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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Badware alerts for your sites

As part of our efforts to protect users, we have been warning people using Google search before they visit sites that have been determined to distribute badware under the guidelines published by StopBadware. Warning users is only part of the solution, though; the real win comes from helping webmasters protect their own users by alerting them when their sites have been flagged for badware -- and working with them to remove the threats.

It's my pleasure to introduce badware alerts in Google webmaster tools. You can see on the Diagnostic Summary tab if your site has been determined to distribute badware and can access information to help you correct this.

If your site has been flagged and you believe you've since removed the threats, email appeals at to request a review. If that's successful, your site will no longer be flagged -- and your users will be safer as a result of your diligence.

This version is only the beginning: we plan to continue to provide more data to help webmasters diagnose issues on their sites. We realize that in many cases, badware distribution is unintentional and the result of being hacked or running ads which lead directly to pages with browser exploits. Stay tuned for improvements to this feature and others on webmaster tools.

New commenting and stats features

Timestamps in comments are now automatically hyperlinked

Now, whenever you specify times of interest in a comment, we'll automatically hyperlink those times so that clicking on them will take a visitor directly to that spot in the video. To be hyperlinked, the time must be in h:mm:ss or m:ss format and within the actual duration of the video.

If you want to share that special moment, simply right click on the hyperlink, select "Copy link location," and then paste it into an email to a friend or post the link in your blog.

New view stats detail

We've added some detail to the stats available for each video. You can now see how many of yesterday's views were seen through emailed links or via the embedded Google Video player on another site. To bring some of this data to life, we've added a chart of daily views.


More Earth for the Mac

Posted by: John Gardiner, Technical Writer, Google Earth team, and Rose Yao, Mac Product Manager

Late last week, Google released an updated beta version of Google Earth 4 for Mac OS X (and some other platforms). For those of you who love Google Earth, this release includes a number of neat new features and enhancements:

Performance improvements: we've made 3-D models (such as those created in SketchUp or imported from the 3D warehouse) load more quickly and more realistically.

Paths and polygons: a very cool advanced feature -- and now it's in the FREE version.

Altitude: This is useful for overlays such as weather radar images where you want to see the image from directly above, but also want to look at the ground imagery from an angle. It's also good if you're going on a hike and want to pick an easier path :).

And as usual, we're trying to improve the Google Earth experience with new icons, printing functionality, and more. Check it out!

Ring, Ring! Who's There? - Windows Mobile and GData

Windows Mobile is one of the prominent mobile platforms these days. So it was only a matter of time until the .NET client library was retrofitted to be compilable under the .NET 2.0 Compact Framework.

Currently, only the core library is available, with the customized libraries for property specific extensions becoming available in the next weeks. But this is a nice first step, and already allows you to interact fully with the Blogger service.

Code that currently runs on your desktop will most likely not have to be changed, as the object model is 99% unchanged between the desktop and the compact framework versions of the library.

Connect to the GData open source repository and get access to the newest member of the GData access libraries.

- Frank Mantek, Software Engineer

From the field: Big Blue Saw

At Big Blue Saw, we are showing the world a better way to do custom manufacturing. Our customers upload their designs to our website. We then make these designs come to life in metal and plastic through the use of advanced robotic machining technology like waterjet cutting.

But as with any new business, Big Blue Saw was facing several problems. We were not only a new business, we were a new kind of business. Potential customers thought we had a great idea, but were afraid to trust us with both their dreams and their money. To top it off, we actually received e-mail from customers telling us that they were uncomfortable using our existing payment processor.

We wanted to make sure that our customers felt as comfortable as possible with the ordering process. This is why we have given them the added option of using Go ogle Checkout. The Google name may mean the difference between a customer and just another visitor to the site.

Since installing Google Checkout, we've had excellent feedback. Most of our new customers prefer using Google Checkout over our existing shopping cart and payment system. They seem really happy with both, our service and with the Google Checkout system. There haven't been any complaints or glitches with the system. Google Checkout's forward-thinking approach to e-commerce and customer relations is an excellent match for our forward-thinking approach to manufacturing.

Desktop refreshed

Every once in a while, our products go through a change that we just can't wait to get out to you. That's the case with Google Desktop 4.5, which introduces a visual refresh of the Sidebar and some Google Gadgets. The cleaner and now transparent Sidebar integrates more seamlessly into your desktop environment while still providing convenient, at-a-glance access to all sorts of personalized information. This version is also compatible with the latest software such as Microsoft Vista, Office 2007, and Mozilla Firefox 2.0. There are more details on the Google Desktop Blog.

Check out the new Sidebar

The Google Desktop Sidebar has always been great at delivering content personalized to individual users, ever since it was introduced way back in the second version of Google Desktop. But we kept thinking: what's a better way to deliver this content? In later versions of Google Desktop we let gadgets float on the desktop. But the Sidebar was starting to get a bit jealous and we couldn't restrain it any longer, so now there's Google Desktop 4.5, featuring a Sidebar with a new look.

The new Sidebar is transparent, so it fits seamlessly with your desktop environment. Gadgets that fought for attention now look right at home, and content-heavy gadgets get new frames and icons that make it easier to tell them apart. All of this leads to a better place to find your email, news, feeds, stock prices, weather and other essential information. And this version is compatible with all of the latest software including Microsoft Vista, Office 2007 and Mozilla Firefox 2.0. So what are you waiting for? Try the new Sidebar in Google Desktop now.

University of Virginia joins the Library Project

Modeled after Rome's Pantheon, the University of Virginia's Rotunda (pictured above) represents a little bit of academic rebellion by Thomas Jefferson, father of the university and a founding father of the United States. How so? When Jefferson designed U.Va., he broke with tradition by placing a library -- rather than a chapel -- at the center of the campus.

Books were Jefferson's passion, and U.Va.'s library collection reflects the active role he played in the library's initial development. Jefferson designed the Rotunda to house the library, decided which books to include in the library's first collection, created its initial classification system, and personally hired U.Va.'s first librarians. (You can read more about the man who once said "I cannot live without books" on the U.Va. library website.)

Today, as the University of Virginia becomes the newest partner in the Google Books Library Project, we welcome the collections that grew out of his work to Google Book Search.

U.Va. President John T. Casteen III, put it well when he said:
Reading and the quest for knowledge were all-important to [Jefferson]. Reaching out into the world...was central to his vision of what an American university must do to promote the knowledge that sustains personal freedom. To have the library that is the clearest single emblem of this vision now assume a role in a vast, international digital library has special meaning here. It puts a distinctly contemporary meaning to our founder's dream of making knowledge accessible to all people.

By opening up U.Va.'s library collection through Book Search, readers will be able to discover books from U.Va.'s many esteemed collections -- from American literature to Buddhist studies. As a U.Va. alumna, I'm excited to welcome the library Jefferson so carefully designed and cultivated to Google Book Search.

What happens in Vegas...

What could be more exciting than the sights and sounds of Las Vegas? Meeting our publishers in person, of course! A few of us from AdSense are excited to be at WebmasterWorld PubCon 2006 in Las Vegas this week on November 15 and 16. Stop by the Google booth to meet a few seasoned optimization specialists who'll be happy to give you insights into how to better optimize AdSense on your pages as well as answer any burning questions you may have.

In addition, an AdSense Product Manager will be on hand at Safe Bets From Google eagerly awaiting to hear what features you want from AdSense, or take any other feedback about the program. And if that isn't enough, one of our very own will be presenting on Wednesday's contextual advertising optimization panel.

For those of you who'll be going, we wish you smooth travel to the City of Lights and hope to meet you there.


How-To Part 3: Voice Calls

Eating cereal aside, nobody likes to hear snap, crackle and pop. When we built Google Talk, we focused on voice quality, and our users seem to notice and appreciate that. Whether you're calling your kid at school twenty minutes away or your friend traveling in Bulgaria, you'll get instantaneous communication that's as clear as someone talking to you in the same room.

This video will teach you how to start making your free voice calls.

Peter Adams
Online Operations Coordinator


BUG: October 29 Stats Retrieval

Thanks to those of you who pointed out the issue surrounding stats retrieval for October 29, 2006.

Attempts to retrieve stats for 10/29/2006 – 10/29/2006 will return an empty/null set. This affects all stats methods. However, any request that includes a broader date range that includes October 29 should return accurate data (including the data for October 29).

If you need specific stats for October 29, request stats for October 28 and for Oct 28-29, and then take the difference between them.

We are working to resolve this issue now and will have more information as soon as it has been corrected. Thank you for your patience.

-- Jon Diorio, Product Marketing

Fixed: API Latency Bug

We apologize for the delay. On November 4 we identified and corrected the API latency bug that we reported on November 3. Since then, system response times have returned to their normal levels.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you.

-- Jon Diorio, Product Marketing


It’s no secret that journalists are fans of the scary statistic, mostly because nothing is more effective at grabbing a reader’s attention. Think we’re exaggerating? Try this stat from Accenture on for size: Only 29 percent of IT projects are considered successful. According to Accenture, the average IT project exceeds its projected cost and schedule by [more]


Sometimes people spend too much time fighting old battles and meeting old challenges and not enough thinking about what lies ahead. That’s human nature: What’s in the past, as unpleasant as it may be, has the advantage of being known. This doesn’t seem to have much to do with convergence or IT until one begins thinking about [more]


The first update to Google Apps, the tech darling’s free suite of business software, is personalization capabilities that will allow administrators to customize home pages for their organizations and then allow users to further customize their home pages as they like. The portal-like option is part of Google Apps for Your Domain, which brings together [more]


Just how obvious does an innovation have to be before it can be denied a patent? That’s at the heart of a dispute headed for oral arguments before the Supreme Court Nov. 28, and the case involving adjustable gas pedals that has drawn the close attention of technology giants Microsoft and Cisco. A patent holder has sued [more]