Violent illicit networks represent a trillion-dollar problem that affects every society in the world and claims hundreds of thousands of lives each year. For example, more than 50,000 people have died in the past five years as a result of the ongoing war in Mexico between rival drug cartels. And although data on this subject is scarce and often unreliable, in 2003 the UN estimated the value of the illicit drug market to be nearly $ 320 billion, greater than the gross domestic product of 88 percent of countries in the world—and that was almost 10 years ago. It’s clear that illicit networks—particularly those that are violent and coercive like drug smugglers, arms dealers and human traffickers—have a devastating human and financial impact on every nation.

We think Google can help. Eighteen months ago we launched Google Ideas with the belief that Google is in the unique position to explore the role that technology can play in tackling some of the toughest human challenges in the world. Our first area of focus was counter-radicalization; last year we convened the Summit Against Violent Extremism with former gang members, right-wing extremists, jihadists and militants as well as survivors of violent extremism. Among the many outcomes of the summit was a platform that we established as a one-stop shop for tackling violent extremism through formers and survivors.

Recently, we’ve expanded our focus to include violent illicit networks such as narco-trafficking, human trafficking, organ harvesting and arms dealing. We believe that technology has the power to expose and dismantle global criminal networks, which depend on secrecy and discretion in order to function. And for the past few months, we’ve been working with people fighting on the front line to gain a better understanding of what drives these networks and how they function.

This week, in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations and the Tribeca Film Festival, we’re convening Illicit Networks: Forces in Opposition (or the INFO summit) in Los Angeles, Calif. Too often illicit networks are seen only in the silos of those who study them. This summit aims to break down those silos by bringing together a full-range of stakeholders, from survivors of organ trafficking, sex trafficking and forced labor to government officials, dozens of engineers, tech leaders and product managers from Google and beyond. Through the summit, which lasts until Wednesday, we hope to discover ways that technology can be used to expose and disrupt these networks as a whole—and to put some of these ideas into practice.

We’ll be uploading videos from the summit to our YouTube channel. Keep up with the Summit via @googleideas and #infosummit2012, or take a look at the video below for a sneak peek.

The Official Google Blog

What do a former violent jihadist from Indonesia, an ex-neo-Nazi from Sweden and a Canadian who was held hostage for 15 months in Somalia have in common? In addition to their past experiences with radicalization, they are all also members of Against Violent Extremism (AVE), a new online network that is launching today from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) with support from our think/do tank Google Ideas, the Gen Next Foundation and other partners. This is the first time that former extremists, survivors, nonprofits and private sector leaders from around the world are combining forces and using online tools to tackle the problem of violent extremism.

The idea for this network first came about last summer when we hosted the Summit Against Violent Extremism in Dublin. We wanted to initiate a global conversation on how best to prevent youth from becoming radicalized. In some ways, it was a bit of an experiment to see if we could get so-called “formers”—those who had renounced their previous lives of violent extremism—and survivors of such violence to come together in one place.

To reframe the issue of counter-radicalization, we decided to spotlight formers as positive role models for youth. We also knew that there has traditionally been an over-reliance on governments to tackle these problems, so we wanted to see what diverse groups outside the public sector could offer. Finally, we needed to go beyond the in-person, physical conversations we had at the summit into the realm of the virtual, using the Internet to ensure sustained discussion and debate.

Until now, there has never before been a one-stop shop for people who want to help fight these challenges—a place to connect with others across sectors and disciplines to get expertise and resources. The AVE web platform contains tools for those wanting to act on this issue, forums for dialogue, and information about the projects that the network has spawned. The site, which is in beta, will be managed by ISD, a London-based think tank that has long worked on issues surrounding radicalization. AVE’s seed members are a global network of formers, survivors of violent extremism, NGOs, academics, think tanks and private sector execs—all with a shared goal of preventing youth from becoming radicalized. You can hear from some of the participants in this video here:

Working with the formers over the past several months has turned out to be an exploration of a kind of illicit network: violent extremism. But it’s touched on other types of illicit networks too—such as drug smuggling, human trafficking and the underground arms trade. With the launch of the AVE network, we plan to turn much of our attention over the next several months to these other areas. This afternoon as part of the Tribeca Film Festival, I will be moderating a panel discussion, Illicit Networks: Portrayal Through Film, talking to a former child soldier, a farm laborer who’s gone undercover to investigate modern-day slavery, a survivor of trafficking and abuse, and a former arms broker. We’ll be watching various movie clips and discussing what people learn from Hollywood when it comes to the mysterious and misunderstood world of illicit networks.

This will be an early look at what’s to come this summer when we will again partner with Tribeca Enterprises and the Council on Foreign Relations (as we did last year in Dublin) to convene the Illicit Networks: Forces in Opposition (INFO) Summit. We plan to bring together a diverse cross-section of activists, survivors, policymakers and engineers to come up with creative ideas about how technology can disrupt some of the world’s most dangerous illicit networks. We want to look not only at how technology has been part of the problem, but how it can be part of the solution by empowering those who are adversely affected by illicit networks. We look forward to sharing with you what we learn.

The Official Google Blog

The Internet has transformed society in so many ways, and that’s bound to continue. The aim of our Big Tent events is to bring together people with diverse views to debate some of the hot-button issues that transformation raises.

