News and notes from Google Down Under
Why science matters: Hanging out with ‘Maths of Planet Earth’
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
[Guest post by Stephanie Pradier, Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute]
If we really do want to become the ‘Clever Country’, we will need far more mathematicians to sustain a surge of innovation across Australia. In the inaugural
International Year of Maths of Planet Earth
, here at the
Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute
, we want to dazzle all Australians by demonstrating the immense impact that the mathematical sciences has on our daily lives.
Like a Gaussian curve, our yearly calendar peaks in the middle with
"MPE Australia - The Conference"
- a week long event that is designed as a platform to inspire interdisciplinary discussions and collaborations. Our conference will tackle some of humanity’s greatest challenges and will bring together passionate people from the scientific and non-scientific community t
o cultivate their ideas
over a series of lectures, workshops and ‘do tank’ roundtables.
To ignite the conversations and spark new ideas ahead of next week’s event, we have started hosting Google Hangouts with a number of our featured speakers.
Last week, we spoke with
Kate Evans from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory
about high resolution earth systems models and how the saying when a butterfly flaps its wings in Asia… turns out to be far more real than we may have imagined.
tune in this Friday
as we talk with John Cook, founder of
, about the “Psychology of misinformation” and “How to convert a climate change skeptic”.
It is not enough to simply show our young leaders the importance of mathematics, kids need to get their hands dirty with maths. There are a
bunch of competitions
available to do just this. You can also find out more about the intimate integration of maths within every crevice of human existence at our ongoing blog named
MPE blog: A coffee with…
and get cracking - we need more mathematicians and statisticians... and, we need them now!
Posted by Stephanie Pradier, Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute
The most-watched ads on YouTube, down under
Monday, May 20, 2013
review the most popular videos on YouTube each year
, a number of advertisements always make the list. Great video content, that people want to watch, comment on, and share, can come from anywhere—and while it’s sometimes from
, it’s often created by
marketers and their agencies.
That’s why we’ve teamed up with
to put together the
YouTube Ads Leaderboard
—a list of the best performing YouTube ads of the previous three months, and the creative agencies that made them happen.
As you’ll see from the inaugural Leaderboard, Australian YouTube viewers are captivated by ads of all stripes—long form and short, from big brands and smaller businesses, some adapted from TV spots and some built specifically for YouTube. Many of these ads are still seeing hundreds of thousands of views, embeds, and shares many months after they were uploaded, showing that some of our favourite all-time videos are, in fact, ads.
three out of the top ten ads are from Australia, showing that local ads are cutting through with local audiences and being viewed and shared on a par with some of the most creative work coming from overseas. Enjoy the list below and tune in next quarter for another batch of advertising creativity.
Dove Real Beauty Sketches
, Ogilvy & Mather Brazil / PHD, Mindshare
Pepsi MAX & Jeff Gordon Present: "Test Drive"
TBWA\Chiat\Day / OMD
Air New Zealand:
The Bear Essentials of Safety #airnzbear
Introducing Samsung GALAXY S4
, Chiel / Starcom
Ship My Pants
, DraftFBC Chicago / iProspect
Domino’s New Chef’s Best Range
, Elevencom / PHD
Pepsi Beyonce “Mirrors” - Official 2013 video - #BeyHereNow
, 180LA / OMD, R+M
baby&me - the new evian film
, BETC Paris / Havas Media
Pure Blonde - River of Blonde (Official TV Ad)
, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, MediaCom
Short film directed by Guy Ritchie starring David Beckham
, H&M Marketing
Posted by Chris Dodson, Head of Large Advertiser and Agency Marketing, Google Australia
CAUTION: Hilarity may ensue. YouTube Comedy Week hits Oz.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fitzy & Wippa, and a cat called Lil Bub all walk into a bar. Know what happens next?
OK, neither do we... luckily, we’ve enlisted more than 150 of the biggest names in comedy to join us for the first-ever
YouTube Comedy Week
. From May 20-25, YouTube will bring comedy creators and fans together for a series of live shows, new episodes from popular channels and curated lists from a range of comedy stars all across the world.
