Next step in the Chrome OS journey

Last year we announced
a new kind of computer
This is the next step

All of you haiku fans (like many of us on the Chrome team) can stop here; the rest can read on for more details.

A year ago we introduced a new model of computing with the launch of Chromebooks. We’ve heard from many of you who’ve enjoyed the speed, simplicity and security of your Chromebooks at home, at school or at work. (Thanks for all the wonderful feedback and stories!) Today, we wanted to share some developments with you—new hardware, a major software update and many more robust apps—as we continue on our journey to make computers much better.

Next-generation devices
Our partner Samsung has just announced a new Chromebook and the industry’s first Chromebox. Like its predecessor, the newest Chromebook is a fast and portable laptop for everyday users. The Chromebox is a compact, powerful and versatile desktop perfect for the home or office.

Speed
Speed is integral to the Chrome experience. The new Chromebook and Chromebox, based on Intel Core processors, are nearly three times as fast as the first-generation Chromebooks. And support for hardware-accelerated graphics, a built-from-scratch multi-touch trackpad and an open-source firmware stack provide a much faster and more responsive computing experience. The new Chromebook boots in less than seven seconds and resumes instantly. With the Chromebox, you can be on a video conference while continuing to play your favorite role-playing game on the side.

An app-centric user interface
With the new user interface you can easily find and launch apps, and use them alongside your browser or other apps. You can pin commonly-used apps for quick access, display multiple windows side-by-side or experience your favorite apps in full-screen mode without any distractions.

Be much more productive…or not

  • Get more stuff done, online or offline: With the built-in ability to view Microsoft Office files and dozens of the most common file formats, you can access all your content without the hassle of installing additional software. Google Drive makes it easy to create, store and share with just one click. Drive will be seamlessly integrated with the File Manager and support offline access with the next release of Chrome OS in six weeks. With Google Docs offline support (rolling out over the next few weeks), you can keep working on your documents even when offline and seamlessly sync back up when you re-connect. In addition, there are hundreds of offline-capable web apps in the Chrome Web Store.
  • Have more fun: The revamped media player and a built-in photo editor and uploader enable you to easily play and manage your personal media collections. Through the Chrome Web Store, you can access entertainment apps such as Google Play, Netflix, Kindle Cloud Reader and Pandora, and thousands of games including popular games like Angry Birds and console titles such as Bastion.
  • Carry your other computers…inside your Chromebook: With Chrome Remote Desktop Beta, you can now securely connect to your PC or Mac from your Chromebook or Chromebox. With the underlying VP8 technology, it’s almost like you’re in front of your other computers in real time.

The (always) new computer
We’ve released eight stable updates over the past year, adding a number of major features and hundreds of improvements to all Chromebooks through our seamless auto-update mechanism. There’s a lot more on the way, so all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the benefits of the (always) new computer.

For those who want to try the Chromebook and Chromebox first-hand, we’re expanding the Chrome Zone experience centers. In the U.S., Chromebooks will be available to try out in select Best Buy stores in the coming weeks. In the U.K., they’re now available in a growing list of PC World and Currys stores.

Starting today, you can get the new Chromebook and Chromebox from our online retail partners in the U.S. and U.K., and in other select countries over the coming weeks.

Posted by Linus Upson, Vice President, Engineering and Caesar Sengupta, Director of Product Management

(Cross-posted from the Chrome Blog)

New Product: Google Apps Password Sync for Active Directory

Google Apps Password Sync allows Google Apps admins to synchronize their users’ passwords from Active Directory to Google Apps as they are changed.

What’s new:
– Sync passwords as they are changed – no need to wait for a scheduled sync
– Secure – passwords aren’t saved anywhere except on your Active Directory and Google Apps, and are transmitted hashed and encrypted
– Quick to set up – installation takes only a few minutes per server

For more information:
Download Page
Configuration Guide

Updates to Twitter and New Policies

New things are always happening here at Twitter HQ. We’re growing at a rapid pace, and our commitment to simplicity, transparency, and reaching every person on the planet continues. We thought you might be interested in knowing about some of our most recent developments:
  • A new weekly email that delivers the most interesting news and items you might have missed from the people you’re connected to on Twitter.
  • Now Twitter is in more languages than ever. Check for your preferred language and change your setting.
  • Download the latest Twitter mobile apps at twitter.com/download.
  • There’s more to Discover on Twitter.com – try out the new Discover tab.
In addition, we’ve made a number of updates to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
Here are some of the main changes to our Privacy Policy, with links for more information:
  • We’ve provided more details about the information we collect and how we use it to deliver our services and to improve Twitter. One example: our new tailored suggestions feature, which is based on your recent visits to websites that integrate Twitter buttons or widgets, is an experiment that we’re beginning to roll out to some users in a number of countries. Learn more here.
  • We’ve noted the many ways you can set your preferences to limit, modify or remove the information we collect. For example, we now support the Do Not Track (DNT) browser setting, which stops the collection of information used for tailored suggestions.
  • We’ve clarified the limited circumstances in which your information may be shared with others (for example, when you’ve given us permission to do so, or when the data itself is not private or personal). Importantly, our privacy policy is not intended to limit your rights to object to a third party’s request for your information.
In our Terms of Service, we’ve clarified how your relationship with Twitter works and made a number of small changes and formatting improvements, such as new headings for easy reference and updated descriptions of our services.
Take a moment to read our new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, and thanks for using Twitter.
The Twitter Team

Google IPv6 will be permanently enabled on June 6th, 2012

A reminder that Google will enable IPv6 permanently on June 6th, 2012 at 12am UTC.

The countdown to IPv6 was announced back on January 17th, 2012 here. This was done for 24 hours a year ago and we did not notice any major disruptions for Apps customers.

Customers with SSO IP Whitelists and IPv6 capable equipment need to ensure that their SSO whitelist configuration contains their IPv6 network segments (if applicable). The SSO Help Center article is linked here.

YouTube: Unlocking JavaScript’s Potential with CORS

Web developers are accustomed to making magical user experiences with a few lines of elegant JavaScript, but when faced with talking to RESTful services like the YouTube API, the options have been anything but simple. The most common approach relies on a technique known as JSONP, which relied on dynamically inserting a <script> tag on a page and triggering a local callback function with response from an external service. The YouTube API has supported JSONP for a while now, but developers using this approach are probably familiar with its drawbacks: request failures can lead to the JavaScript callback never being triggered, and JSONP can only be used for read-only API calls that don’t require HTTP request headers being set.

A modern alternative to JSONP is Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS), which allows JavaScript developers to make arbitrary HTTP requests (GETs, PUTs, POSTs, etc.) via the standard XMLHttpRequest interface. Not every browser supports the extensions to XMLHttpRequest that support CORS, but if you’re using one that does we have some good news for you: the gdata.youtube.com web servers that host the YouTube Data API now are enabled for CORS support!

This opens up a whole new class of web application integration with YouTube done purely in client-side JavaScript, without any need for running server-side code. To illustrate what’s now possible, take a look at this sample code. When run in a browser that supports CORS, you can authenticate using OAuth 2 and then perform the entire browser-based upload flow entirely from JavaScript. Previously, the portion of the code that POSTed metadata to the YouTube API needed to be run on a web server.

We can’t wait to see what JavaScript developers will build now that the doors to CORS are open. Enjoy!

Cheers,
—Jeff Posnick, YouTube API Team

Gmail : Follow an email’s journey with Story of Send

If you’re anything like me, you send and receive a lot of emails every day. But have you ever wondered where your message goes after you hit “send?” How does an email travel from your computer to your friend’s smartphone across the country or around the world?

We’re answering those questions with Story of Send, a new site that gives you a behind-the-scenes look into how all that virtual information makes its journey through the real world—from your Internet service provider to our data centers and beyond. Along the way, you’ll discover everything from where we filter for spam and scan for viruses to how we’re minimizing our impact on the environment through energy efficiency and renewable power.

We’ve included videos and photos throughout the journey so you can explore certain areas more deeply. For example, if you’re curious what data center servers look like, we’ve included some photos. Or you can watch a video to learn about how we purchase clean energy from wind farms near our data centers. And because technology doesn’t always have to be serious, you might find a vampire or two lurking around or uncover other surprises on the journey.

In the past, Gmail fans have shown us how emails connect people across the world. Now we’re providing a glimpse into how those emails go from one place to another. So hit send and start the journey today.

Posted by Erin Reilly, Google Green team

Magento Community 1.7 and Enterprise 1.12 Release Features

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Magento had announced the latest Magento releases: Magento Enterprise 1.12 and Community 1.7. The recent enhancements to powerful eCommerce offerings help merchants provide a more personalized shopping experience for their customers.

Benefits include easier order placement, mobile optimization and multiple wish lists. These enhancements give merchants greater potential to boost consumer engagement, increase conversions and transaction size, and foster brand loyalty.

All merchants, including those running B2B businesses, can take advantage of improved customer segmentation and ordering capabilities. While those operating in Europe can use our new features to stay compliant with EU regulations.

Of course, latest releases have lots in store for developers too, including a new API, and backup and rollback systems.

Read on to learn about the key features in our new releases and how they can benefit you.

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Mobile HTML5

Quickly and easily create a storefront optimized for mobile devices so customers can shop even when they’re on the go. This mobile interface uses HTML5 technology and supports iPhone, Android and Mobile Opera browsers. It includes out-of-the-box features such as:

  • Device-specific media capabilities for audio and video
  • User-friendly search and results display
  • Clean display of product detail pages
  • Pinch, multi-touch and scaling images
  • Easy swipe between product images
  • Zoom capabilities
  • Cross-sell and up-sell capabilities
  • Drag-and-drop of products to the shopping cart
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Visitor Segmentation

Tap into a whole new customer segment – unknown site visitors. Whether they’re new visitors or returning customers who have not logged in, you’ll now be able to identify and target them with special promotions to convert browsers into buyers.

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Expanded Rule-based Product Relations

Our rule-based product-relations functionality allows merchants to target specific customer segments with product recommendations. Pinpoint specific customers with up-sells, cross-sells and related products to create a more relevant shopping experience.

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Auto-generation of Coupon Codes

Generate a set of unique coupon codes for each promotion you run and export the list of codes for offline distribution, email, newsletters and more. Easily manage and monitor coupon usage and generate detailed reports.

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Multiple Wish Lists

Customers can save products to multiple wish lists and copy or move items from list to list. They can make their wish lists public so they’re searchable by anyone. And merchants can review them to learn about their customers’ wants and needs.

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Layered Navigation Pricing Enhancement

We’ve introduced a new set of algorithms for price-layered navigation that provides much greater flexibility. Now you can display a range of prices that is based on having a similar number of products within each range, giving you better control of your customers’ search results, and helping your customers find what they’re looking for faster.

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Customer Group Pricing

One price doesn’t always fit all. This tool allows you to create different price points for different customer groups, such as wholesalers and retailers. You can determine both base price and tiered price levels.

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Add to Cart by SKU

Streamline the ordering process, especially for B2B customers, by enabling them to enter a list of SKUs without having to go into product pages. This simplifies large orders, recurring orders and ordering based on offline catalogs.

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REST APIs Support

The new Magento REST API uses three-legged OAuth 1.0a protocol to allow applications to safely access Magento services. What this means for you? You can manage customers, customer addresses, sales orders, inventories and products using HTTP verbs (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE). Data requests and responses can be in XML or JSON format.

This initial version of the REST API supports the following functions:

  • Create/Retrieve/Update/Delete a simple product
  • Retrieve a list of orders and specific order information
  • Update/Retrieve catalog inventory
  • Create/Retrieve/Update/Delete complete customer information
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European Union VAT-ID Validation

This feature facilitates the tax collection process for online businesses in the EU and greatly simplifies international B2B transactions by automatically applying the correct tax rules. Taxes can be calculated and charged according to VAT customer groups, based on customer shipping or billing addresses and VAT IDs.

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EU Cookie Restriction

Our response to the recent EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive? A new cookie notification feature that simplifies the compliance process. Once enabled, a message at the top of the storefront informs site visitors about the cookie policy and prompts them to accept or decline.

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CMS Page Hierarchy Enhancements

Managing your CMS hierarchy tree just got easier. Now you can add CMS pages to the navigation menu without custom development. You can also create, copy or delete different CMS hierarchy trees for each website and store view individually or en masse..

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Backup and Rollback

Manage and schedule a variety of backup operations with the option to rollback the changes to reverse any modifications. This feature is particularly useful when testing new modules or customizations, or when upgrading to a new version of Magento. You can review specific customizations and their impact on the new code. (We do not recommend using this feature in your production environment.)

Three types of backup are supported:

  • System Backup
  • Database Backup
  • Database and Media Backup
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Payment Bridge 1.1 Updates

Magento Secure Payment Bridge, our PA-DSS certified payment application, adds multiple new payment methods. In addition to our existing supported gateways – PayPal, Authorize.net and Payflow Pro – we are introducing support for the following new gateways:

  • Psi Gate
  • RBS Worldpay
  • Database and Media Backup
  • Braintree
  • First Data
  • Card Gate Plus
  • DIBS
  • eWay Direct
  • Ogone Directlink
  • Paybox
  • Payone
  • Sage Pay
  • CCAvenue

Supported by services provided by Braintree or Authorize.net, customers can also securely save their credit card information for future transactions in a “My Credit Cards” section in “My Account.” And with support from Kount, you can integrate fraud-screening services with your payment methods (requires separate agreement with Kount).

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CAPTCHA

Now you can enable CAPTCHA functionality on your site to help prevent automated software from attempting fake logins. This auto-generated test ensures that the login is being attempted by a person and can be enabled in both the admin and customer login areas.

YouTube’s Topics Experiment

In 2010, YouTube started to test a feature that associated videos with topics. At that time, the experiment tried to improve search results pages by allowing you to find related videos.

YouTube Topics is still available as a separate page that lists the most popular topics and lets you find topic channels like this one.

There’s also an experiment that shows the topic of a video next to the channel’s name and lets you subscribe to the topic. The topic is an automatically generated channel. “We use many different sources to find these topics, including frequently used uploader keywords, common search queries, playlist names, and even sources outside of YouTube such as Wikipedia articles,” explains YouTube’s blog.

Here’s how you can enable this experiment. If you use Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer 8+, open youtube.com in a new tab, load:

* Chrome’s JavaScript console (Ctrl+Shift+J)
* Firefox’s Web Console (Ctrl+Shift+K)
* Safari’s Web Inspector (how to do that?)
* Opera Dragonfly (press Ctrl+Shift+I and select the “console” tab)
or
* IE’s Developer Tools (press F12 and select the “console” tab)

and paste the following code:

document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=4sBbSJYiyUE; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();

Then press Enter and close the console.

Google’s Project Glass

After a few months of speculation, Google revealed some information about the project that will make Google Goggles and other mobile apps more useful. Instead of using a smartphone to find information about an object, translate a text, get directions, compare prices, you can use some smart glasses that augment the reality and help you understand more about that things around you.

“We think technology should work for you—to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t. A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment,” says Google.

There’s also a video that shows why the glasses could be helpful:

Google’s concept glasses have a camera, a microphone and can connect to the Internet to send and receive data in real time. The interface is simple and it only shows relevant information.

One of the people who used the glasses said that “they let technology get out of your way. If I want to take a picture I don’t have to reach into my pocket and take out my phone; I just press a button at the top of the glasses and that’s it.”

In February, New York Times reported that “the glasses [could] go on sale to the public by the end of the year. (…) The people familiar with the Google glasses said they would be Android-based, and will include a small screen that will sit a few inches from someone’s eye. They will also have a 3G or 4G data connection and a number of sensors including motion and GPS.” Seth Weintraub found that “the navigation system currently used is a head tilting-to scroll and click, (…) I/O on the glasses will also include voice input and output, and we are told the CPU/RAM/storage hardware is near the equivalent of a generation-old Android smartphone”.

It will be interesting to see if Google will actually sell these smart glasses. There are a lot of issues that need to be solved before releasing a commercial product: from battery life to packaging so much technology in a such a small product, from improving Google Goggles to handling real-time video streaming.

YouTube Developer : See you at GDC, PyCon and SXSW

YouTube Developer Advocates and Engineers will be presenting next week at GDC, PyCon and SXSW. If you’re coming to any of those conferences, we’d love to meet you. Here is what’s in store at each conference:

Games Developers Conference, San Francisco, March 5-9

PYCON 2012, Santa Clara, March 7-15

SXSW Interactive, Austin, March 9-13