Picture the women in your life—the women you admire. Your grandma. Your daughter. Toni Morrison. Maria Klawe. Temple Grandin. Malala. Somaly Mam. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate these phenomenal women and all the others around the world—to recognize their impact on society, and to focus on what still needs to be done to achieve gender equality. Today, Google is joining in and showcasing inspiring women of the past and present through a series of events, new content on the Cultural Institute and—of course—a doodle. Join us in celebrating women worldwide!

Celebrating technical women on stage at global Women Techmakers events
To help increase visibility, community and resources for technical women, we’re launching a series of 100+ Women Techmakers events in 52 countries to celebrate and support passionate techmakers around the world. Starting today and throughout March, the event series will feature panel discussions with talented female technology leaders, hands-on career planning workshops, networking opportunities and more. To learn more about the program and find an event near you, visit g.co/womentechmakers.

Shining a light on women in history and their collective impact
The Google Cultural Institute is launching Women in Culture, a new channel featuring exhibits that tell stories of women—some familiar and some lesser-known—and their impact on the world. Starting today, you can browse 18 new exhibits, from both new and existing Cultural Institute partners, including:

Since history has so often been biased, leaving out or sidelining contributions from women, the channel is also integrated with the rest of the Cultural Institute collections, making it easier for people to discover even more amazing stories about women throughout history.

A homepage homage
Women have been underrepresented in the history-telling of almost all fields: science, school curricula, business, politics—and, sadly, doodles. In addition to our continued effort for doodle diversity and inclusion, today’s truly International Women’s Day doodle features a host of more than 100 inspiring women from around the world, including the President of Lithuania, a brave Pakistani education activist, the most recorded artist in music history, an ever-curious explorer and dozens more.

Happy International Women’s Day!

The Official Google Blog

Maps keep our spirit of adventure alive by making it easier for us to explore the world around us. That’s why today, we’re making Google Maps even better with new turn-by-turn navigation with traffic conditions, biking directions, Map Maker and new Street View imagery in more locations globally. These improvements are part of our ongoing effort to build the best map we can — one that’s comprehensive, accurate and easy for you to use.

First, we’re expanding Google Maps Navigation (Beta) with voice guided, turn-by-turn directions in thousands of towns across India. Navigation is one of the most frequently requested features in this region and can be especially helpful when driving in densely populated cities like Delhi or Bangalore. We’re also adding live traffic conditions for major roads with estimated travel times to help you save time and to reduce stress on the road.

Turn-by-turn voice navigation in New Delhi, India

Biking directions and Map Maker are also now rolling out to New Zealanders. Local cyclists can access biking directions directly on Google Maps, and use Map Maker to add bike lanes and trails if their favorite route is missing or they discover a new one. Beyond biking trails, Map Maker can also be used to make the New Zealand map more accurate with details such as new road names, building footprints and more.

Biking directions from Remuera in Auckland to the local Google office

Later today, we’ll also release new Street View imagery for more than 150 university campuses globally. With classes just getting started, freshman students, transfers and even empty-nesting parents can now familiarize themselves with college campuses around the world, including UCLA in the U.S., Pembroke College in the U.K., McGill University in Canada and Sophia University in Japan. These new panoramic views join our growing list of universities whose campuses are already available in Google Maps.

View Larger Map

Royce Hall at the University of California, Los Angeles

Finally, to celebrate all the places you can reach with Google Maps—all seven continents, the sky, the moon and even the depths of the ocean—we made a video that we hope will inspire you to keep exploring.

Keep exploring at maps.google.com/helloworld. Here’s to many new adventures.

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long blog)

The Official Google Blog

We recognize the transformative power of startups and the entrepreneurs behind them that have the passion and courage to pursue a dream; the impact they can make on society can be significant. Google was once a startup in a garage, and Google Ventures is a testament to our ongoing commitment to entrepreneurialism. As we head into Global Entrepreneurship Week, it’s clear that having a robust community of entrepreneurs, mentors and educational resources can be a key ingredient in a startup’s success, and we’re excited to be part of that.

Today, we’re announcing a partnership with Startup Weekend—a global organization committed to promoting real entrepreneurship in local communities. In more than 200 cities and across six continents, Startup Weekend holds 54-hour startup creation events, bringing together entrepreneurs from engineering, product, design, marketing and business backgrounds. Participants gather on Friday, and by Sunday afternoon, they launch a product.

