Saturday, April 6, 2013

[Gd] More ways for apps to write to Drive

| More

Google Apps Developer Blog: More ways for apps to write to Drive

Today we’re introducing two new ways for apps to build even richer integrations with Drive: app data folders and custom properties.

In order to run smoothly, your app may depend on data it stores in Drive. But occasionally, users may accidentally move or delete the very file or folder your app needs to function. The app data folder is a special folder in Drive that can only be accessed by your app. The app folder’s content is hidden from the user and from other apps, making it ideal for storing configuration files, app state data, or any other files that the user should not modify.

Although users cannot see individual files in the app data folder, they are able to see how much app data your app is using and clear that data in the Manage Apps dialog.

Apps can also now add custom properties to any Drive file. The new properties collection gives your app the power to create searchable fields that are private to your app or shared across apps. For example, a classroom app could keep track of the grade for a document or a project management app could keep track of the current status of a document going through a review process.

To learn more check out the technical documentation for both app data folders and custom properties, and if you have questions don’t hesitate to post on StackOverflow.

Nicolas Garnier Google+ | Twitter

Nicolas Garnier joined Google’s Developer Relations in 2008 and lives in Zurich. He is a Developer Advocate for Google Drive and Google Apps. Nicolas is also the lead engineer for the OAuth 2.0 Playground.

URL: http://googleappsdeveloper.blogspot.com/2013/04/more-ways-for-apps-to-write-to-drive.html

[Gd] Fridaygram: April foolery, ripping planets, and dream readers

| More

Google Developers Blog: Fridaygram: April foolery, ripping planets, and dream readers

Author PictureBy Ashleigh Rentz, Google Developers Blog Editor Emerita

With all of this week’s developer news, it’s easy to forget that Monday was April Fools’ day. As usual, Googlers channeled their playful spirits into creative new “features” for many of our products.  Did you spot them all?  Wikipedia has a recap list, featuring Google Trends’ “Cold Searches” (discover new unique things that nobody else is into!) and Google Analytics’ export support for even more external media options.

After we stopped fooling around, space.com got serious and shared this animated sequence of what astronomers have observed happening to a massive gas giant planet somewhere around 20 times the size of Jupiter: a supermassive black hole 300,000 times the size of our sun has been ripping the planet apart!  (We’re all relieved to know it’s 47 million light years away from our much-beloved Earth.)


If perchance you take advantage of the weekend to catch up on your sleep, take special note of your dreams. Scientists in Japan have been carefully studying brain scans and reached a 60% success rate in identifying what images dreamers are “seeing”. Maybe soon we can finally answer one lingering question: Do Android developers dream of electric sheep?



Each week, Fridaygram brings you geek-friendly stories of interest to enjoy during your weekend. We can’t read minds, though. Just docs.
URL: http://googledevelopers.blogspot.com/2013/04/fridaygram-april-foolery-ripping.html

[Gd] Easier ways to find the right font

| More

Google Web Fonts: Easier ways to find the right font

We know that finding the right font for your website or blog is a personal choice, and there are many great fonts available to choose from on the web. Now when you search for a font that isn’t available on Google Web Fonts, we show you additional fonts available from Monotype. Each result is shown in the actual font so you can easily preview your options. To get more information on a font, simply click the link under it’s name.

 

We look forward to adding results from more web font providers in the future.

Posted by Raziel Alvarez, Software Engineer
URL: http://googlewebfonts.blogspot.com/2013/04/easier-ways-to-find-right-font.html

[Gd] The OpenSocial Explorer: A Tool For OpenSocial Developers

| More

OpenSocial API Blog: The OpenSocial Explorer: A Tool For OpenSocial Developers

Today the OpenSocial Foundation released the OpenSocial Explorer, a new open source project meant to help developers learn how to build OpenSocial gadgets.

One of the biggest challenges any developer faces when trying to learn a new framework or component model is how to get started. OpenSocial has a robust and mature set of features that bring a tremendous amount of power to the developer. As every developer knows, it doesn't matter how easy a platform is to understand if you don't have something to help you get started!

