Thursday, February 28, 2013

New Generation of Engines


Nasa HD Constellation Earth Moon Mars


NASA - Moon, Mars, and Beyond


LG Google TV GA7900 Overview With Voice Commands


Samsung Announces Youm Flexible OLED Displays at CES 2013


CES - Samsung's Smart Window


Google Drive Video Embeds, Too Limited

Google Drive Video Embeds, Too Limited: If you thought that you can upload videos to Google Drive and embed them into your site just like you can do with YouTube videos, think again. I've uploaded a video to Google Drive, added the embed code to a blog post and after a few hundred views, the video stopped playing. Here's the Google Drive error message: "Unable to play this video at this time. The number of allowed playbacks has been exceeded. Please try again later."

As you can see, even the video player from Google Drive has been removed:

After deleting the embed code from the blog post, Google no longer displayed the error message and the video started to play again.


Chrome Shows Which Tab Is Making a Noise

Chrome Shows Which Tab Is Making a Noise: If you've read the previous post about the animated YouTube favicon, you should know I was wrong. It's not a new YouTube feature, it's a new Chrome feature that tries to detect the tabs that are producing sounds and adds an animation to the favicons.

The feature is currently available in the Canary channel and the latest Chromium builds, so it's not yet ready for primetime. For example, Chrome animates the Google Music favicon even if there's no music playing, but the feature works well for YouTube videos.

While it's nice to be able to tell which tabs are noisy, the animated favicons are distracting and many people find them annoying. Why not add a widget that lets you control the volume for each tab or mute some of tabs?

{ Thanks, everyone. }


YouTube Tests Animated Favicon

YouTube Tests Animated Favicon: Sometimes it's nice to know that there's a YouTube video playing in a tab. Maybe you open multiple YouTube music videos, pause all videos except for one, then load your favorite news site and you start wondering which tab corresponds to the video that's currently playing.

YouTube tests a new favicon that shows an animation while the video is playing. Some people may find it distracting, so it will be interesting to see if YouTube will add this feature.

Here's a video that shows YouTube's experimental feature in action:

It's not the only favicon of a Google service that shows useful information: Gmail and Google Calendar already have enhanced favicons (the Gmail favicon that shows the number of unread messages is still a Gmail Labs feature).

{ Thanks, Arpit. }


5 Things You Should Be Doing With Google Mobile App Analytics Crash & Exception Measurement

5 Things You Should Be Doing With Google Mobile App Analytics Crash & Exception Measurement:
When an app crashes, it disrupts the user experience, may cause data loss, and worst of all, might even cause users to uninstall the app altogether. As developers, we do our best to minimize crashes, but no app is ever perfectly stable.

A crash can actually represent a great opportunity to improve an app and one of the best things we can do as developers is to measure our crashes and exceptions.

The crashes and exceptions report in Google Mobile App Analytics.
Measuring crashes in your app can help you make better a product, make more money (if that’s your thing), and use your development resources more efficiently (especially if you are the only developer).

Google Mobile App Analytics offers easy-to-implement automated crash and exception measurement for Android and iOS as part of the V2 SDKs, as well as a host of reporting options to slice the data in context with all of the user engagement, goal completion, and in-app payments data you already know and love.

To help new developers get started, and to give existing developers some pointers, here are four things app developers should be doing today with Google Analytics crash and exception measurement:

1. Automate your crash measurement.
Want to measure app crashes but don’t want to deal with a complicated implementation? Fully automated crash measurement with Google Mobile App Analytics takes just one line of code to implement for Android or iOS:

<!-- Enable automatic crash measurement (Android) -->
<bool name=”ga_reportUncaughtExceptions”>true</bool>

// Enable automatic crash measurement (iOS).
[GAI sharedInstance].trackUncaughtExceptions = YES;

Implement automated crash measurement with just one line of code on Android or iOS.

Now each time your app crashes, the crash will be measured and sent to Google Analytics automatically. Try automated crash measurement now for Android or iOS.

2. Find out how stability is trending.
Are new releases increasing or reducing app crashes? Monitor the stability of your app from version to version by looking at crashes and exceptions by app version in the Crashes & Exceptions report.

If you are measuring the same app on two different platforms, like Android or iOS, you can break this view down further by selecting Platform as the secondary dimension.
View crashes and exceptions by app version number in the Crashes & Exceptions report. In this example, version 1.1.7 has crashed 7,285 times, while the latest version 2.0.0 has only crashed 91 times in the same period. Nice work dev team!
To graph crashes for two or more versions over time, you can create advanced segments for each version number, and apply them both to the Crashes and Exceptions report.