This week we hosted our first Big Tent event stateside at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. The theme was Digital Citizenship, and over the course of the day we discussed child safety online, the most effective ways to incorporate technology with education and what governments and civil society can do to maintain a responsible and innovative web.

The policymakers, commentators and industry members who attended heard from a variety of speakers, from child prodigy and literacy evangelist Adora Svitak to filmmaker and Webby Awards founder Tiffany Shlain. Wendy Kopp, the CEO and founder of Teach for America, gave a keynote about the need to integrate technology into education thoughtfully, not as a panacea, but rather within a greater context that supports critical thinking and other crucial curriculum goals. In a fireside chat with David Drummond, Jennifer Pahlka, the founder and executive director of Code for America (which takes the idea of skilled service from Teach for America and applies it to programmers) laid out her vision for a growing corps of young coder volunteers with an “agile, maker-and-doer mentality” that can help local governments better serve their citizens, and help citizens better participate in their democracy. “Instead of a chorus of voices,” she said, “I’d like to see a chorus of hands.”

We also launched a new Big Tent YouTube channel with a collection of content from past Big Tents and information about upcoming events around the world. Visit the channel to watch speaker videos, participate in the debate via the comments, get more information on the presenters and see how different communities approach many of the same issues. Stay tuned for future Big Tents, both here and abroad.

The Official Google Blog

Can you teach an old spider new tricks? Could better understanding alien superbugs cure diseases on Earth? These are the questions that will be asked by the two winning experiments of YouTube Space Lab, the science competition that challenged students from 14 to 18 years old to design a science experiment that could be performed in space. Your votes and our expert judges chose the winners from thousands of entries from around the world. Experiments submitted by Dorothy and Sara, from Troy, Mich., U.S. (winners in the 14-16-year-old age group) and Amr from Alexandria, Egypt (winner in the 17-18-year-old age group) will be performed aboard the International Space Station and live streamed to the world on YouTube.

Meet Amr from Alexandria, Egypt
Global Winner, 17-18-year-old age group:

Meet Dorothy and Sara from Troy, Mich., U.S.
Global Winners, 14-16-year-old age group:

Sunita Williams—the NASA astronaut who’ll fly to the International Space Station later this year and perform the winning experiments live on YouTube—announced the global winners at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C., where the six regional winning teams were gathered. While in Washington, all the teams also took a ZERO-G weightless flight and a private tour of the the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum.

In addition to having their experiments performed in space, Amr, Dorothy and Sara get to choose between one of two awesome space adventures: a trip to Japan to watch their experiment blast off in a rocket bound for the ISS or, once they’re 18 years old, a week-long astronaut course in Star City, Russia, the training center for Russian cosmonauts.

Subscribe to the YouTube Space Lab channel for all the best space playlists and to check out video of the winners on their ZERO-G flight. Stay tuned for the live stream from space, which will take place later this year.

The Official Google Blog

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Question by MrGill: What is the best Adult Affiliate Webmaster money making program on the net? I hear GGW is a great one! Ideas?!

Best answer:

Answer by sim232jd
I know a great one that pays $ 30 just for signing up. It’s a great and well-organized site. very user friendly. I recommend

What do you think? Answer below!

Making ideas real with SketchUp

For the past decade, legions of Google SketchUp users have been quietly shaping the world around us. Two million professionals and hobbyists use this 3D modeling tool every week to design everything under the sun, including houses, room layouts, movie sets, aquariums, bridges, robots and furniture. They even rebuild cities. Chances are, even if you haven’t tried SketchUp yourself, you’ve witnessed, touched or walked inside something created by a SketchUp user.

We think it’s time these behind-the-scenes heroes get a well-deserved round of applause, so we’re starting the Make Ideas Real project. Make Ideas Real is about showcasing the intrepid inventors, designers and dreamers using SketchUp to bring their ideas to life.

If you’re a proud SketchUp modeler, please share your story with us. We’ll curate the work we receive for an online showcase launching in early 2012. Let’s show people everywhere how SketchUp users are changing the shape of our physical world.

Learn more by visiting the SketchUp blog.

The Official Google Blog

Question by xBeautyxLove15: How can I make money without a job, ideas to make extra money?
Besides getting a job, which is actually very hard now a days, while I am in search of a job, what are some ways or tips I could make additional money in the meantime?

Any ideas.

BESIDES online surveys or online gimmicks. Anything I can do in real life or something.

Help me please. And thank you.

Ways in which I can make money.

Best answer:

Answer by eskie lover
You are in the same situation as many others. I have neighbors who have been looking for a job for over 8 months and have either lost or are about to lose their unemployment benefits. Here are some of the things they are doing to raise some cash. Have a garage sale and sell whatever you have that you no longer need, want or are using. Offer your services. I have one neighbor who cleans homes, one who has done yard work, one who runs errands, one who does handyman repairs, one who paints homes inside and outside, one who walks my dogs and will house sit when we’re out of town, one who helped cater an event and one who even “rents” out her table linens, crystal, china and silver service. Oh yeah, one neighbor has chickens and sells the eggs, one grows citrus and avocado and sells those at a roadside stand. Hope one of these ideas will apply to your situation. Good luck!

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