Author Photo
By Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

This week we launched a campaign to keep the Internet #freeandopen, ahead of a meeting of government agencies next week that could increase censorship and regulation of the Internet. We believe that Internet policies should be discussed and decided by the people who use it, not just governments. You can go to the site to learn more and find out what you can do. You can also watch Google Developers Live next Tue., Wed., and Thu. for live Hangouts on this topic. Your opinion matters!

Speaking of matter, researchers are eyeing data from the Large Hadron Collider for evidence of a new form of matter that has been theorized to exist but never seen. The new matter is a kind of gluon called color-glass condensate. Scientists noted that some wacky particles unexpectedly showed quantum entanglement when they traveled in the same direction after collisions. A new state of matter is a possible explanation.

Finally, take a look at this video of erupting lava from the Kilauea Volcano flowing into the ocean. You can also see a webcam view of the caldera, including some brave people watching from a safe distance. Maybe they’ll wave!

Each Friday on this blog we depart from the usual developer topics and present fun and interesting stuff that’s not necessarily related to writing code. Sometimes we even veer into an important topic, like the #freeandopen program mentioned in this post.

Posted by Ashleigh Rentz, Editor Emerita

Author Photo By Dave Barth, Product Manager

Cross-posted with the Official Google Enterprise Blog

Earlier this week, we announced a collection of improvements across Google Cloud Platform including 36 new Compute Engine instances, Durable Reduced Availability (DRA) storage, Object Versioning, and European datacenter support. We also announced that we are reducing the price of standard Google Cloud Storage by over 20%.

We are committed to delivering the best value in the marketplace to businesses and developers looking to operate in the cloud. That’s why today we are reducing the price of Google Cloud Storage by an additional 10%, resulting in a total price reduction of over 30%. This price reduction applies to all Cloud Storage regions and the new DRA Storage.

Find out more about the new Cloud Storage pricing and sign up now to get started.

Dave Barth is a Product Manager on the Google Cloud Storage team, based in Seattle. He is idealistic about the capacity of technology to change the world.

Posted by Raj Sarkar

Author PhotoBy Artem Livshits, CEO of OblakSoft

This guest post was written by Artem Livshits, CEO of OblakSoft, which makes the ClouSE MySQL storage engine for cloud development. In this post, Artem describes his experience using Google Cloud Storage to store and serve a WordPress blog.

WordPress is popular blogging software used by over 60 million people. If you have a WordPress blog, you want to ensure that your server load is manageable and that your load times are fast. You also want your data to be protected in case your server fails. With that in mind, we at OblakSoft created the Cloud Storage Engine for MySQL (ClouSE). It stores all your WordPress data on Google Cloud Storage, taking the load off your server to improve reliability and speed, and to reduce hosting costs.

We’ve been very impressed with the performance of Google Cloud Storage. Because it’s built on Google’s infrastructure, storage objects are cached within Google’s global network and distributed globally without the need for a Content Distribution Network (CDN). This ensures content is delivered with the best possible performance.

Here is a high-level architectural diagram of a WordPress-powered website that uses Google Cloud Storage to store and serve content:

The website’s content management is done through WordPress, which uses a MySQL server to store the website’s data. It uses the WP2Cloud WordPress plugin we created to upload pictures (and other media files) to Google Cloud Storage. ClouSE makes the web server stateless by storing all data in Google Cloud Storage using the Google Cloud Storage API. Web pages (lightweight HTML) are served by WordPress, while media files are served by Google Cloud Storage directly.

WordPress is one example of a MySQL-based application that can take full advantage of Google Cloud Storage to:
  • Keep the data highly available and highly durable.
  • Serve media files in a highly scalable fashion.
  • Distribute media files across the globe for fast access.
This solution works with any hosting provider, so our users can keep their current hosting arrangement, and move their data to Google Cloud Storage using WP2Cloud and ClouSE. Users who are limited preview customers of Google Compute Engine can get started immediately using a fully configured WordPress image that we created.

We’re very excited about the potential of the Google Cloud Platform to power dynamic web server applications. Launch your own WordPress site in the cloud today - it’s easy and there’s minimal setup. We found it easy to make ClouSe work with Google Cloud Storage, and you can see how you can integrate Google Cloud Storage into your app as well.