The OpenSocial Explorer is meant to address this exact issue. It's goal is simple: Get you up and running in minutes.

The OpenSocial Explorer provides developers with sample gadgets demonstrating how to use various features of the OpenSocial specification. It allows developers to modify those samples and quickly re-render the application to explore how those changes effect the gadget. This not only allows you an easy way to understand all the features of OpenSocial but provides a great jumping off point for getting started with your own gadget.

The OpenSocial Explorer is a community effort and we are constantly adding new samples. We are also looking to host a version of this to further accelerate the launch time.

Within in the coming months we will try to address both of these but we need your help! We are looking for people interested in contributing to the project. We welcome all contributions so if you are interested in helping out evolve the project please contribute whatever you can! See the project page for information on how to get started. We encourage everyone to contribute back to the OpenSocial Explorer, however, we realize that may not be possible in all cases. So, if you find bugs or would like new features, please create a GitHub issue.

Check out the video below and get started today!!!!


Posted on behalf of Ryan Baxter by Mark Weitzel, President, OpenSocial Foundation

URL: http://blog.opensocial.org/2013/04/the-opensocial-explorer-tool-for.html

[Gd] Dev Channel Update

| More

Chrome Releases: Dev Channel Update

The Dev channel has been updated to 28.0.1464.0 for Mac, Windows, and Chrome Frame

This build addresses some known regressions and stability issues. Full details about what changes are in this build are available in the SVN revision log. Interested in switching release channels? Find out how.

If you find a new issue, please let us know by filing a bug.

Anthony Laforge
Google Chrome
URL: http://googlechromereleases.blogspot.com/2013/04/dev-channel-update_5.html

[Gd] Beta Channel Promotion

| More

Chrome Releases: Beta Channel Promotion

The Chrome team is happy to announce the promotion of Chrome 27 to the beta channel for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome Frame.   Chrome 27.0.1453.15 contains a number of new improvements, including:

  • Faster page loads 
  • Elegant HTML5 date and time <input> forms
  • Live audio input to Web Audio API
  • Sync FileSystem API for Chrome Apps
  • DevTools updates
  • And lots of other features for developers
A full list of changes in this build is available in the SVN revision logInterested in switching release channels? Find out how. If you find a new issue, please let us know by filing a bug.


Karen Grunberg
Google Chrome
URL: http://googlechromereleases.blogspot.com/2013/04/beta-channel-promotion.html

[Gd] Dev Channel Update for Chrome OS

| More

Chrome Releases: Dev Channel Update for Chrome OS

The Dev channel has been updated to 27.0.1453.36 (Platform version: 3912.10.0) for all Chromebooks. This build contains a number of bug fixes and feature enhancements.

Release Highlights:

  • Pepper Flash updated to 11.6.602.171
  • Fix to reduce memory leaks when playing video on several video sites
  • Fix for a crash when opening document files using the Chrome Office Viewer (225425)

Known Issues:
  • On Samsung Chromebooks, HTML5 video playback is not always smooth. (225563)
  • Fix to issue that blocked returning to the current folder when viewing photos (223494)
If you find new issues, please let us know by visiting our help site or filing a bug. Interested in switching channels? Find out how. You can submit feedback using ‘Report an issue...’ in the Chrome menu (3 horizontal bars in the upper right corner of the browser).

Danielle Drew
Google Chrome
URL: http://googlechromereleases.blogspot.com/2013/04/dev-channel-update-for-chrome-os.html

Friday, April 5, 2013

[Gd] Google Compute Engine - Expanded Availability, New Features, and Lower Prices

| More

Google App Engine Blog: Google Compute Engine - Expanded Availability, New Features, and Lower Prices




Cross-posted with the Google Developers Blog





Starting today, Google Compute Engine is available to all customers who sign up for our Gold Support package. We’re also happy to announce a 4% reduction on all Compute Engine pricing.