On Monday, 20 May, at 10AM AEST, we’ll kick things off with
“The Big Live Comedy Show”
, a global live stream where featured comedians will do a mix of stand-up, sketches and musical performances. During the live event, and throughout the rest of Comedy Week, you’ll see videos from some of the funniest YouTubers around the world.
In Australia, Fitzy & Wippa (AKA ‘the princes of parody’) will present video premieres from their
brand new YouTube channel
all week long, and produce an hour-long live morning comedy show straight from the studio to YouTube on Friday 24 May from 8am - 9am AEST.
To get you chuckling, here are a few LOL’s from some of our other favourite Aussie YouTubers:
Natalie Tran (
) is the most subscribed comedy partner in Australia, and
definitely does not like hotel minibars
winks and handshakes
all around for the young
, exploring the depths of YouTube in real life (aka, YouTube in a Florida hotel)
And back at home, two Internet Idiots & Their Jokes (
) embark on a quest for
. May the force be with yiieewww!
Check out the
YouTube Comedy Week channel
to watch tons of stuff that will make you laugh. This better be funny...
Posted by Ernesto Soriano, YouTube Australia, recently watched
We’ve just guessed your password : Password1234?
Monday, May 20, 2013
Oops, did we just put your password in the title of this blog? You had better change it!
upporting Australians to be smart, safe and responsible online is important to us - but, sometimes it takes some tough love.
As part of
National Cyber Security Awareness Week
, we’re inviting all Australians to take a moment to think about their safety and security on the web - and, hopefully in the process change a password or two.
There are a few simple steps that every Australian can take right now to stay safe and secure online. Making sure your passwords are secure is a great place to start.
You wouldn’t want one master key that unlocks your car, opens your front door and provides entry to the jewellery in your safe - it’s the same on the web. Hackers love it when you choose a generic password and use it across every website you visit - because if they manage to find out your password they can access all the sites you care about.
It’s important to change your passwords often and to develop a variety of long passwords, which contain letters, numbers and symbols. You should also ensure that you have different passwords for each of your important accounts like email, social media and online banking.
When spending time on the web, make sure you’re using an
up-to-date modern browser
and only download files and visit sites that you know are safe and trust.
And finally, always lock your screen when you're finished using your computer, tablet or phone, and for added security, set it to lock automatically when it goes to sleep.
Google is investing hundreds of millions of dollars and has hundreds of security experts that are making the web safer for everyone and you can help too.
f you’re looking for more advice about how to stay safe online you can read our top safety and security tips at
Posted by Johnny Luu, Communications and Public Affairs, Australia and New Zealand
Towards an Australian ‘innovation generation’
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
(Editor’s note: This is an edited version of our cover letter to Google’s submission on the proposed
Digital Technologies curriculum
. Submissions closed on May 10).
Digital technology and computer science have changed Australia in many ways in the last decade, and these changes will doubtless continue into the future. But as these technologies become more and more integrated into our lives, we must ask ourselves: do we wish to be a nation of creators of technology— or just consumers? We’re already among the world’s heaviest users of tablet devices and smartphones—but knowing how to play games on a tablet is not the same thing as knowing how to create them. One costs money; one generates money. Shifting our focus as a nation from the consumption of technology, to the creation of technology, will help us compete in an increasingly global and connected world.
The opportunities for our children are enormous. The young people who grow up with this new curriculum—our first ‘innovation generation’—will have the some of the world’s most sought-after and highly-valued skills. Globally, the demand for computer science and computational thinking skills only continues to accelerate. The technology sector worldwide holds huge potential for the creation of high-value jobs and wealth; the tech startup sector alone in Australia has the capacity to contribute
$109 billion directly to GDP and create 540,000 new jobs by 2033
. A highly-skilled workforce is the key to unlocking this value.
In Google’s experience, an introduction to computational thinking in early years provides the strongest possible pathway for students to engage with and excel in computer science, and benefit from the careers it enables. Yet today, Australian students with tertiary Computer Science skills are falling in number and make up just two percent of the total of domestic graduates.
That’s why we’re so heartened to see this proposed new curriculum. Successfully implemented in schools across the nation, and taught by passionate teachers, we believe it will be an important first step in preparing students to become the creators and innovators of the future.
In addition to the specific curriculum feedback we’ve included in our submission, we also recommend enhancing the exposure of Australian students to more computational thinking and computer science by:
Making Digital Technologies a required subject from Foundation to year 10.
Making Digital Technologies a stand-alone learning area to increase its visibility and awareness of the economic and job opportunities for people who ultimately pursue a career in the field.
Ensuring Digital Technologies provides instruction in at least one general programming language.
This would make the curriculum consistent with trends in computer science education in the USA, the UK, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and countries such as Vietnam where in many cases it is required in schools from K-10.
We recognise the implementation challenges that will emerge from the introduction of a new subject area, and we’re committed to continuing our support of teachers. We invest funding and in-kind support via our
(as just one example) to develop computer science teachers, and we will continue and expand these efforts and others, in support of the Digital Technologies curriculum.
Here’s to the first step towards our innovation generation.
Posted by Alan Noble, Engineering Director, Google Australia and New Zealand
News Ltd’s Traderoo Powered by Google App Engine
Friday, May 10, 2013
News Limited is one of Australia’s largest media companies, spanning newspapers, magazines, online, and subscription TV. We publish over 140 online and printed newspapers in major Australian cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth, as well as in suburban areas.
Classified advertising is a key revenue stream across all our markets, but traditionally booking and billing classifieds has been a manual and time-consuming process. We wanted to implement a solution that would allow customers to serve themselves by placing ads online.
The Google App Engine has enabled customers to do just that. We chose Google as the application is easy to build, easy to maintain and simple to scale as the user base and data storage grows. Functionalities within the Google App Engine environment, such as BigQuery - the prediction application programming interface - have also been really useful. For example
we do in depth analysis of the ads, item pricing, and providing an internal reporting tool using Big Query.
We worked with 3 wks our Google Cloud Platform development partner to develop
a self-service, production booking and billing system -
- which we have developed on Google App Engine. It’s proving to be a real winner for both our business and our customers.
It’s fundamentally changed the way customers engage with our company - creating a more usable experience and superb responsiveness. It’s easy to use, and gives more control over ad content as well as the ability to publish ads online immediately. Online ads are free, while print ads are optional and require a small fee, but complement online ads by extending the advertiser’s reach.
When customers book ads using the Traderoo website, they get automatic email notification from the platform that tells them how their advertisement is performing. Traderoo is optimised for PC, laptop, smartphone and tablet so the browser and ad placement remains consistent, no matter what device our customers are using.
The real advantage for us is that our classified business has achieved faster time to market, lower costs and less overheads in the form of call centre time and manual data entry. The site has been a huge success, and we look forward to continuing using Google App Engine as we develop Traderoo further.
Guest post by Joshua Lowcock, head of commercial platforms & products for News Limited
Google App Engine
Creating the next generation of creators with CS4HS
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
We know a strong homegrown technology sector will mean more wealth and jobs for Australia. With the ability to add half a million new jobs and an additional hundred billion dollars to the economy each year, helping Australia create an innovation generation should be a priority.
But as highlighted in our recent report on
The Startup Economy
, even though computer science degrees are central to building a strong future tech sector, only 2% of domestic graduates have a CS qualification.
At Google, we’re committed to helping Australia build an innovation generation and today we are announcing the funding of 13 universities in Australia and three in New Zealand to provide training to high school computer science teachers.
Computer Science for High School (CS4HS)
is a program that gives high school teachers the opportunity to learn from academics and professionals in the industry. In collaboration with universities, we’re able to provide hands-on workshops that allow teachers to learn best practices in computer science education.
This year, we hope to reach 1,000 teachers across Australia and New Zealand. Our hope is that these educators will then be able to return to the classroom and help create the next generation of computer scientists, creators and entrepreneurs.
The following universities have been awarded a CS4HS grant.
Swinburne University of Technology
The University of Adelaide
The University of Canberra
The University of Melbourne
The University of Newcastle
The University of New South Wales
The University of Queensland
The University of Sydney
The University of Tasmania
The University of Western Australia
University of Canterbury
Victoria University of Wellington
Sally-Ann Williams, Engineering Community and Outreach Manager, Google Australia
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