Artem Livshits is the Founder, CEO and software architect at OblakSoft, a company focusing on technologies that simplify adoption of cloud computing. Previously Artem led the development of several server products from inception to maturity during his 12 years at Microsoft, including the source control system managing most of the Microsoft code base.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

Author Photo
By Jessie Jiang, Product Management Director

(Cross-posted on the Official Google Enterprise Blog.)

We're constantly making updates to our Google Cloud Platform products—Google App Engine, Cloud Storage, Big Query, Compute Engine and others—based on user feedback and to improve the overall experience. For example, two weeks ago we introduced a major update to Google Cloud SQL providing faster performance, larger databases (100GB), an EU zone, and a no-cost trial. But, we know there is more to do. Today, we’re continuing to improve the platform with new storage and compute capabilities, significantly lower prices, and more European Datacenter support.

Lower storage prices and new Durable Reduced Availability (DRA) Storage

Updated 3:23 PM to provide more details about DRA. To give you more flexibility in your storage options and prices, we’re reducing the price of standard Google Cloud Storage by over 20% and introducing a limited preview of Durable Reduced Availability (DRA) storage. DRA storage lowers prices by reducing some data availability, while maintaining the same latency performance and durability as standard Google Cloud Storage. This makes it a great option for batch compute jobs that can easily be rescheduled or for data backup where quick access to your data is important. DRA achieves cost savings by keeping fewer redundant replicas of data. Unlike other reduced redundancy cloud storage offerings, DRA is implemented in a manner that maintains data durability so you don't have to worry about losing your data in the cloud.

And, to automatically keep a history of old versions of your data, we’re introducing Object Versioning. You can also use it to help protect against deleting or overwriting your data by mistake or due to an application error.

More European Datacenter support
We are continuing to roll out our European Datacenter support. Now, customers using Google App Engine, Google Cloud Storage, Google Cloud SQL and (soon) Google Compute Engine can deploy their applications, data and virtual machines to European Datacenters. This helps bring your solutions even closer to your customers for faster performance and enables international redundancy.

36 New Compute Engine instance types and overall reduced prices
Earlier this year we introduced a Limited Preview of Google Compute Engine with four standard instance types. Today, we are announcing 36 additional instance types and are reducing the price of our original 4 standard instances by about 5% for those currently in our preview. In the coming weeks, the following will be available:

  • High Memory Instance - High performance instances tailored for applications that demand large amounts of memory.
  • High CPU Instance - Reduced cost option when applications don’t require as much memory.
  • Diskless Configurations - Lower cost options for applications that do not require ephemeral disk and can exclusively utilize persistent disk.

We are also introducing Persistent Disk Snapshotting which makes it simple to instantly create a backup of your disk, move it around Google datacenters, and use the snapshot to start up a new VM.

We want to thank you, the community of developers and businesses who are pushing the platform into new areas and building innovative applications. We look forward to seeing where you take it next. Find out more about the new Cloud Storage pricing and Compute Engine instances. Sign up now and get started today.

Jessie Jiang is the Product Management Director, Google Cloud Platform. She is passionate about building the best platform for developers and businesses in the cloud.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs

Cross-posted with the Google Open Source Blog

… and Go! The Google Code-in 2012 contest has officially started!  If you are a 13-17 year old pre-university (high school) student interested in computer science who would like to learn more about open source software development while earning cool prizes, sign up on our program site today.  Students have the opportunity to select tasks from 5 categories (coding, documentation/training, quality assurance, research/outreach and user interface) that are designed by 10 open source organizations that will provide mentors for the students.  Students earn certificates, t-shirts and Grand Prize Winners will win a trip for themselves and a parent or legal guardian to Google’s Mountain View California campus in 2013. Each of the 10 open source organizations will choose 2 of the 5 students that complete the most tasks with their organization as their Grand Prize Winners for a total of 20 Grand Prize Winners for Google Code-in 2012- that’s twice as many Grand Prize Winners as last year!