In the nine months since announcing Compute Engine, customers have been using Google’s Infrastructure as a Service product and giving us valuable feedback. Sebastian Stadil of Scalr wrote, in a recent review:



“Google Compute Engine is not just fast. It’s Google fast. In fact, it’s a class of fast that enables new service architectures entirely.”



We’re happy to hear that, because one of our main goals in building Compute Engine is to enable a new generation of applications with direct access to the capabilities of Google’s vast computing infrastructure.





Based on user feedback, we’ve added a number of major features including:






  • An improved administration console, the Google Cloud Console (preview), which allows you to administer all your Google Cloud Platform services via a unified interface.







    Screenshot of new Cloud Console in action







  • Five new instance type families (diskless versions of our standard instance types, plus diskful and diskless versions of high-memory and high-cpu configurations), with 16 new instance types.






  • Two new supported zones in Europe, which provide lower latency and higher performance for our European customers. We’ve also made it easy to migrate virtual machine instances from one zone to another via an enhancement to our gcutil command line tool.






  • An enhanced metadata server, with the ability to support recursive queries, blocking gets and selectable response formats, along with support for updating virtual machine tags and metadata on running instances (which enables dynamic reconfiguration scenarios).





While we've been hard at work developing new features, we've also had the opportunity to play. Check out the amazing World Wide Maze Chrome Experiment, developed by the Chrome team in Japan. This game converts any web site of your choice into an interactive, three dimensional maze, navigated remotely via your smartphone. Compute Engine virtual machines run Node.js to manage the game state and synchronization with the mobile device, while Google App Engine hosts the game’s web UI. This application provides an excellent example of the new kinds of rich, high performance back end services enabled by Google Cloud Platform.



With today’s announcement, we look forward to welcoming many new customers, and bringing exciting new applications to Google Cloud Platform!





-Posted by Marc Cohen, Developer Relations




URL: http://googleappengine.blogspot.com/2013/04/google-compute-engine-expanded.html

[Gd] Chrome 27 Beta: A Speedier Web and New HTML5 Forms

| More

Chromium Blog: Chrome 27 Beta: A Speedier Web and New HTML5 Forms

Today we launched Chrome 27 on the Beta channel. This release introduces smarter behind-the-scenes resource scheduling and a few new features for web developers. Unless otherwise noted, updates apply to desktop versions of Chrome and Chrome for Android.

Faster page loads

Web content now appears on screen 5% faster (on average) thanks to changes in Chrome’s resource scheduler. Starting with this release, the scheduler is more aggressive about using an idle connection and demoting the priority of preloaded resources so that they don’t interfere with critical assets. We’ve also added Speed Index values from webpagetest.org to the list of metrics we use to measure improvements in page load time.

Elegant HTML5 date and time <input> forms

The month, week, and date <input> types now feature a simple, elegant user interface on desktop versions of Chrome, as shown in these screenshots from the datalist demo page:


Live audio input to Web Audio API

Starting in today’s Beta, you can use live audio as input to the Web Audio API for extremely low-latency local audio manipulation and playback. When combined with the recent hook up of Web Audio and WebRTC PeerConnection, it enables analysis and manipulation of the input signal to WebRTC. For now this feature is only available on Mac and Windows.

Sync FileSystem API for Chrome Apps

The Sync FileSystem API is a new offline storage API for Chrome Packaged Apps which automatically synchronizes stored data across clients via Google Drive. The files are stored in private sandboxes and can be manipulated with the HTML5 File API and FileSystem API. To play with the code, check out the API spec and syncfs-editor sample app.

DevTools updates

Dock-to-right supports vertical split view, and you can now right-click resources in the Network tab to “Copy as cURL”. The network panel has been improved as well: you can now customize what columns are shown, including the new “domain” one. Finally, console messages can be filtered by source and impl-side painting events are properly displayed in the timeline.

Other web platform features in this release
  • Unprefixed support for the allowfullscreen attribute for <iframe> allows embedded video players like the YouTube’s to go fullscreen.
  • The User-Agent field is now sent in WebSocket opening handshake headers.
  • The ch CSS unit can be used to match the width and spacing of the "0"-glyph in the current font.
Visit chromestatus.com for a complete overview of Chrome’s developer features, and circle +Google Chrome Developers for more frequent updates.