See crashes by app version over time using advanced segments and the crash and exception report  In this example, a bug fix pushed around January 24 caused significant reduction in crashes across both versions, but crashes persist for v1.1.7 that might warrant some additional investigation.
3.  Find out what crashes are costing you.
Do you know what app crashes are costing you? Find out what crashes cost in terms of both user engagement and dollars by using a custom segment.

By using a particular crash or exception as a custom segment, you can see how user engagement and in-app revenue may be impacted by a particular issue or set of issues.
Use custom segments to segment user experience and outcome data by crashes. This gives you some idea of what they might be costing you in users and in dollars.
To set this up, you’ll want to create two custom segments: one that contains all the sessions in which the exception(s) occurred, and another baseline segment that contains all other sessions unaffected by the exception(s).

Once created, try applying both segments to your Goals or Ecommerce Overview reports to get a sense of how the exception(s) might affect user outcomes. Or, apply the segments to your Engagement overview report to see how the exception(s) might impact user engagement metrics.

4.  Gain visibility into crashes at the device model level.
Do you know which device models are the most and least stable for your app? Developers can’t always test their app on all devices before launch. However, by using Custom Reports in Google Mobile App Analytics, you can monitor crashes and exception per device to find out where additional testing and bug fixes may be needed.

To see crashes and exceptions by device, create a custom report and use a dimension like Mobile Device Marketing Name, with Crashes and Exceptions as the metric.

See crashes by device by using a custom report. To get even more detail, add the Exception Description dimension as a secondary dimension. In this example, the high level view shows the Galaxy Note and Desire HD as device that might need additional testing before the next launch.
5.  (Advanced) What about caught exceptions? You should measure those too.
While caught exceptions won’t crash your app, they still may be valuable events to measure, especially when they might have an impact on user experience and outcomes.

For instance, if your app normally catches a server timeout exception when requesting user data, it might be useful to measure that caught exception to know how often a user’s request is not being fulfilled.

A caught exception is measured in Google Analytics using a custom description. In this example, a number of failed connections may indicate a backend problem and could be causing a poor user experience. Reducing the number of these caught exceptions could be a goal for the dev team in the next release.

As always, please keep in mind that you should never send personally identifiable data (PII) to Google Analytics. Raw exception descriptions may contain PII and we don’t recommend sending them to Google Analytics for that reason. 

Also note that there’s a 100 character limit on exception descriptions, so if you send your own descriptions, be sure to keep them concise.

Lastly, here are some links to resources you might find helpful when implementing crash and exception measurement in your app:

And for brand new users:

Posted by Andrew Wales, Google Analytics Developer Relations


DevFestW: developing diversity

DevFestW: developing diversity: Author Photo

By Stephanie Liu, Developer Relations, Global Programs Lead

The best part of my job (besides making alliterative blog post titles) is working with developer communities, especially the incredibly passionate Google Developer Groups. Many chapters have been working in their local regions to diversify their communities and make them more inclusive for women developers (e.g. the Android codelab in Tokyo pictured below, and GDG Philippines). Because of these great local initiatives, we’re collaborating with the global organizer community to launch a DevFestW season during the month of March.

developers at Android codelab in Tokyo

Like previous DevFests, DevFestW events are community-led efforts that feature technical sessions on Google’s developer tools and platforms. DevFestW also places an emphasis on bringing together women developers to teach, learn, code, and network.

Diversity is important to us at Google, both within the company and within our developer ecosystem. To truly innovate and grow, we need a diverse set of people coming up with solutions and creating products for a varied audience. We’re excited to support this initiative, and to see what foundation we can build for a lasting, vibrant community.

Visit to find and register for a DevFestW event in your region. Stay up-to-date on all things DevFestW by following and hashtagging posts with #gdg #devfestw. Join the conversation by becoming a part of the GDG Women community on Google+. Happy festing!

Want to learn more? Find your nearest GDG chapter, get involved in local events, and connect with Google developers 24/7/365 on Google Developers Live.

Stephanie Liu leads developer outreach for North America, as well as the global programs team. She likes to relax by speedcubing.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor


Support free expression: Vote for the Netizen of the Year

Support free expression: Vote for the Netizen of the Year: One in three Internet users suffers from restricted access to the web due to government censorship, filtering or online surveillance, according to the free expression advocacy group Reporters Without Borders. Around the world, bloggers and cyber-dissidents are jailed for expressing their views. Reporters Without Borders makes sure their struggles are not forgotten.

