News and notes from Google Down Under
Two Australians selected for the Google PhD Fellowship program
Monday, June 30, 2014
Google PhD Fellowship program
supports PhD students in computer science and related fields, and is part of our commitment to building strong relationships with the global academic community. To date we’ve awarded 193 Fellowships in 72 universities across 17 countries.
In our most recent round two Australians have been recognised for their efforts.
Guosheng Lin, from the Australian Centre for Visual Technologies at the University of Adelaide, was awarded the Google Australia Fellowship in Machine Perception Research for his work in binary code learning with deep neural networks for image retrieval. Guosheng’s research is focused on exploring fast and accurate machine learning techniques for solving large-scale object recognition problems.
Kellie Webster, from the School of Information Technologies at the University of Sydney, was awarded the Google Australia Fellowship in Natural Language Processing for her work in efficient cognitively informed coreference resolution. Kelly’s research is focused on working to improve coreference (
that’s when two or more pieces of text refer to the same thing
) resolution simultaneously in two dimensions, by more faithfully representing cognitive and psycholinguistic insights to improve the time and space efficiency of our coreference resolution system.
This program recognises and supports outstanding PhD students pursuing work in computer science, related disciplines or promising research areas. Australia’s two recipients are a part of a cohort of 38 outstanding PhD candidates from America, Canada, Europe, China, and India. By supporting these two Australian Fellows we recognise their significant academic achievements and hope that they will go on to be leaders in their respective fields. We look forward to building even stronger links between industry and academia to help push important research forward in Australia.
Posted by Sally-Ann Williams, Google Engineering Community and Outreach Manager
Look ahead: creator features coming to YouTube
Friday, June 27, 2014
VidCon is the place where thousands of creators and fans come together every year to share their passion for YouTube and online video. We came to Anaheim today to offer them a sneak preview of new features and updates we’re releasing in the coming months. Here’s a look at the things we’ve been working on to help you make more your videos even more awesome, to reach global audiences and grow your businesses on YouTube.
YouTube Creator Studio:
Did you know that after Rebecca Black uploaded “Friday,” she went on a school trip, not knowing for several days the video was going viral? To help you manage your videos on the go, the new YouTube Creator Studio app lets you see analytics, manage your videos and more. The app is available now on Android and launching on iOS in coming weeks and you’ll see some redesign of the Creator Studio on desktop too.
Audio Library, now with sound effects:
You’ve used the hundreds of free songs in the
on millions of your videos. But until now, you’ve had to go through extreme lengths to make your own zombie screams and fighter plane sounds. To make your lives easier and videos better, from today you now have thousands of royalty-free sound effects at your disposal. We’ve also added more tracks to the Audio Library.
60 (yeah, six-zero) frames per second:
Your video game footage with crazy high frame rates will soon look as awesome on YouTube as it does when you’re playing, when we launch support for 48 and even 60 frames per second in the coming months. Take a look at some preview videos on the
YT Creator Channel
. Make sure you’re watching in HD!
Your fans aren’t just watching your videos, they’re also helping support your channel through services like
and more. We’ll be adding another option for you, where fans will be able to contribute money to support your channel at any time, for any reason. A handful of creators are testing this feature soon on desktop and Android, including
The Healthcare Triage
The King of Random
Steve Spangler Science
The Young Turks
. If you’re interested in trying it on your channel,
sign up here
Collaboration is a key to great videos on YouTube. You’re already giving your collaborators shout outs in your video descriptions. But what if those text-based shout outs were tags that let viewers click through to their channels, or let you search for a collaborator based on their work and location? That’s our vision for Creator Credits, stay tuned for more.
Subtitles contributed from fans:
More than a billion people watch YouTube each month, but not all of them speak the same language and some are deaf or hard of hearing. Automatic speech recognition and automatic translation on YouTube can help, but your fans can do an even better job. In the coming months, your fans will be able to submit translations in any language based on the subtitles or captions you’ve created, helping you reach even more viewers. You can try this out now on
Got Talent Global
Annotations are useful, but not as ridiculously good looking as say, Blue Steel. In the near future, you’ll see our new interactive information cards with a clean look, which you’ll be able to program once to work across desktop, phones and tablets.
SiriusXM & YouTube:
We love supporting artists, and so do our friends at
. That’s why we teamed up to launch “The YouTube 15,” a weekly show on SiriusXM’s Hits 1 hosted by
and featuring the biggest names and rising stars in music from YouTube.
More ways to playlist:
Along with playlists analytics we recently added to analytics, expect to see more ways to create playlists, so that all the time you spend building them translates into easier discovery for viewers and better results for you.
