and explore the world.
Posted by Andrew Foster, Product Manager
The world’s largest short film festival is now calling for entries
Monday, November 8, 2010
(This is a cross post from the
YouTube Australia blog
The YouTube community has produced some of the most creative and celebrated works on the internet. From capturing a single snapshot of
Life in a Day
, to celebrating a
Biennale of Creative Video
, YouTube has redefined media culture by changing the way the world creates, distributes and watches video.
Today we’re proud to announce a partnership with Tropfest, the world’s largest short film festival. Whether you’re a beginner, studying filmmaking or already have a few films under your belt, Tropfest is open to anyone eager to tell a story through film.
Filmmakers from around the world are encouraged to enter Movie Extra Tropfest 2011, and this year we’re making it even easier for you to participate: all films can be uploaded to
, and any filmmaker whose submission is chosen as a finalist will be flown to Australia for the screening of the event. Previous judges have included Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Toni Collette, Rose Byrne, Geoffrey Rush, Sam Neill, Russell Crowe and George Miller.
There are a few things you’ll need to know for this year’s competition. Hear from last year’s winner, Abe Forsythe:
So grab a camera, a few mates, and start shooting your film. Entries close on Thursday 6 January 2011.
YouTube team, recently watched
My Neighborhood has been Overrun by Baboons
agencies adwords TV
Getting Aussie Business Online
Google App Engine
Google Apps for Business
Google Apps for Education
Google Art Project
Googlers and culture
Stupid Google employee tricks
Summer of Code
Give us feedback in our
Official Google Blog
Public Policy Blog
Lat Long Blog
Ads Developer Blog
Android Developers Blog