Last year, 542 students from 56 countries competed in the contest: this year you could be one of the students from around the world learning new skills and making new friends by experiencing the awesome world of open source development.

If you’d like to sign up, please review the Contest Rules and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on our program site. You can join our discussion list to ask any other questions. For details on important dates for the contest, see the calendar. If you meet the eligibility requirements you can create your account on the program site and start claiming tasks today!

Join us today, Nov 26th, as members of Google’s Open Source Programs Office host a Live Google Code-in Hangout on Air on the Google Education page at 2pm PST to discuss details of the contest and to answer questions from viewers. If you can’t make the live Hangout on Air it will be recorded and posted on our Google Open Source Student Programs YouTube Channel within a couple of days.

The contest ends on January 14, 2013 so start claiming tasks today.  Good luck and have fun!

Written by Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

Author PhotoBy Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

Google Developers Live (GDL) is designed to bring you great technical content, live as it happens and archived for whenever you need it. We want GDL to teach you about our tools and platforms, but Eiji Kitamura, a Google Developer Advocate in Tokyo, had another idea: use the captions on GDL videos as a tool for picking up English while learning about technology. As Eiji says, “Learning English and technology at the same time is a killer feature, because it is time efficient, practical, and enjoyable”.

For the best translation, make sure
English is selected (shown circled in red).

For the best translation, click the CC button and make sure English is selected (shown circled in red in the image above), and not English (transcribed). The English translations are usually available about a week after each event.

Eiji posted about this idea on the Google Developer Relations Japan Blog, and it proved to be very popular, so several other Googlers around the world picked up the thread and created their own versions of the post, translated into Korean, Spanish, and Hebrew, with more translated posts in the works. If you’re a developer learning English while studying a new technology, now you can absorb both at the same time.

Switching our focus to nature, we’ve often wondered: how many legs are enough? 2? 4? 100? The answer turns out to be 562 to 750, which is the number of legs you’ll find on llacme plenipes, a rare millepede species. This creature was long thought to be extinct, but according to a recent journal was rediscovered in 2006 in a densely foggy area of central California. (Note: humans thought the species was extinct, but llacme plenipes itself was not fooled.)

Finally, if you need some new gaming fun this weekend, check out Ingress, a game that takes place online and in the physical world. Just be sure to stop playing and come back to your family at some point.

On Fridays we depart from our usual fare of new tools and events, and instead tell you about general cool stuff you might find interesting. This week we’re wondering: are you disappointed to learn that millipedes don’t really have 1000 legs?

Author Photo
By Amanda Surya, Manager of YouTube and Commerce Developer Relations

Google strongly supports diversity and inclusion in all our communities, including users, employees, and developers. In that spirit, last week we launched Women Techmakers (WTM) on Google Developers Live, bringing visibility to talented women leaders in technology industries.

The inaugural week of WTM programming told the stories of 6 prominent women in the tech industry and produced some enlightening conversations. From impromptu in-house product testing, to how to start a company, to crafting that perfect startup pitch, to visualizing the presidential election in a new way, to manipulating petabytes of data, our first class of women techmakers taught us new things technically and professionally.

We hope WTM inspires more women to add their expertise and creativity to the tech community. As Google+ community member Meghan Peters posted, “This is wonderful. What a great series – and very inspiring to see the thread speak up about so many more amazing women! It's this kind of support from each other that can really help push more women to the top.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. And we’re only getting started. Read on for video highlights and what’s next for WTM.

Video Highlights

Women Techmakers with JESS3

Visualizing data in new and compelling ways. Check out a visual walkthrough of the 2012 Presidential Election infographics from JESS3.

Women Techmakers with Pixel Qi & One Laptop Per Child

Real-time hardware testing and on-air demos.

Women Techmakers with Startup VC and NewME Accelerator

When startups are angel material & what makes a good pitch.

Didn’t get a chance to tune in live? No worries! You can watch all of the Women Techmakers episodes right now or any time on our YouTube playlist:

What’s next for WTM?

We’re open for suggestions! Share with +Google Developers and @googledevs who you’d like to see on the next Women Techmakers series. Use hashtag (#WTM) and +mention your nominations.

Amanda Surya is Manager of the YouTube and Commerce Developer Relations team at Google. In her spare time, she likes to blog about time-saving tips and of course watch YouTube videos.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

Author Photo
By Hope Friedland, Agency Marketing

Creative genius meets digital innovation this week on Google Developers Live (GDL). Airing Monday through Friday at 2:30pm EST | 19:30 UTC, the agencies and developers behind some of the coolest stuff in the Creative Sandbox gallery sit down with Google product experts. They’ll talk about what they built, how they did it, and explain their hangups and breakthroughs. Visit the Google+ Event to RSVP, tune in live on GDL, and explore the gallery here.

Here’s the detailed schedule:

Monday: Mobile | archived | featuring Beattie McGuinness Bungay | Watch at

Tuesday: YouTube API | 2:30pm EST | 19:30 UTC | featuring Saatchi & Saatchi LA, Stoop LA, and Ogilvy Paris | Watch at

Wednesday: DoubleClick Rich Media | 2:30pm EST | 19:30 UTC | featuring Grow and Spinnaker | Watch at

Thursday: Google+ API | 2:30pm EST | 19:30 UTC | featuring Resn, Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Hook | Watch at

Friday: Geo API | 2:30pm EST | 19:30 UTC | featuring McCann New York, Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Famous Interactive | Watch at

Connect with us at Tune into live programming, check out the latest in Google tools & technologies, and learn how to make great apps.

Hope Friedland is a marketing manager on the hunt for cutting-edge digital campaigns that will inspire ad agency creatives to come up with the next big idea (see Creative Sandbox). She's an occasional globetrotter and is especially fond of anything creative, interactive and newsworthy.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

Author PhotoBy Jud Porter, Software Engineer, PageSpeed Team

Making your website fast is crucial to creating a great user experience – but doing so can be complicated, with many factors to consider. That’s why we created mod_pagespeed, an open-source Apache module designed to optimize your web pages automatically and easily. We recently introduced our milestone 1.0 release, and today, we’re following it up with the release of mod_pagespeed to our beta channel.

With this release we've reduced server load time and improved utilization for large, multi-server environments. We accomplished this by adding support for memcached (a popular, scalable cache), and improving logging and statistics reporting. With memcached, multiple Apache servers share and fetch the same resources optimized by mod_pagespeed. Logging and reporting have been improved to make it easier to keep track of resource consumption and optimization effectiveness across multiple sites hosted by a single Apache installation. These new features make mod_pagespeed even better for high-traffic sites and network providers hosting many individual websites on their infrastructure.

We’ve also added a number of other new features and optimizations including:
  • Improved CSS optimization. CSS media queries are now supported, and the new fallback_rewrite_css_urls filter allows partial optimization of CSS containing unsupported or proprietary extensions.
  • The default set of optimizers now includes the flatten_css_imports filter, improving out-of-the-box performance.
  • Improved mod_spdy interaction with support for custom mod_pagespeed configuration and filters for SPDY enabled clients. This makes it easier to deploy SPDY on your site, which can significantly decrease page load times.
Check out the release notes for all the new features and improvements. For more information about mod_pagespeed, please see our documentation, and if you have any questions or issues let us know on our issue tracker or discussion group.

Jud Porter is a software engineer working on mod_pagespeed, an Apache module designed to automatically make websites faster. In his free time he enjoys experimenting with cocktails, brushing up on his foosball game, and discovering obscure music.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

Author Photo
By Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

Hey, wanna start a band? A new Chrome Experiment, JAM with Chrome, lets you play music in a web app and jam with others online in real time. You get to pick from 19 different instruments, including drums, guitars, and keyboards. Once you get really good, you can use shortcuts on your (computer) keyboard to play your instrument.

When you’ve had enough fun making music with your friends, you can explore how JAM with Chrome works. Take a look at the tools and technologies that were used to make this app, and for details, read the case study. Then you can decide whether you want to build the next great web app or become a rock star instead.

Speaking of stars, scientists have astonishingly figured out how to learn about light from every star that ever existed. Researchers used the orbiting Fermi Large Area Telescope to look at distant galaxies and measure photons from various places around the universe. This data goes back to the formation of the first stars more than 13 billion years ago.

Finally, back on our own planet, you might have noticed that Google Maps recently added more building footprints to map displays. In case you didn’t count them, over 25 million new building footprints have been added to both desktop and mobile versions of Google Maps. Maybe you’ll see the new footprints while exploring your favorite city this weekend.

On Fridays we detour slightly from our usual posts and publish a Fridaygram, a fun compilation of nerdy stuff to amuse you (and us). And how cool is it that we have orbiting telescopes?

Author PhotoBy Phoebe Peronto, Developer Marketing

We’re heading into the last leg of DevFest season, and it’s time to share the latest from events all over the world. From a live Twitter stream at DevFest Lima (#devfestlima), to keynote highlights from the GDG Algeria event, to shared learning resources from speakers at DevFest Hyderabad, festing devs have a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks! Check out highlights from past events, along with upcoming event links & dates.  

DevFest Bangkok (Bangkok, Thailand) | Host: GDG Thailand
DevFest Bangkok attendees shared photos live from the event, posting updates directly to Google+. Ruben Licera, Jr., a GDG DevFest Bangkok attendee shared to Google+, “Congrats in advance +Wittaya Assawsathain  and the whole +GDG Thailand community. =)”

DevFest Lima
(Lima, Peru) | Host: GDG Lima
Check out the Google+ #devfestlima stream from the October 27th event.

DevFest Chennai (Chennai, India) | Host: GDG Chennai
“With 365 attendees at DevFest Chennai, the event was jam packed with curious developers! There were a series of talks and hack demos from a variety of speakers, who kept the audience intact throughout the event.  We were amazed by the reactions we got from the audience throughout the event, and we are completely happy about the way the event happened.” --Karthik K. (GDG Chennai Organizer)

DevFest Beijing
| Host: GDG Beijing
GDG Beijing organized a DevFest with about 200 local developers, business leaders, and college students participating. We covered Android, Google Maps API, and HTML5. Bill Luan of Google Developer Relations presented the 2012 Google I/O update and DevRel global program update on GDL, GDE, and GDA.

“Speakers from local companies Sunda and NQ presented HTML, web app development, and Android low-level security for application development. Our event also  included a special session on startup topics. Directors from three local VC firms, Legend Star Capital, Zero2IPO Ventures, and China Center for Information Industry (CCID), joined a panel discussion on how to leverage technologies for startups. You can find more information about the event, including photos, here.” --Jerry Ge (GDG Beijing Organizer)

(Algiers, Algeria) | Host: GDG Algiers
The GDG Algiers team posted updates from their event in real-time, including moments from Googler Patrick Heneghen’s keynote address:

“Patrick Heneghen, doing the Keynote at #gAlgeriaExtended. It was an awesome moment!” --GDG Algiers

DevFest Hyderabad (Hyderabad, India)| Host: GDG Hyderabad
At DevFest Hyderabad, attendees had fun both doodling and doing cool things with Google technologies. From Neil Ghosh’s open sourcing of HTML5 slides used during the event for online community use, to attendee Harish Kotra’s product session update, “Features of Android 4.1 built using the name Project Butter by Anirudh at #gdg  #devfest Hyderabad!,” the event was absolutely a success.

Check out other recent DevFest events.  Click the links for more information.
DevFest Cochabamba (Cochabamba, Bolivia) | Host: GDG Cochabamba
DevFest Valley View University (Ghana) | Host: GDG Valley View University
DevFest Chandigarh (Chandigarh, India) | Host:  GDG Chandigarh
DevFest Brunei (Brunei, Brunei) | Host: GDG Brunei
DevFest Accra (Accra, Ghana) Accra, Ghana | Host: GDG Ghana
DevFest Ouaga (Ouaga, Burkina Faso) | Host: GDG Ouaga
DevFest Uruguay (Montevideo, Uruguay) | Host: GDG Uruguay
DevFest Bacolod (Bacolod, Philippines) | Host: GDG Bacolod
DevFest Nantes (Nantes, France) | Host: GDG Nantes

Just added:
DevFest Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) | Host: GDG Barcelona
DevFest Prague (Prague, Czech Republic) | Host: GDG Prague

What’s up next?