Posted by Kinuko Yasuda, Software Engineer and Super Sync-er
URL: http://blog.chromium.org/2013/04/chrome-27-beta-speedier-web-and-new.html

Thursday, April 4, 2013

[Gd] Google Compute Engine: Expanded availability, new features, and lower prices

| More

Google Developers Blog: Google Compute Engine: Expanded availability, new features, and lower prices

Author PictureBy Marc Cohen, Google Cloud Platform team

Cross-posted with the Google App Engine blog

Starting today, Google Compute Engine is available to all customers who sign up for our Gold Support package. We’re also happy to announce a 4% reduction on all Compute Engine pricing.

In the nine months since announcing Compute Engine, customers have been using Google’s Infrastructure as a Service product and giving us valuable feedback. Sebastian Stadil of Scalr wrote, in a recent review:

“Google Compute Engine is not just fast. It’s Google fast. In fact, it’s a class of fast that enables new service architectures entirely.”

We’re happy to hear that, because one of our main goals in building Compute Engine is to enable a new generation of applications with direct access to the capabilities of Google’s vast computing infrastructure.

Based on user feedback, we’ve added a number of major features including:

  • The option to boot from persistent disks mounted as the root file system, persistent disk snapshots, the ability to checkpoint and restore the contents of network resident persistent disks on demand, and the ability to attach and detach persistent disks from running instances.
  • An improved administration console, the Google Cloud Console (preview), which allows you to administer all your Google Cloud Platform services via a unified interface. Here’s a screenshot of the new Cloud Console in action:
    Screenshot of Cloud Console
  • Five new instance type families (diskless versions of our standard instance types, plus diskful and diskless versions of high-memory and high-cpu configurations), with 16 new instance types.
  • Two new supported zones in Europe, which provide lower latency and higher performance for our European customers. We’ve also made it easy to migrate virtual machine instances from one zone to another via an enhancement to our gcutil command line tool.
  • An enhanced metadata server, with the ability to support recursive queries, blocking gets and selectable response formats, along with support for updating virtual machine tags and metadata on running instances (which enables dynamic reconfiguration scenarios).

While we've been hard at work developing new features, we've also had the opportunity to play. Check out the amazing World Wide Maze Chrome Experiment, developed by the Chrome team in Japan. This game converts any web site of your choice into an interactive, three dimensional maze, navigated remotely via your smartphone. Compute Engine virtual machines run Node.js to manage the game state and synchronization with the mobile device, while Google App Engine hosts the game’s web UI. This application provides an excellent example of the new kinds of rich, high performance back end services enabled by Google Cloud Platform.

With today’s announcement, we look forward to welcoming many new customers, and bringing exciting new applications to Google Cloud Platform!



Marc Cohen is a Developer Programs Engineer focusing on helping developers get the most out of Google’s advanced cloud computing technologies. He has over 25 years of experience designing and building reliable, distributed systems in the telecommunications industry. A Seattle resident, Marc enjoys programming, indie pop/rock music, blogging and teaching.

Posted by Ashleigh Rentz, Editor Emerita

URL: http://googledevelopers.blogspot.com/2013/04/google-compute-engine-expanded.html

[Gd] Blink: A rendering engine for the Chromium project

| More

Google Developers Blog: Blink: A rendering engine for the Chromium project

Author PictureBy Adam Barth, Chromium team

Cross-posted with the Chromium and Open Source blogs

WebKit is a lightweight yet powerful rendering engine that emerged out of KHTML in 2001. Its flexibility, performance and thoughtful design made it the obvious choice for Chromium's rendering engine back when we started. Thanks to the hard work by all in the community, WebKit has thrived and kept pace with the web platform’s growing capabilities since then.

However, Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation - so today, we are introducing Blink, a new open source rendering engine based on WebKit.