We believe in a free and open Internet where everyone can express their opinions and learn from others. For this reason, for the past several years we’ve partnered with Reporters Without Borders to organize their annual Netizen of the Year Award, which honors an Internet user, blogger or cyber-dissident who has made a notable contribution in defense of online freedom of expression.

This year for the first time, Reporters Without Borders is asking you to help decide who will win the award. Nine “netizens”—from Bulgaria, Egypt, Honduras, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mali, Russia, Senegal and Vietnam—have been nominated for consideration. Watch the videos showing their stories and then vote at

We hope you’ll be as inspired as we have been by these brave people. The winner, based on votes from people like you around the world, will be announced on March 7. He or she will be invited to the award ceremony taking place at Google’s Paris office on March 12—the World Day Against Cyber Censorship.

Posted by Florian Maganza, Policy Analyst, Paris


Gmail Attachments in Google Drive?

Gmail Attachments in Google Drive?: Jérôme Flipo spotted a new GDrive feature in an animated GIF file shared by the Google Drive team: a "Gmail attachments" section.

It turns out that there are many references to Gmail attachments in Google Drive's code, so this new feature is not yet enabled in the public version of Google Drive, but Google employees test it.

It's likely that you'll be able to manage Gmail attachments from Google Drive, find attachments and share them with other people. Google Drive is already the central file repository for most Google services.


On the track with Chrome Super Sync Sports

On the track with Chrome Super Sync Sports: Author PhotoBy Paul Kinlan, Chrome Developer Relations

Cross-posted with the Chromium Blog

Earlier today we launched Chrome Super Sync Sports. It’s an interactive web game that enables up to four friends to compete in running, swimming and cycling events on a shared computer screen, using their smartphones or tablets as game controllers.

Chrome Super Sync Sports was built with the latest browser technologies:

  • Touch APIs to recognise gestures made on your smartphone and tablet. 
  • WebSockets are used to deliver immediate real-time playback across all the players in your group and to update the main game screen as you play. 
  • Finally, CSS3SVG and Canvas provide rich visuals and an immersive experience. 
In the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing an article on HTML5 Rocks with more information on how we built this experience. You can follow +Google Chrome Developers to learn when the article will be live.

In the meantime, enjoy competing with your friends at and be sure to open Chrome’s developer tools to see what happens under the track!

Paul Kinlan is a Developer Advocate in the UK on the Chrome team specialising on mobile. He lives in Liverpool and loves trying to progress the city's tech community from places like DoES Liverpool hack-space.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor


Race to win on big and small screens with Chrome Super Sync Sports

Race to win on big and small screens with Chrome Super Sync Sports: Smartphones and tablets are great for all sorts of games, and lately we've been thinking about new ways to play. Chrome Super Sync Sports is a new Chrome Experiment that uses the unique features of mobile devices to create a new gaming experience on big and small screens. In this game up to four friends can compete in running, swimming and cycling on a shared computer screen, using their smartphones or tablets as game controllers.

To get started, you’ll need a computer and a smartphone or tablet that run a modern browser, like Chrome. Visit on your computer, pick a game and decide if you’re playing solo or with friends. Next, visit in Chrome on your smartphone or tablet and type in the unique code shown on your computer screen. You’ve now “super sync”ed your mobile device with your computer, and you’re ready to race!

Use the arrow pad on your smartphone or tablet to select one of 50 athletes and prepare yourself for the competition. The motions you make on your mobile touchscreen will move your athlete on your computer screen. To move your athlete forward and win the race, you need to make the correct gestures as quickly as possible. The better you are, the higher your chances of making it to the global leaderboard.

Select your athlete by using the keypad arrows on your mobile

Race using your smartphone or tablet touchscreen

Up to four friends can play using a shared computer screen

Chrome Super Sync Sports is available for Chrome v15 and above, and for Android 4.0+ and iOS 4.3+ devices. It uses the latest modern web technologies, including HTML5 features such as WebSockets for real-time gaming synchronicity on desktop and mobile, and Canvas and CSS3 for rich and engaging visuals. For more detailed information on the technologies used, see the “About” page.

On your marks, get set, race for your place on the World Leaderboard!

Posted by Steve Vranakis, Executive Creative Director, Google Creative Lab


Integrated Platform Enables Mindshare to Deliver Better Insights, Faster for Clients

Integrated Platform Enables Mindshare to Deliver Better Insights, Faster for Clients:
A version of the following post originally appeared on the DoubleClick Advertiser Blog.

Mindshare, a global media network and digital agency, recently deployed DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) components to service several of their client accounts.  