This partnership will help Startup Weekend expand to dozens of additional cities around the world and launch new vertical competitions focused on specific themes such as education, health or gaming.

In addition, we’ll be working to bring in Google’s developer community in the form of Google Technology User Groups as an additional resource to Startup Weekend participants. Started in early 2008, there are now more than 280 GTUGs in 86 countries that bring tech enthusiasts together via hundreds of events each month. GTUG members will receive discounted registration for Startup Weekend events and will help run pre-weekend local bootcamps on Google’s developer platforms and tools (e.g., App Engine, Android, Chrome).

We’ll start rolling out our product training and community events at Startup Weekends in the coming weeks and months. To learn more or find the next event happening in your city, visit startupweekend.org/google. Hope to see you at a weekend event soon!

The Official Google Blog

It’s become a cliché to call the world a Global Village, even more so thanks to the advent of the Internet. But Art Sumo is a site which perfectly represents just how small the world has become, and how easy it can be to connect with people from all over the world. The site brings talented, undiscovered artists from across the globe straight to potential buyers, giving them the opportunity to get their work out to a wider audience.

The Art Sumo team consists of founder Naysawn Naderi, an engineer by profession currently based in Canada, Eric Bui-Quang, based in Vietnam, heading up the international search for artists, and their resident social media guru, Lindsey Engh.

Every day, Art Sumo features one painting for sale, and it could be from anywhere in the world, giving new and experienced art collectors an easy way to discover artists they would have otherwise never heard of.

Naysawn gave The Next Web a little insight into what inspired the concept and how the site has been doing so far. The site comes from a very personal place for him, he explains:

“I created Art Sumo to make it easier to discover and purchase the amazing works of art that are being produced in the small corners of the Earth. The inspiration to create the site came from picking up many paintings in my travels myself. I have always tried to be a good son and bring back a painting for my mother wherever I went. In doing so, I have met with lots of artists in the developing world who I often found to be producing work, that I considered incredible for a fraction of the cost that such work would cost in North America. Despite their quality, they often struggled to sell it locally and were not aware of an international market for their work.”

One artist’s experience in particular stands out for him in his travels:

“This point was made loud and clear when I met an artist in New Delhi, India. I purchased several of his paintings, which I found to be more intricate than anything I had ever seen. When I took them back to the US, people offered me a 10x markup for the work. Even though they were of such high quality, the artist would stockpile his work all year long so that once a year he could try to sell them at a market in New Delhi and have an opportunity to sell his work to tourists because there was no market for his work where his family lived in Kashmir.”

Seeing the gap in prices in the artwork abroad, and in the US, Naysawn saw an opportunity to do something about it. Inspired by Kiva, a site which connects people in developing countries for microfinance opportunities, Art Sumo was born.

Art Sumo has featured the work of artists from Indonesia, Ecuador, Philippines, Vietnam, Russia and more.  So how do they find the artists?

“We have Art Hunters located around the world who reach out to artists, tell them about Art Sumo and see through the process of selling their work on the site. We have found that these Art Hunters are needed since many artists are completely unaware of the value of their work and need to be encouraged to sell their work internationally. We are actively searching for more Art Hunters with the right backgrounds in India and Guatemala.”

Once the art has been found, a panel of art aficionados determine which pieces go on the site.

“We only feature art which is very high in quality, sized between 16×16 and 32×32 (in), priced at our right level and has a unique story to it.”

Once a painting is sold, the local Art Hunter will then ship it to the buyer. Art Sumo does offer its buyers a money back guarantee, but Naysawn tells us, “Nobody has ever taken us up on it.”

In fact, Art Sumo is doing so well that about half of the featured paintings have been sold within a day of being listed, with prices ranging from $ 150 to $ 460. There are about 10 paintings currently available on the site.

A testament to just how Art Sumo has been able to connect buyers and artists all over the world, is the fact that the purchases aren’t limited to the US, with buyers as far flung as Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

Art Sumo recently began using Twitter and Facebook as a means of marketing its paintings, and has found a creative use for social media marketing. They don’t just announce the sales on the social networks, but instead Art Sumo has held two successful Dutch auctions, an event which will be held on a weekly basis. Rather than drive the price of the paintings up, the more people share the painting on Facebook or Twitter, the more the price goes down – specifically $ 1 for every share. The Dutch auction concept is a brilliant use of social media, where both Art Sumo and the buyer have something to gain.