We take your feedback seriously, which is why we’re focusing on these areas that you’ve told us are most important for you. So keep your comments coming on
. We’ll be working closely with you to bring these features and more to the creator community in the future.
Posted by Matthew Glotzbach, Director of Product Management for Creators, and Oliver Heckmann, Vice President of Engineering for Creators, recently watched “
VGHS Season 2 Trailer - HFR Version
Unlimit your business with Google Drive for Work
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Cross-posted from the
Google Enterprise Blog
The workplace is full of files that capture your best ideas or your team’s most productive collaborations. But those files aren’t useful if you’re unable to access or share them effectively. That’s why, just two years ago, we introduced Google Drive. Today more than 190 million people actively use it at home, school and work. Drive keeps all your work safe, and makes it available everywhere and easy to share. Companies around the world like Crate & Barrel, Seagate, Tory Burch, HP and Jaguar Land Rover rely on Drive to work faster and collaborate better with their coworkers and customers.
But we’ve also heard from businesses that they want more control and security, visibility into how files are shared, and a product that will grow with them. So we’ve been working to make Drive even better for business, and today at
Google Drive for Work
— a new premium offering for businesses that includes unlimited storage, advanced audit reporting and new security controls for $10/user/month.
More control, more visibility
Google Drive for Work combines the familiar storage, sync and share experience of Google Drive with new admin controls, advanced file audit reporting and eDiscovery services. New fine-grained controls let admins customize the Drive experience, such as which employees can install the desktop sync client. With the new audit view you can see activity like moving, deleting or sharing a file within or outside the company, and an audit API will also be available for developers.
Google Apps Vault
, our solution for search and discovery for compliance needs, is also included with Drive for Work, expanding to cover all content stored in Drive, including Docs, Sheets and Slides, as well as any other file type.
More than enough space for all your work
Every year companies create more data than the last, adding megabytes, gigabytes and terabytes. Well, today, we’re taking bytes out of the conversation. For $10/user/month, businesses get unlimited storage for all their employees and can store files up to 5 TB in size (To put that in perspective, no desktop or laptop on the market today even has a hard drive big enough to capture and store a file that size).
As of today, all files uploaded to Google Drive will be encrypted, not only from your device to Google and in transit between Google data centers, but also at rest on Google servers.
Some of the most common file types stored in Drive are Microsoft Word, Excel® and PowerPoint® files. We’ve now built the power of
into Docs, Sheets and Slides, so you can open and edit those documents in their native format using
Office Compatibility Mode
today, and coming soon to iOS. No need to buy additional software or decide how to open your file. Editing Office files is just a click or tap away from Drive on your computer, tablet or phone.
Ready for your business, available today
Google Drive for Work includes the benefits and guarantees of Google Apps for Business, like 24x7 phone support and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. You also get access to all of Google’s productivity apps like Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites and Hangouts, so you collaborate in even more ways. Drive for Work also offers enterprise-grade security and compliance, including a SSAE 16 / ISAE 3402 Type II, SOC 2-audit, ISO 27001 certification, adherence to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles, and can support industry-specific requirements like HIPAA.
Drive for Work is available globally, today. If you’re a current Apps customer you can upgrade from the Admin Console to get new features like unlimited storage. If you’re new to using Google at work you can
about Google Drive for Work on the web, or
for more information.
Posted by: Scott Johnston, Director of Product Management, Google Drive
Fishburners and Google for Entrepreneurs working to grow the Australian startup community
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
From the Cochlear bionic ear to WiFi, Australia has a long history of innovation. Local-born innovations and startups like Atlassian, Freelancer, 99Designs, and Shoes of Prey are flourishing in global markets with the help of the web. While we’ve seen the growth of the startup community in recent years, we know there’s still a long way to go.
To help us get there, we are expanding our support of the tech startup community through a new Google for Entrepreneurs partnership with
, Australia’s largest startup hub. This partnership will allow Fishburners to expand and improve their physical space, increase access to mentors and training for startups, and create new programs for female entrepreneurs.
Fishburners is also joining our global
Google for Entrepreneur
network of more than 30 startup hubs from London and Nairobi. We are hitting the ground running with Fishburners. On Thursday, Aussie startups from Fishburners will pitch their business to a panel of judges for the chance to take part in
, a two-week immersion program in Silicon Valley. The winning team will be selected with special guest Fadi Bishara, CEO of Blackbox on June 19 from Fishburners. If you’re in Sydney,
come join us at the event
Supporting local tech startups is vital to Australia's future economy. We know the talent, drive and potential for innovation is all here; we hope to help realise the full potential of Aussie entrepreneurs.