This was not an easy decision. We know that the introduction of a new rendering engine can have significant implications for the web. Nevertheless, we believe that having multiple rendering engines—similar to having multiple browsers—will spur innovation and over time improve the health of the entire open web ecosystem.

In the short term, Blink will bring little change for web developers. The bulk of the initial work will focus on internal architectural improvements and a simplification of the codebase. For example, we anticipate that we’ll be able to remove 7 build systems and delete more than 7,000 files—comprising more than 4.5 million lines—right off the bat. Over the long term a healthier codebase leads to more stability and fewer bugs.

Throughout this transition, we’ll collaborate closely with other browser vendors to move the web forward and preserve the compatibility that made it a successful ecosystem. In that spirit, we’ve set strong guidelines for new features that emphasize standards, interoperability, conformance testing and transparency.

To learn more about Blink visit our project page.



Posted by Ashleigh Rentz, Editor Emerita
URL: http://googledevelopers.blogspot.com/2013/04/blink-rendering-engine-for-chromium.html

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

[Gd] Chrome for Android Stable Channel Update

| More

Chrome Releases: Chrome for Android Stable Channel Update

The Chrome team is excited to announce the promotion of Chrome 26 to the Stable channel for Android. This update will be rolling out to Google Play over the next few hours.  Chrome for Android 26.0.1410.58 contains a number of updates including:
  • Password Sync
  • Autofill Sync
  • Fixed issue where blank page would be loaded rather than URL
  • Performance and stability improvements
You can find out more about the release on the Chrome blog.  If you find a new issue, please let us know by filing a bug.

Jason Kersey
Google Chrome
URL: http://googlechromereleases.blogspot.com/2013/04/chrome-for-android-stable-channel-update.html

[Gd] Beta Channel Update for Chrome OS

| More

Chrome Releases: Beta Channel Update for Chrome OS

The Beta channel has been updated to 26.0.1410.57 (Platform version: 3701.81.0) for all Chromebooks. This build contains a number of stability improvements and bug fixes.

Notable fixes:
  • Google Docs is editable on the new Samsung Chromebook
If you find new issues, please let us know by visiting our help site or filing a bug. Interested in switching channels? Find out how. You can submit feedback using ‘Report an issue...’ in the Chrome menu (3 horizontal bars in the upper right corner of the browser).

Ben Henry
Google Chrome
URL: http://googlechromereleases.blogspot.com/2013/04/beta-channel-update-for-chrome-os.html

[Gd] Blink: A rendering engine for the Chromium project

| More

Chromium Blog: Blink: A rendering engine for the Chromium project

WebKit is a lightweight yet powerful rendering engine that emerged out of KHTML in 2001. Its flexibility, performance and thoughtful design made it the obvious choice for Chromium's rendering engine back when we started. Thanks to the hard work by all in the community, WebKit has thrived and kept pace with the web platform’s growing capabilities since then.

However, Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation - so today, we are introducing Blink, a new open source rendering engine based on WebKit.

This was not an easy decision. We know that the introduction of a new rendering engine can have significant implications for the web. Nevertheless, we believe that having multiple rendering engines—similar to having multiple browsers—will spur innovation and over time improve the health of the entire open web ecosystem.

In the short term, Blink will bring little change for web developers. The bulk of the initial work will focus on internal architectural improvements and a simplification of the codebase. For example, we anticipate that we’ll be able to remove 7 build systems and delete more than 7,000 files—comprising more than 4.5 million lines—right off the bat. Over the long term a healthier codebase leads to more stability and fewer bugs.

Throughout this transition, we’ll collaborate closely with other browser vendors to move the web forward and preserve the compatibility that made it a successful ecosystem. In that spirit, we’ve set strong guidelines for new features that emphasize standards, interoperability, conformance testing and transparency.

To learn more about Blink visit our project page.

Posted by Adam Barth, Software Engineer
URL: http://blog.chromium.org/2013/04/blink-rendering-engine-for-chromium.html

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

[Gd] Dev Channel Update

| More

Chrome Releases: Dev Channel Update

The Dev channel has been updated to 27.0.1453.12 for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome Frame

This build addresses some known regressions and stability issues. Full details about what changes are in this build are available in the SVN revision log. Interested in switching release channels? Find out how.

If you find a new issue, please let us know by filing a bug.

Karen Grunberg
Google Chrome
URL: http://googlechromereleases.blogspot.com/2013/04/dev-channel-update.html

[Gd] Integrate Voice and SMS with Twilio on Google Cloud Platform

| More

Google App Engine Blog: Integrate Voice and SMS with Twilio on Google Cloud Platform




Have you ever wanted to integrate SMS or voice communications into your app? We’ve been working with our friends over at Twilio to make it easier to do so. Today we’re announcing native Python and Java libraries for working with Twilio APIs onto Google Cloud Platform.



Lots of apps on App Engine have already been built with phone functionality. Check out the sample code for a group messaging app and the sample code for an app that dispatches voicemails and SMS messages to PagerDuty. Learn how to send business cards via sms through this step by step guide.




You can start building voice and SMS features into your App Engine apps today. Together with Twilio, we’ll help you get started with 2,000 free text message or voice minutes.





Ready to get started?



  1. Sign up for App Engine.




  2. Get your Twilio account and 2,000 free text message or voice minutes.









Here’s a quick peek at how easy it can be to send a text message from App Engine using Python. After installing the Twilio library, it just takes a few lines of code to send an SMS.





-Posted by Robert Do, Product Marketing Manager


URL: http://googleappengine.blogspot.com/2013/04/integrate-voice-and-sms-with-twilio-on.html

[Gd] Integrate voice and SMS with Twilio on Google Cloud Platform

| More

Google Developers Blog: Integrate voice and SMS with Twilio on Google Cloud Platform

Author PictureBy Robert Do, Google Cloud Platform team

Cross-posted from the Google App Engine blog

Have you ever wanted to integrate SMS or voice communications into your app? We’ve been working with our friends over at Twilio to make it easier to do so. Today we’re announcing native Python and Java libraries for working with Twilio APIs onto Google Cloud Platform.

Lots of apps on App Engine have already been built with phone functionality. Check out the sample code for a group messaging app and the sample code for an app that dispatches voicemails and SMS messages to PagerDuty. Learn how to send business cards via sms through this step by step guide.

You can start building voice and SMS features into your App Engine apps today. Together with Twilio, we’ll help you get started with 2,000 free text message or voice minutes.

Ready to get started?

  1. Sign up for App Engine.
  2. Get your Twilio account and 2,000 free text message or voice minutes.
  3. Check out our guide on how to integrate Twilio services into your app.

Here’s a quick peek at how easy it can be to send a text message from App Engine using Python. After installing the Twilio library, it just takes a few lines of code to send an SMS.


import webapp2
from twilio import twiml
from twilio.rest import TwilioRestClient
class SendSMS(webapp2.RequestHandler):
  def get(self):
      # replace with your credentials from: https://www.twilio.com/user/account
      account_sid = "ACxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
      auth_token = "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
      client = TwilioRestClient(account_sid, auth_token)
      # replace "to" and "from_" with real numbers
      rv = client.sms.messages.create(to="+14155551212",
                                      from_="+14085551212",
                                      body="Hello Monkey!")
      self.response.write(str(rv))
app = webapp2.WSGIApplication([('/send_sms', SendSMS)],
                            debug=True)


Posted by Ashleigh Rentz, Editor Emerita
URL: http://googledevelopers.blogspot.com/2013/04/integrate-voice-and-sms-with-twilio-on.html

Monday, April 1, 2013

[Gd] Apps Script helps name Pluto's new moons

| More

Google Apps Developer Blog: Apps Script helps name Pluto's new moons

Editor’s Note: Guest author Mark Showalter is a Senior Research Scientist at the SETI Institute. — Arun Nagarajan

In 2011 and 2012, while studying the region around Pluto with the Hubble Space Telescope, I discovered the dwarf planet’s fourth and fifth known moons. Like all new astronomical objects, they started out with rather prosaic names — “S/2011 (134340) 1” and “S/2012 (134340) 1”, or, for short, P4 and P5.

I soon found my inbox stuffed with hundreds of naming suggestions. With so much interest, it didn’t seem fair to leave the job to just a handful of scientists. Instead, we decided to let the public propose and vote on the names of Pluto’s moons.

We knew that the web servers at the SETI Institute, my research home, could never handle the bandwidth required for such a task. However, the Institute has built strong relationships with Google through our extensive use of G+, and our friends there were thrilled to let us use Google services for the demanding task. I asked my husband Frank Yellin, who works on the Gmail team, for help in setting up the forms and collecting the data. Google Forms and Google Sheets were obvious choices, but with the volume of contributions and votes we were expecting, we knew we’d need programmatic help checking for duplicate nominees, filtering out inappropriate names, and tallying the votes.

Frank is a longtime Java engineer, so he tried a Java solution first. As the votes started to pour in at the rate of several per second, however, it became clear that the program could barely keep pace. Votes were coming in almost as fast as they were being downloaded and tallied. In a panic, Frank realized it was time to learn Apps Script — in fact, time to learn JavaScript altogether.

With some help from his colleagues (“How do I split a string?” “How do I make a hash table?”), he turned the project around in a few hours. Processing that had taken tens of minutes using Java took mere seconds in Apps Script, since nothing but the results ever had to leave the data center.

We were right to be prepared. By the time we closed the write-in ballot, we had received 30,000 write-in nominees and more than 450,000 votes.

We are now using the results of the poll to support our proposal for the formal names of P4 and P5. That decision is currently in the hands of the International Astronomical Union. When the final decision is made, Pluto and Charon and Nix and Hydra will be joined by two more representatives of the ancient underworld.

Dr. Mark Showalter   profile

Planetary scientist Mark Showalter is a Senior Research Scientist at the SETI Institute. His primary interest in the dynamics of planetary rings. To date, this interest has led him to discover five new moons and three new rings.


URL: http://googleappsdeveloper.blogspot.com/2013/03/apps-script-helps-name-plutos-new-moons.html

Sunday, March 31, 2013

[Gd] Fridaygram: high school computer science, desert termites, YouTube sleuthing

| More

Google Developers Blog: Fridaygram: high school computer science, desert termites, YouTube sleuthing

Author Photo
By Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

Computer Science for High School (CS4HS) is a Google-sponsored program to enable professional development for high school and middle school students around the world interested in computer science. CS4HS holds workshops for teachers and provides funding to develop the workshops, along with help from local Googlers.


woman pointing at map on large monitor

Earlier this week, we announced the recipients of this year’s grants, which will be the fifth year of the program (and you can see a list of previous years’ programs here). Computer science education isn’t just for university students any more.

Education leads to the scientific method, which is how researchers discovered that mysterious circles in the Namib Desert are probably not fairy circles or the work of an underground dragon, but are actually caused by termites in the sand. Norbert J├╝rgens of the University of Hamburg learned that sand termites eat the roots of grasses, creating the circles in the sand. That’s not nearly as cool as an underground dragon, but it seems more plausible.

Finally, you probably remember that astonishing meteor that lit up the sky over Russia last month, and you might have seen some of the many videos that recorded the event. So did Swedish blogger Stefan Geens, who figured out that he could learn more about the meteor from the videos in non-obvious ways. Geens used a video showing shadows cast by the meteor, along with Google Earth and Photoshop, to roughly calculate the meteor’s trajectory and landing place. From there, scientists figured out more about the meteor, including its size, track, and point of explosion. So this weekend, if you get inspired, you too can use YouTube to figure out something new.


Yes, meteor videos and sand termites are just part of the usual fun here on Fridaygram, where we eschew our usual developer fare and present just cool stuff instead, even if it doesn’t involve coding.
URL: http://googledevelopers.blogspot.com/2013/03/fridaygram-high-school-computer-science.html