As far as future plans are concerned, Naysawn explains:

“We are staying focused on serving up one curated painting from the small corners of the world every day. Our fans love vicariously traveling the world each day and we would like to do an even better job of presenting vicarious travel and the artist’s story. At some point we will begin to offer low priced prints on canvas of the painting of the day.”

The art itself which is featured on Art Sumo is pretty varied in style, as the examples below, from Brazil and Colombia respectively, demonstrate:

The Kiss by Katia Kimieck

The Guardians by Javier Santamaria

TNW Aggregated Feed

(Cross-posted on the Online Security Blog)

Earlier this year, we introduced a security feature called 2-step verification that helps protect your Google Account from threats like password compromise and identity theft. By entering a one-time verification code from your phone after you type your password, you can make it much tougher for an unauthorized person to gain access to your account.

People have told us how much they like the feature, which is why we’re thrilled to offer 2-step verification in 40 languages and in more than 150 countries. There’s never been a better time to set it up: Examples in the news of password theft and data breaches constantly remind us to stay on our toes and take advantage of tools to properly secure our valuable online information. Email, social networking and other online accounts still get compromised today, but 2-step verification cuts those risks significantly.

We recommend investing some time in keeping your information safe by watching our 2-step verification video to learn how to quickly increase your Google Account’s resistance to common problems like reused passwords and malware and phishing scams. Wherever you are in the world, sign up for 2-step verification and help keep yourself one step ahead of the bad guys.

To learn more about online safety tips and resources, visit our ongoing security blog series, and review a couple of simple tips and tricks for online security. Also, watch our video about five easy ways to help you stay safe and secure as you browse.

The Official Google Blog

Over the last month, more than 7,700 Googlers helped serve their communities across 400 different projects as part of GoogleServe, an employee-driven initiative organized almost entirely by volunteers. Through partnerships with nonprofits, schools and local governments, Googlers from 119 cities in 36 countries helped communities in need with projects ranging from educating youth about online bullying to cleaning up local rivers and parks.

GoogleServe began in 2008 and has become an annual company tradition. Giving back to our communities not only revitalizes and strengthens our connections with the cities and towns in which we live and work, it also brings us closer together as a global team. Each year the event has grown in size and scope and this year’s GoogleServe was our largest yet. Here’s a sampling of some of the projects we participated in this time around:

While GoogleServe is an annual celebration of community service, employees donate both time and money to organizations and causes throughout the year. You can find opportunities to serve your local community at All For Good.

Here are some photos of our team in action:

The Official Google Blog

(Cross-posted on the Code Blog and Google.org Blog)

Two years ago representatives from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Hewlett-Packard, NASA and the World Bank came together to form the Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) program. The idea was simple: technology can and should be used for good. RHoK brings together subject matter experts, volunteer software developers and designers to create open source and technology agnostic software solutions that address challenges facing humanity. On June 4-5, 2011 we’ll hold the third Random Hacks of Kindness global event at five U.S. locations and 13 international sites, giving local developer communities the opportunity to collaborate on problems in person.

The RHoK community has already developed some applications focused on crisis response such as I’mOK, a mobile messaging application for disaster response that was used on the ground in Haiti and Chile; and CHASM, a visual tool to map landslide risk currently being piloted by the World Bank in landslide affected areas in the Caribbean. Person Finder, a tool created by Google’s crisis response team to help people find friends and loved ones after a natural disaster, was also refined at RHoK events and effectively deployed in Haiti, Chile and Japan.

We’re inviting all developers, designers and anyone else who wants to help “hack for humanity,” to attend one of the local events on June 4-5. There, you’ll meet other open source developers, work with experts in disaster and climate issues and contribute code to exciting projects that make a difference. If you’re in Northern California, come join us at the Silicon Valley RHoK event at Google headquarters.

And if you’re part of an organization that works in the fields of crisis response or climate change, you can submit a problem definition online, so that developers and volunteers can work on developing technology to address the challenge.

Visit http://www.rhok.org/ for more information and to sign up for your local event, and get set to put your hacking skills to good use.

The Official Google Blog

Powered by Yahoo! Answers