Posted by Alan Noble,
Engineering Director for Google Australia and New Zealand
CS + X: What's your X?
Friday, June 13, 2014
I talked at Vivid Sydney about supporting startups in Australia and I mentioned that one surefire way is to produce more Computer Science (CS) graduates. This is because there are more startup founders with CS degrees than any other. But it’s not just startups which need CS graduates; demand is growing globally from all sectors of the economy so that by 2020, global demand will exceed the number of graduates by 1 million jobs (
So how do we encourage more students to study Computer Science? Honestly, changing the name might help, since the name “
” sounds a bit intimidating, doesn’t it? Certainly there is a scientific/mathematical basis to CS, but the CS practitioner mostly relies on
(CT) skills. CT includes pattern recognition, pattern abstraction (generalization), modeling, design, and programming (coding). Naturally, these are skills that are needed to create software, through the process of software engineering. What is not as well appreciated is that CT is applicable to more than just software engineering; it is increasingly a critical skill for understanding and using the computing technology that underpins much of our modern society.
CS has been cosying up to the sciences for a long time, where the term
is well known. CS + physics = computational physics, CS + chemistry = computational chemistry, CS + biology = bioinformatics, etc. Scientists have merely understood for some time, what everyone else now realizes, and that is that CS combined with another discipline, brings with it new insights and new ways of approaching things. We call this “CS + X”, where “X” can be virtually anything. For example, CS + retail = online shopping, CS + finance = “fin tech” (think online banking, personal finance management, etc.), CS + music = products like “Pandora”, CS + health = fitness products like “Fit Bit”, etc. The opportunities are endless. There’s even an Aussie startup called
combining CS + crime fighting.
And therein lies the answer to my earlier question. Students will be a whole lot more excited about studying Computer Science if they can combine it with their passion, their “X.” Universities around the world are starting to recognize this by introducing CS + X programs, where X can be any subject area, not just a science. We need flexible university degrees like this in Australia too. Then we just need to ask students the question, “what’s your “X”?
For more information on computational thinking and other resources, check out
Posted by Alan Noble, Engineering Director, Google Australia
What video quality do you watch your YouTube in?
Friday, June 13, 2014
Learning how to make the perfect French Toast can be hard if the
YouTube video you’re watching keeps buffering or going fuzzy, which is why we’re always working to make videos play in the best quality possible.
If you’re regularly seeing a buffering wheel when you play YouTube videos, it’s important to know why. Starting today, Aussies can use the
Google Video Quality Report
to better understand the video quality available from their Internet service providers.
You can also see the video quality other ISPs in your area are delivering, based on these levels:
HD Verified: Users on YouTube HD Verified networks should expect smooth playback most of the time when watching high-definition YouTube videos (720p and above).
Standard Definition: Users on networks rated as Standard Definition should expect smooth playback on standard-definition YouTube videos (360p) and may experience occasional interruptions on high-definition YouTube videos (720p and above).
Lower Definition: Users on networks rated as Lower Definition may experience fuzzy picture quality and frequent interruptions while playing YouTube videos at 360p and above.
If you’re keen to learn more about how we came up with these classifications, read more
, and learn how videos get from us to you with
You can also help make sure you're getting the best video quality possible with these seven simple steps:
We hope to keep finding better ways to bring you the best video experience possible, and part of that is helping you understand the way YouTube videos play when you watch it today. If the YouTube videos you watch are constantly lagging, we want to help you better understand why.
Posted by Jay Akkad, Product Manager, YouTube
Help your business shine with Google My Business
Thursday, June 12, 2014
There’s one thing that lies at the heart of every business: customers. Customers are the reason why businesses flourish, and their shared passion for your craft is what makes running a business so rewarding. For many business owners, customers are more than just patrons - they’re your regulars, your advocates and your friends. In other words, they’re your people.
The Internet is connecting more businesses with their people every day. However, our users tell us that finding these loyal customers can be complex and time-consuming. We believe it shouldn’t be. That’s why we are happy to introduce
Google My Business
- a free and easy way to find and connect with your people wherever you are.
Google My Business
brings together all the ways Google can help your business shine in one place:
Update your business info
on Search, Maps and Google+ from one place to make it easy for customers to get in touch
Add beautiful photos
of your business and a virtual tour of your business interior to help customers see what makes your business unique
with your fans and customers
by sharing news, events and other important updates from your Google+ page
Stay on top of reviews
from across the web, and respond to Google reviews Understand how people find and interact with your business using custom insights and integration with AdWords Express
Manage your information
on-the-go with the Google My Business Android app and the iOS app (launching soon)
In addition to new businesses getting started with Google My Business, we’re also upgrading current users of Places for Business and the Google+ Dashboard to this new experience.
Businesses with a passion for everything from
Sydney's freshest seafood
super 8 film
are finding their people with Google.
To learn more about how you can find your people, visit
Dan Pritchett and Dennis Troper
Teachers talk tech
Friday, June 6, 2014
Every year, thousands of teachers and educators from around Australia migrate to the Sunshine state for a
of a very different kind —
. The country's biggest education technology conference, EduTech is a place to hear from inspiring educators like
Sir Ken Robinson
, learn more about new teaching trends, and hear from
Google Certified Teachers
about how tools like Google Apps and Chromebooks can enrich learning.
Today more than 30 million students, teachers and administrators around the world use
Google Apps for Education
. Here in Australia, the
NSW Department of Education
The Catholic Education Network
and some of
Australia’s top universities
have found that Google tools help them teach in more creative and collaborative ways.
Teachers check out the latest education tools and trends at EduTech
the ultimate teaching playlist
with YouTube, to
to get immediate feedback from students, to visualising
information and stories on maps
, over the last two days our
Google Certified Teachers have been sharing some of their top tech tips with Edutech visitors so they can take some of these teaching tools back to their schools and classrooms.
But the exchange of tech tips doesn’t have to stop at EduTech.
If you’re an educator interested in learning more about how you can use Google tools in the classroom, Google Educators Groups (GEG) are a great way to meet other
educators, collaborate and get inspired. If you’re based in Melbourne, you can head along in person to the
, and if you’re in Brissy you can check the brand new
. Our Sydney chapter is starting soon, and for teachers everywhere else, you can chime in virtually to any of the chapters.
Posted by Suan Yeo, Google Education Evangelist
Introducing a new platform for storytelling
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
In the year 2000, I sat in a cinema in Brixton with my mum watching an extraordinary film called
, in which four simultaneous 90 minute stories share the screen in a conspicuous abundance of footage. It felt momentous. The old scarcities of storytelling were disappearing in the digital age, and I knew that as cost and bandwidth reduced, and technology improved, we’d soon be telling stories in a whole host of new, multi-dimensional ways. The science fiction was coming true.
Google’s Creative Lab in Sydney is still playing with those ideas, 14 years later. Our latest project, the cube, is an experimental platform for interactive storytelling, drawing on WebGL and HTML technology. It allows
filmmakers, musicians, artists and other creatives to make a six-sided interactive film in which the viewer controls the narrative structure.
Six videos—for example six concurrent scenes, or a music track sung in six different styles—are wrapped around a ‘cube’ which a viewer then manipulates to determine which sides they see. The audio is synchronised with the cube’s movement turning it into a visual audio-mixer.
The future of the cube will be on mobile devices but its first outing was in a physical installation at the Semi-Permanent design conference in Sydney. Wired Magazine visited the cube and they wrote about it
(Credit Lucinda Barlow)
(Credit Noel McLaughlin)
We think the cube shows what will be possible in the near future with smartphone technology and modern browsers. We hope it inspires clever creative people to play, to design, and to imagine narrative when you start adding extra dimensions. Screens that interact and cross-pollinate, a film that is different every time, released from linear restraints of TV.
We had lots of help in making this project come to life. The primary prototype was developed by Jude Osborn of
, the primary video sketches came from Emlyn Dodd at BananaStand,
introduced us to their friends Steve Ayson and Damien Shatford to make the film, and we’re working with
on the next iteration of it.
Look out for other cubes coming to the web soon - we have an exciting collaboration with some Australian musical artists coming up.
Posted by Tom Uglow, Creative Director, Google Creative Lab
Staying Smart Online
Monday, June 2, 2014
Just like in the offline world, there are fraudsters on the Internet who try to extract information to take advantage of you. This common Internet concern is also known as a ‘phishing’ attack. A phishing message tries to trick you into revealing personal information by appearing to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank, social network, or even Google.
Stay Smart Online Week
, we want to help Aussies more easily spot some of the most common scams on the web.
Throughout the week, we'll share images marked
and encourage you to try and guess which site or emails is fake, and which one is legitimate. Sometimes it will be very obvious … but not always! We’ll also provide tips on how to identify scams.
Here’s an example:
Could you spot the difference?
We’ll share more of these examples during the week, and post the answer at the end of each day so you can see if your keen eyes can help you stay safe online. If you want some more tips on how to protect yourself from phishing, as well as other ways to keep you and your family secure on the web, visit the
Google Safety Centre
Posted by Damian Kassabgi, Public Policy and Government Affairs, Google Australia
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