residual income Residual Income We’re ALL about Residual Income and Lifestyle! We have tried lots of different things o C…

We think it’s important to shine a light on how government actions could affect our users. When we first launched the Transparency Report in early 2010, there wasn’t much data out there about how governments sometimes hamper the free flow of information on the web. So we took our first step toward greater transparency by disclosing the number of government requests we received. At the time, we weren’t sure how things would look beyond that first snapshot, so we pledged to release numbers twice a year. Today we’re updating the Transparency Report with data about government requests from January to June 2012.

This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: Government surveillance is on the rise. As you can see from the graph below, government demands for user data have increased steadily since we first launched the Transparency Report. In the first half of 2012, there were 20,938 inquiries from government entities around the world. Those requests were for information about 34,614 accounts.

The number of government requests to remove content from our services was largely flat from 2009 to 2011. But it’s spiked in this reporting period. In the first half of 2012, there were 1,791 requests from government officials around the world to remove 17,746 pieces of content.

You can see the country-by-country trends for requests to hand over user data and to remove content from our services in the Transparency Report itself, but in aggregate around the world, the numbers continue to go up.

As always, we continue to improve the Transparency Report with each data release. Like before, we’re including annotations for this time period with interesting facts. We’re also showing new bar graphs with data in addition to tables to better display content removal trends over time. We’ve now translated the entire Transparency Report into 40 languages, and we’ve expanded our FAQ—including one that explains how we sometimes receive falsified court orders asking us to remove content. We do our best to verify the legitimacy of the documents we receive, and if we determine that any are fake, we don’t comply.

The information we disclose is only an isolated sliver showing how governments interact with the Internet, since for the most part we don’t know what requests are made of other technology or telecommunications companies. But we’re heartened that in the past year, more companies like Dropbox, LinkedIn, and Twitter have begun to share their statistics too. Our hope is that over time, more data will bolster public debate about how we can best keep the Internet free and open.

The Official Google Blog

A look inside our 2011 diversity report

We work hard to ensure that our commitment to diversity is built into everything we do—from hiring our employees and building our company culture to running our business and developing our products, tools and services. To recap our diversity efforts in 2011, a year in which we partnered with and donated $ 19 million to more than 150 organizations working on advancing diversity, we created the 2011 Global Diversity & Talent Inclusion Report. Below are some highlights.

In the U.S., fewer and fewer students are graduating with computer science degrees each year, and enrollment rates are even lower for women and underrepresented groups. It’s important to grow a diverse talent pool and help develop the technologists of tomorrow who will be integral to the success of the technology industry. Here are a few of the things we did last year aimed at this goal in the U.S. and around the world:

We not only promoted diversity and inclusion outside of Google, but within Google as well.

  • We had more than 10,000 members participate in one of our 18 Global Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Membership and reach expanded as Women@Google held the first ever Women’s Summit in both Mountain View, Calif. and Japan; the Black Googler Network (BGN) made their fourth visit to New Orleans, La., contributing 360 volunteer hours in just two days; and the Google Veterans Network partnered with GoogleServe, resulting in 250 Googlers working on nine Veteran-related projects from San Francisco to London.
  • Googlers in more than 50 offices participated in the Sum of Google, a celebration about diversity and inclusion, in their respective offices around the globe.
  • We sponsored 464 events in 70 countries to celebrate the anniversary of International Women’s Day. collaborated with Women for Women International to launch the “Join me on the Bridge” campaign. Represented in 20 languages, the campaign invited people to celebrate by joining each other on bridges around the world—either physically or virtually—to show their support.

Since our early days, it’s been important to make our tools and services accessible and useful to a global array of businesses and user communities. Last year:

  • We introduced ChromeVox, a screen reader for Google Chrome, which helps people with vision impairment navigate websites. It’s easy to learn and free to install as a Chrome Extension.
  • We grew Accelerate with Google to make Google’s tools, information and services more accessible and useful to underrepresented communities and diverse business partners.
  • On Veterans Day in the U.S., we launched a new platform for military veterans and their families. The Google for Veterans and Families website helps veterans and their families stay connected through products like Google+, YouTube and Google Earth.

