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Editor’s Note: Today’s guest blog post is from our friends at Buffer Festival 2014.

Anyone with a camera and access to the internet can create a YouTube video. The online platform is a great one to share ideas, commentary, presentations, or funny clips of your pet skateboarding or howling to their favourite song. However, there’s much more to YouTube than cute puppy videos and groups of people doing the Harlem Shake. For the second year, Buffer Festival shows just how much creativity and artistic talent can be found online. From amazing animation and special effects, to educational content or engaging original music, YouTube has become a platform for “citizens” to showcase their talents with a wide and far-reaching audience. From October 17-19, some of the world’s most-watched (and loved) YouTube filmmakers will convene in Toronto to celebrate and share their work with each other and their fans.



Attendees will get the chance to see their favourite YouTubers’ work before they hit the digital screens - feature-length screenings will take place at high-profile theatres in the city, including the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Scotiabank, and the John W. H. Bassett Theatres. Created by Canadian talent Corey Vidal and his company, ApprenticeA Productions, the three-day festival is a digital video lover’s dream. In fact, New Form Digital, a joint venture between Ron Howard, Discovery Communications and Brian Grazer, will be screening a series of shorts by commissioned YouTubers during the festival. As well, Lucasfilm is presenting the Star Wars Fan Films Showcase at Buffer Festival, offering an exclusive sneak peek into the return of the Star Wars Fan Film Awards. New short films by YouTubers Vidal, WheezyWaiter and Olan Rogers will premiere at the screening, along with fan films from around the world. YouTube is a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment mix, and some of Hollywood’s finest have taken notice.

Clash at the Cantina was shot on the Lucasfilm lot at the Disney studios in Burbank, California.

One of the festival’s biggest highlights is the black-tie gala and red carpet event. Fans will get a chance to take pictures with and get autographs from YouTube stars as they walk the red carpet. A collection of the best videos shown throughout the festival will be played during this formal event. Yes, black-tie and YouTube do belong together in the same sentence!

The festival comprises themed nights highlighting YouTube content across broad genres, from LGBT+ to Animation. The remainder will focus on the works of some YouTube celebrities, including Shay Carl, Charles Trippy, Charles McDonnell, Toby Turner (Tobuscus), Rhett and Link, Epic Meal Time, VSauce3, among many others.

Be sure to visit www.bufferfestival.com for more information or to buy tickets.

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Cross Posted from Google Official Blog

Good things happen when everybody’s invited. A few years ago, we had the thought that phones (and stuff that hadn’t even been invented yet like tablets and smart watches) would be way more interesting if everyone could build new things together. So we created Android as an open platform, and put it out there for everyone to imagine, invent, make, or buy whatever they wanted.

Since then, all kinds of people—from companies big and small to folks on Kickstarter, kids in schools, and crazy smart developers—have been innovating faster, together, more than we ever could alone. And the best part is that every time someone new joins in, things get more interesting, unexpected, and wonderful for all of us.
Getting everyone in on the party is the same spirit behind Android One—an effort recently launched in India (coming to other countries soon) to make great smartphones available to the billions of people around the world who aren’t yet online. It’s also why we’re excited about Lollipop, our newest software release, which is designed to meet the diverse needs of the billion-plus people who already use Android today.

Joining the party: Android 5.0 Lollipop As previewed at Google I/O, Lollipop is our largest, most ambitious release on Android with over 5,000 new APIs for developers. Lollipop is designed to be flexible, to work on all your devices and to be customized for you the way you see fit. And just like Android has always been, it’s designed to be shared. Lollipop is made for a world where moving throughout the day means interacting with a bunch of different screens—from phones and tablets to TVs. With more devices connecting together, your expectation is that things just work. With Lollipop, it’s easier than ever to pick up where you left off, so the songs, photos, apps, and even recent searches from one of your Android devices can be immediately enjoyed across all the other ones.

As you switch from one screen to another, the experience should feel the same. So Lollipop has a consistent design across devices—an approach we call Material Design. Now content responds to your touch, or even your voice, in more intuitive ways, and transitions between tasks are more fluid.

Lollipop also gives you more control over your device. You can now adjust your settings so that only certain people and notifications can get through, for example, when you’re out to dinner or in the middle of an important meeting. And when an important notification does come through, you can see it directly from the lockscreen.

And because we’re using our devices a lot more, there’s a new battery saver feature that extends the life of your device by up to 90 minutes—helpful if you’re far from a power outlet. We’ve enabled multiple user accounts and guest user mode for keeping your personal stuff private. And you can now secure your device with a PIN, password, pattern, or even by pairing your phone to a trusted device like your watch or car with Smart Lock. But this is just a small taste of Lollipop. Learn more on android.com.

Meet the Nexus family, now running Lollipop Advances in computing are driven at the intersection of hardware and software. That's why we’ve always introduced Nexus devices alongside our platform releases. Rather than creating software in the abstract, we work with hardware partners to build Nexus devices to help push the boundaries of what's possible. Nexus devices also serve as a reference for the ecosystem as they develop on our newest release. And for Lollipop, we have a few new Nexus treats to share with you.
First, with Motorola, we developed the Nexus 6. This new phone has a contoured aluminum frame, a 6-inch Quad HD display and a 13 megapixel camera. The large screen is complemented by dual front-facing stereo speakers that deliver high-fidelity sound, making it as great for movies and gaming as it is for doing work. It also comes with a Turbo Charger, so you can get up to six hours of use with only 15 minutes of charge.