Dubai, UAE | 11/9/2012
Brazza, Congo | 11/10/2012
Murcia, Spain | 11/10/2012
Vienna, Austria | 11/10/2012 - 11/11/2012
Shikoku, Japan | 11/10/2012

Just added:
Omsk, Russia | 11/16/2012
Moscow, Russia | 11/17/2012
Voronezh, Russia | 11/18/2012

Want to learn more? Find your nearest GDG chapter, get involved in local events, and connect with Google developers 24/7/365 on Google Developers Live.

Phoebe Peronto is an Associate Product Marketing Manager on the Developer Marketing team here at Google. She’s a foodie who has a penchant for traveling, politics, and running. Oh, and of course...Go Cal Bears!

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

Author Photo By Joe Faith, Product Manager

Cross-posted with the Official Google Enterprise Blog

You want your applications to be fast, even with millions of users. Anytime your user tries to retrieve information from the app or update settings, it should happen instantly. For the best performance, you need faster, larger databases - especially if you have a growing user base to serve.

Google App Engine is designed to scale. And now Google Cloud SQL—a MySQL database that lives in Google’s cloud—has new features to meet the demand for faster access to more data. With today’s updates, you can now work with bigger, faster MySQL databases in the cloud:

  • More Storage: We’re increasing the available storage on Cloud SQL to 100GB – ten times more than what used to be available.
  • Faster Reads: We’re increasing the maximum size of instances to 16GB RAM, a 4 times increase in the amount of data you can cache.
  • Faster Writes: We’re adding functionality for optional asynchronous replication, which gives the write performance of a non-replicated database, but the availability of a replicated one.
  • EU datacenter availability: Now you can choose to store your data and run your Cloud SQL database instance in either our US or EU data centers.
  • Integration with Google Apps Script: We’re making it quick and easy for businesses using Google Apps to use Cloud SQL. Publish and share data with Google Sheets, add data to Google Sites pages or create simple Google Forms without worrying about hosting or configuring servers. 

Introducing a new trial offer 

Many of you have requested a trial offer to test out Cloud SQL. Today, we’re introducing a 6- month trial offer at no charge, effective until June 1, 2013. This will include one Cloud SQL instance with 0.5 GB of storage. Sign up now and get started on Cloud SQL at no cost.

Joe Faith is a Product Manager on the Google Cloud Team. In a previous life he was a researcher in machine learning, bioinformatics, and information visualization, and was founder of charity fundraising site Fundraising Skills.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

Author PhotoBy Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

This year marks the 100th anniversary of El Ajedrecista, a very cool chess-playing machine that is credited as the first computer game. To celebrate El Ajedrecista and its creator, Leonardo Torres-Quevedo, Google and the Technical University of Madrid are holding a conference next week. This event will discuss Torres-Quevedo’s many inventions, which included a cable car that still runs over the Niagara Whirlpool and an arithmometer that could perform calculations.

The first El Ajedrecista (photo by Museo Torres Quevedo)

The conference takes place on Wednesday, November 7th and features lectures and exhibits, including El Ajedrecista itself. If you’re going to be in Madrid, you can request an invitation. Note that if you play against El Ajedrecista, you’re going to lose: Torres-Quevado cleverly designed the machine to play an endgame from a superior position.

Speaking of moving pieces around, Angkor Wat is a huge temple complex, made from literally millions of massive sandstone blocks. Historians have wondered how ancient laborers moved these blocks to the building site. According to a new study reported by +LiveScience, the blocks were made in quarries and transported 37 kilometers via a network of canals. A previous theory suggested the blocks spent part of their journey going upstream in a river, but the newly discovered canals make the trip much shorter, and a shorter route is important when you’re pushing multi-ton hunks of sandstone around.

Finally, if you’re have some time this weekend, you can lose yourself in a bunch of new works available from the Google Art Project, including collections from Italy, Turkey, Peru, the U.S., and China. Beautiful.

Every Friday, we take a break from technical posts and publish Fridaygram, which contains stuff about science, history, the arts, and anything else cool and nerdy. And then pretty soon it’s Monday again.