We invite you to take a look back with us at our 2011 diversity and inclusion highlights. We’re proud of the work we’ve done so far, but also recognize that there’s much more to do to. These advances may not happen at Internet speed, but through our collective commitment and involvement, we can be a catalyst for change.

The Official Google Blog

Google’s Android mobile operating system overtook sales of Apple’s iPhone for the first time in Australia, accounting for 42.9 percent of smartphones sold in the country compared to Apple’s 37.2 percent share, according to a new report by Kantar ComTech WorldPanel.

New product launches by HTC and Samsung are thought to have boosted sales, with Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC’s Desire S, Desire Z and Incredible S smartphones launching recently in the country.

Taking into account the last four weeks alone, Android sales accounted for 54 percent of sales in the country, compared with Apple’s 29 percent share, suggesting consumers in Australia are beginning to take advantage of the varying selection of Android handsets available across varying price points. Growth of the sales Australia have now begun to mirror Western Europe and North America as a result.

The survey, which polled more than 10,000 Australian smartphone buyers, has received independent confirmation of sorts, with IDC telecommunications analyst Mark Novosel indicating that the data “definitely makes sense to me”.

However, Apple’s slight sales dip may not indicate a lack of demand for Apple smartphones, Telyste analyst Foad Fadaghi believes the rise in share of Google’s Android platform may only be temporary as consumers hold off buying a new iPhone in anticipation of Apple’s next-generation smartphone dubbed the ‘iPhone 5′. The iPhone 5, expected to launch in October, is said to sport Apple’s new dual-core A6 processor, improved cameras and will feature the new iOS 5 operating system.

Google’s Android share could be impacted should Apple’s legal action against HTC and Samsung affect sales of HTC and Samsung smartphone and tablet sales, with Apple already successfully banned the import and sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 device in Australia.

Apple could also launch a new lower-priced iPhone, engaging the number of Android smartphone vendors that offer low and mid-range devices directly for the first time.

TNW Aggregated Feed

Sometimes you just want to edit your website with minimal fuss. Who wants to navigate a complex content management system when you just want to add some images or a video, or just change some text?

SiteCake is a brilliant tool for editing websites without touching the back-end at all. You simply type directly onto the page, dragging and dropping new elements as you need them.

As the video here shows, it’s really easy to throw together new elements for a page and publish them for the world to see with minimum fuss. Images, slideshows, videos, maps, files and even raw HTML can all be inserted from the easy-to-use interface. In fact, the developers describe it as ‘Minority Report’-style editing, it’s that effortless.

Installation requires you to upload some files to the folder your website is hosted from and add a snippet of code to each page you want to use it with. So far, SiteCake has been built as a stand alone installable product, but the team’s next step is to build a WordPress plugin, followed by a version which can be used to edit Facebook Pages.

The full-featured version is priced at $ 49 for a single site license, with a cut-down version for editing text and and adding/removing images available for free.

Requiring self-installation, this isn’t a tool for everyone. However, if you’re keen to give it a go, you can find out more at

TNW Aggregated Feed

Our Transparency Report discloses the information that governments have asked for over the past six months. For our latest batch of data, covering July through December 2010, we wanted to improve the way we give you the information, so we’ve updated the look of the report and added more details.

We’ve highlighted some significant changes in the data and provided context about why those changes may have occurred during this reporting period. We’ve also made it easier for you to spot trends in the data yourself. For example, we’ve changed the format so you can now see data on a country-by-country basis. We’re also clearly disclosing the reasons why we’ve been asked to remove content—such as an allegation of defamation or hate speech.

For the first time, we’re also revealing the percentage of user data requests we’ve complied with in whole or in part. This gives you a better idea of how we’ve dealt with the requests we receive from government agencies—like local and federal police—for data about users of our services and products.

Our goal is to provide our users access to information and to protect the privacy of our users. Whenever we receive a request, we first check to make sure it meets both the letter and spirit of the law before complying. When possible, we notify affected users about requests for user data that may affect them. And, if we believe a request is overly broad, we will seek to narrow it.

We hope that our website improvements help you to see more clearly how the web is shaped by government influence and how Google responds to requests for information and removals.

The Official Google Blog

Powered by Yahoo! Answers