Next, a new tablet built in partnership with HTC. Nexus 9, with brushed metal sides and 8.9-inch screen, is small enough to easily carry around in one hand, yet big enough to work on. And since more and more people want to have the same simple experience they have on their tablets when they have to do real work, we designed a keyboard folio that magnetically attaches to the Nexus 9, folds into two different angles and rests securely on your lap like a laptop.

Finally, we’re releasing the first device running Android TV: Nexus Player, a collaboration with Asus, is a streaming media player for movies, music and videos. It's also a first-of-its-kind Android gaming device. With Nexus Player you can play Android games on your HDTV with a gamepad, then keep playing on your phone while you're on the road. Nexus Player is Google Cast Ready so you can cast your favorite entertainment from almost any Chromebook or Android or iOS phone or tablet to your TV.

Nexus 9 and Nexus Player will be available for pre-order on October 17.  Nexus 9 will be in stores starting November 3. Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order in late October and in stores in November—with options for an unlocked version though Play store, or a monthly contract or installment plan through various carriers. Specific carrier rollout will be subject to certification completion and will vary. Check out google.com/nexus for more details on availability.

Android 5.0 Lollipop, which comes on Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player, will also be available on Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks.

The party’s just getting started With this latest release of Android Lollipop, we're excited to continue working with our developer community, hardware partners, and all of you. More ideas and more creators is what gets us all to better ideas faster. And since everyone's invited to the party, we hope you'll join in the fun by creating and sharing an Android character that captures a little bit of who you are—one of a kind. Enjoy!


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Coast-to-coast, there’s now more of Canada’s amazing national and provincial parks to explore online. Today, Google Maps introduces over fifty new destinations to virtually visit in Street View. From Pacific Rim National Park Reserve to the Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy, Canadians and people from around the world can now take in more of this country’s natural beauty in Google Maps.

And there’s more than just stunning Canadian coastlines to check out. Take a stroll through the historic grasslands of Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump with Street View imagery of this incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or hop on the Maid of the Mist for close up - and surprisingly dry - tour of Niagara Falls.

More Parks Canada sites added to Google Maps
Thanks to Google’s ongoing partnership with Parks Canada, panoramic imagery from several National Parks from across the country are available for online treks including Jasper National Park, Glacier National Park and Canada’s most southern tip, Point Pelee National Park.

Stay tuned for more Street View journeys to Parks Canada locations from the far north in the near future.

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For Hannah Johnston, growing up in Ottawa there weren’t a lot of opportunities to learn to code at school. But after attending an Actua summer science camp, she knew she had definitely caught the bug – a computer bug, of course! Today she’s an interaction designer at Google, helping design an internet that’s easy for everyone to search and understand.

What if we could inspire 100,000 young Canadians like Hannah to think about how technology can change the world, and then help them learn the skills to make it happen?

Today, in the midst of 3D selfies and motion-controlled video games, we’re excited to announce the launch of Codemakers, a new project led by Actua and supported with a $1.5 million grant from Google.org. Over the next 3 years, Codemakers will set out to deliver 1 million face-to-face hours of computer science and technology learning in Canada to spark the next generation of creative, young code makers and inventors.


Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, works with kids creating their own video games at today’s launch of the Codemakers partnership between Google Canada and Actua.

Working together, we’re going to pair up the creative minds of Canadian Google engineers with Actua’s top computer science thinkers to design a hands-on computer science experience for kids. Using maker spaces and hacking approaches, Codemakers will explore the building blocks of computer hardware, the fundamentals of data and coding, and how to put these fundamentals straight to work doing things like designing apps from scratch.

With more than 20 years experience breaking down barriers to help youth learn about science and technology, Actua and its network of members will bring Codemakers to life in club programs, summer camps and school workshops in every region of Canada and in particular, to underserved youth populations, including Aboriginal youth, girls, New Canadians, and young people facing significant socioeconomic challenges.

Together, we’re going to help give young Canadians the technical skills, expertise and confidence to grab their future in both hands, follow their passions and start building their biggest and best ideas.

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Billboard and Nielsen have shaped the core measures of success for entertainers around the world. These institutions created the standard we all look to when assessing the popularity of an artist, an album or that song you just can’t stop playing. Each week, their rankings are eagerly awaited by budding musicians, bona fide rock stars and music executives alike.

Of course, the music industry has changed dramatically in recent years. We’ve seen artists become stars through channels that simply didn’t exist a decade or two ago, like Gangnam Style, MonsterCat or Walk off The Earth. YouTube has become a place where artists connect with new audiences, and music fans are discovering songs, bands and genres they never knew they loved.

Now, Billboard Canada has launched the first-ever Canadian Hot 100 chart to include Nielsen’s streaming data, in addition to sales data and radio airplay detections. Streams are now factored into the chart’s rankings, enhancing a formula that includes digital download track sales, physical singles sales, radio airplay and other streaming services, all tracked by Nielsen. With their massive scale, fans on YouTube are now helping to decide who the top 10 artists are.

Music consumption continues to grow and never before has the Canadian Hot 100 chart better represented total music consumption. The addition of streaming data to the Hot 100 formula reflects the current state of the industry. All official videos on YouTube identified as containing a track (including fan-uploaded videos), will now factor into determining the popularity of particular tracks.

Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” would seem to be one of the big winners from the inclusion of streaming, which may be due to the large number of views of the video on YouTube. The song appeared at #18 on last week’s chart, which did not include streaming data, and jumped up to #3 this week with the addition of streaming. It is the second most streamed song behind Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and is one of three songs that had over one million streams last week (for the week ending Sunday Sept. 14).

Songs in the pop and R&B genres look set to benefit from the change to the Hot 100 chart because of their high streaming rates compared to other genres such as rock and country. Also appearing to benefit are songs that were big hits earlier this year, including Iggy Azalea “Fancy” (#20, up from #30) and Pharrell Williams “Happy” (#25 from #39).

The updated Canadian Hot 100 is now available on Billboard.com and Billboard.biz; and will be featured in the September 27, 2014 Issue of Billboard magazine, which hits newsstands on September 20.

Most importantly, we hope this news will excite our users, who have helped us discover some of the biggest stars and songs of the past seven years.

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Re-Posted from Google Official Blog

From thousands of submissions from 90+ countries, our panel of esteemed judges selected 18 finalists representing nine countries—Australia, Canada, France, India, Russia, U.K., Ukraine and the U.S.—who spent today impressing Googlers and local school students at our Mountain View, Calif. headquarters. In addition to our Grand Prize Winners, the winners of the 2014 Google Science Fair are:
  • 13-14 age category: Mihir Garimella (Pennsylvania, USA) for his project FlyBot: Mimicking Fruit Fly Response Patterns for Threat Evasion. Like many boys his age, Mihir is fascinated with robots. But he took it to the next level and actually built a flying robot, much like the ones used in search and rescue missions, that was inspired by the way fruit flies detect and respond to threats. Mihir is also the winner of the very first Computer Science award, sponsored by Google. 
  • 17-18 age category: Hayley Todesco (Alberta, Canada) for her project Waste to Water: Biodegrading Naphthenic Acids using Novel Sand Bioreactors. Hayley became deeply interested in the environment after watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” Her project uses a sustainable and efficient method to break down pollutant substances and toxins found in tailing ponds water in her hometown, a hub of the oil sands industry. 
  • The Scientific American Science in Action award: Kenneth Shinozuka (Brooklyn, New York) for his wearable sensors project. Kenneth was inspired by his grandfather and hopes to help others around the world dealing with Alzheimer's. The Scientific American award is given to a project that addresses a health, resource or environmental challenge. 
  • Voter’s Choice award: Arsh Dilbagi (India) for his project Talk, which enables people with speech difficulties to communicate by simply exhaling.


Congratulations Hayley!

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Editor’s note: Today’s guest blogger is Dawn Santone, Manager of Workflow and Technology Integration at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). CBC is Canada’s national public broadcaster and provides a range of radio, television, internet and satellite-based services. See how other forward-thinking organizations are investing in mapping technology and transforming their business: Maps are Going Google.


Canada didn't have a national team at the 2014 World Cup, but our crew at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation knew that wouldn’t stop Canadians from wanting to experience the tournament alongside the rest of the world. Who did our viewers root for? We created a SuperFan Map to spotlight our fans’ unique experiences as they enjoyed the frenzy and excitement in Brazil.

The idea for the SuperFan Map began with a Google Form that we used to survey our fans about their favorite teams. As we looked at their responses, we noticed the diversity of fans — across Canada and across the world. We used this geolocation data to drop pins on a map and visualize where our fans were located when they enjoyed games. We made the map even richer by pulling in photos and videos from Google+, Instagram and Twitter, curated using our #cbcworldcup hashtag.

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We knew we wanted to use Google to create the SuperFan Map. The turnaround was quick — we started using Google Maps Engine in the beginning of June and had our map up and running before the first game was played on June 12. It worked consistently, even during major matches and other spikes in traffic.

The map also connected our fans in a way that went far beyond sport alone: it created a sense of community, from coast to coast to coast in Canada, from Australia to Norway, and dozens of countries in between. We saw an incredible diversity of teams, geographies and faces surface on a single Google Map.

The SuperFan Map has helped us take engagement further by connecting with fans in real time. A cross-promotion with CBC Music connected our SuperFans with The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions traveling across Canada. We used the map to see where people were cheering, then invited them to celebrate with us. For instance, we held a giant party in Montreal after seeing a high concentration of fans in the area.

We’ve seen how Google Maps can help us better inform our organization and inform our fans about the events that matter to them, no matter where they happen in the world. Beyond helping us connect with our fans, Google Maps helped connect fans with one another.

Posted by Dawn Santone, ‎Manager of Workflow and Technology Integration, CBC

Reposted from the Google for Work blog.