We caught up with Danny Huynh, managing director of digital and client leadership at Mindshare, to find out more about their experience with DDM.  

What led you to look at the DoubleClick platform?
We’re platform agnostic at Mindshare, and are constantly evaluating technology solutions to identify what works best for a particular client.

Early in 2012, one of our retail clients wanted to drive deeper consumer insights with Google Analytics, as well as, enhance the overall performance of their campaigns. The integrated DDM stack had just been unveiled, and it made sense for us to explore the synergies this platform could unlock. 

You eventually deployed DoubleClick Search, DFA, Invite Media and Google Analytics for the client.  What was the deciding factor in selecting these components?
An important factor was that these were tied into Google Analytics and the single cookie view across the DoubleClick stack. We knew these data would help us understand the complete consumer journey including all the various interactions and touch points -- whether that’s through a search ad, a display ad from a brand campaign, or part of a remarketing effort.

How was the deployment process for these new platforms?
Look, you need a platform that is accurate and reliable, but that only gets you so far; the brains and effort it take to set up the platform is really the key to success.

In the past, we’ve always had a sales team and a technical team to interact with. In this instance our everyday contacts were also super knowledgeable about all of the behind-the-scenes stuff. So when we do have a problem, they take care of it.

What kind of advice would you have for others about their use of tech platforms?
Be careful to not use technology to optimize your brand out of consideration. Today’s consumer journey is no longer a funnel. It’s complex, with different zigzags of consideration and reconsideration. As a marketer, you need to paint the full picture of how the digital channels interact and how each drives a sale -- whether an immediate conversion or not.

It can be tough to convince a client to do that if they’re a pure performance marketer, but if you’re a brand marketer, you need that strong foundation, have the plumbing in place, so that you can see how it all works within an integrated media plan.

At Mindshare, we call that approach “adaptive marketing” where we use fast-moving data to refine our approach over time to make sure we’re driving the results our clients want. 

Read more about Mindshare’s experience with DoubleClick Digital Marketing here.

Posted by Scott Brown, DoubleClick Team


Introducing Google+ Sign-In: simple and secure, minus the social spam

Introducing Google+ Sign-In: simple and secure, minus the social spam: By Seth Sternberg, Director of Product Management, Google+

Cross-posted from the Google+ Developers Blog

Today we’re adding a new feature to the Google+ platform: application sign-in. Whether you’re building an app for Android, iOS or the web, users can now sign in to your app with Google, and bring along their Google+ info for an upgraded experience. It’s simple, it’s secure, and it prohibits social spam. And we’re just getting started.

In this initial release, we've focused on four key principles to make things awesome for users:

1. Simplicity and security come first 

If you sign in to Gmail, YouTube or any other Google service, you can now use your existing credentials to sign in to apps outside of Google. Just review the Google+ permissions screen (outlining the data you're sharing with the app, and the people who can see your activity), and you're all set. Google+ Sign-In also comes with the protections and safeguards you’ve come to expect from your Google account (like 2-step verification), so you can always sign in with confidence.

Managing your signed-in apps is easy too: visit at any time, or open the new Google Settings app on Android.

2. Desktop and mobile are better together 

Many developers offer web and mobile versions of their app, yet setting things up across a browser, phone and tablet is still a major hassle. Starting today, when you sign in to a website with Google, you can install its mobile app on your Android device with a single click.

3. Sharing is selective; spraying is just spam 

Sometimes you want to share something with the world (like a high score), but other times you want to keep things to yourself (like fitness goals). With Google+ Sign-In and circles you decide who to share with, if at all. In addition: Google+ doesn’t let apps spray “frictionless” updates all over the stream, so app activity will only appear when it’s relevant (like when you’re actually looking for it).

4. Sharing is for doing, not just viewing 

Pictures and videos are great for viewing, but sometimes you actually want to do stuff online. That's why, when you share from an app that uses Google+ Sign-In, your friends will see a new kind of "interactive" post in their Google+ stream. Clicking will take them inside the app, where they can buy, listen to, or review (for instance) exactly what you shared.

If you’re building an app for Android, iOS or the web, and you’d like to include Google+ Sign-In, simply dive into our developer docs and start checking stats once your integration is live. Android apps will require the latest version of Google Play Services, which is rolling out to all devices in the next day or so.

To see what other developers are doing with Google+ Sign-In, just visit any of the following sites, and look for the new "Sign in with Google" button (also rolling out gradually):

Written by Seth Sternberg, Director of Product Management, Google+

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor