Thursday, June 17, 2010 11:25 AM Posted by David Smydra, Google News Online Team
Growing up a diehard Pistons fan in Detroit, Michigan, I was taught two things about the sport of basketball. First, always cheer against the Boston Celtics. Second, always cheer against the Los Angeles Lakers. Fortunately, this was an easy thing for me to do: the Pistons beat both teams en route to its first NBA championship in 1989.
Tonight, however, the Lakers and Celtics complete their twelfth championship match-up in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. This will be just the fifth time that a Lakers-Celtics Finals has reached seven games. And of course I know this by browsing through Google News Archive Search.
I can read about how Celtics coach Red Auerbach was "feeling a bit cocky" in the 1962 NBA Finals. Or about how the Celtics became the first major professional sports team to win eight consecutive championships by dispatching the Lakers in 1966. Or how Wilt Chamberlain wanted to beat Bill Russell's Celtics "in the worst way" in 1969. (He didn’t; the Celtics won again.) Or about how Lakers coach Pat Riley wanted to make history in the 1984 NBA Finals by beating the Celtics in Game 7, on the road, in the old Boston Garden. (Yet again, the Lakers lost.)
While the Celtics have history on their side, this year’s Lakers can boast a better overall record and are the defending champions, having won the 2009 Finals. Then again, they lost in the 2008 NBA Finals to...the Boston Celtics.
As for my prediction, what can I say? I’m still recovering from the fact that the Pistons had their worst record in sixteen years and didn’t even make the playoffs. I guess it’s impossible for both teams to lose, huh?
Tuesday, June 15, 2010 4:07 PM Posted by Chris Gaither, Senior Manager, News Industry Relations
Krishna Bharat invented Google News more than eight years ago. His aim: help people easily find multiple perspectives on the news of the day by using computers to group together links to similar stories. Aside from a two-year stint in India to start our research and development operations there, Krishna has been working to improve Google News ever since.
Krishna visited the IJ-7 “innovation journalism” conference at Stanford University last week and held an on-stage conversation with David Nordfors, executive director of Stanford’s Center for Innovation and Communication. Below you can watch video of the conversation and hear from Krishna about why he created Google News, how it works, where it’s headed and why he’s optimistic about the future of professional journalism.
Monday, April 12, 2010 6:48 PM Posted by Chris Gaither, Senior Manager, Global Communications & Public Affairs
This week, hundreds of newsroom leaders from across the country are gathered in Washington DC for the American Society of News Editors’ annual conference. The theme of this year's event is "ideas," and Eric Schmidt shared many of his as the opening speaker. He spoke about some of the big trends that are shaping the Internet, such as the rise of mobile and cloud computing, and some lessons he has learned about how to navigate the Web’s constant pace of change.
He also talked about the importance of journalism to functioning democracies and encouraged the group to work together -- as well as with technology partners like Google -- to find new ways to reach and engage audiences, tell important stories and build thriving businesses online.
You can watch Eric's speech, which we've posted on YouTube, below. And if you’re interested in reading or contributing to the discussion about the future of news, check out the unofficial conference blog and #asne10 on Twitter.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008 8:13 AM Posted by Robert Leland, Software Engineer
Today, Americans all across the country are voting, and the results will soon be tallied. We'll make sure you can stay abreast of the election returns on the same Google News pages that already bring you current election news. We'll be providing results from the presidential, Senate, House, and gubernatorial races as they are reported by the Associated Press.
On the front page of Google News, you'll find a Google Map gadget showing real-time popular and electoral vote counts. On the Elections section page, you can see more detailed results. At the top of the right column we have summaries of the presidential race, and the races for majority control in the Senate and House. Beneath the summaries you can select a state in the pull-down menu. For each state we display the breakdown in votes for the presidency, governor (where there is a race), and for each Senate and House seat that's being contested. You can also follow the presidential election, and see a summary of the popular and electoral votes by visiting news.google.com on your iPhone or Android-powered mobile phone.
For more Google election tools, be sure to check out our 2008 Elections page. It features some useful Google Maps, including one which can give you the location of your polling place. So keep up with the results as they're reported, from wherever you are -- and be sure to add your vote to the tally!
Monday, October 13, 2008 8:26 AM Posted by Arnaud Sahuguet, Product Manager
With Google News, you can read what candidates are saying about a given topic. You can even compare what two of them are saying about the same topic. But it's also important to hear candidates deliver their own message themselves, in their own voice.
Today, we're adding another tool to the Google News suite to enable you to find and access political messages straight from the horse's mouth. Using the Google Audio Indexing (GAudi) technology already available on Labs, you can now search for and watch political videos right from the Google News election page.
Starting today, after reading an article about a topic that matters to you, you can quickly find out what the candidates have to say about it and hear them say it. Just enter the topic you're interested in, or the sequence of words you want to find, and we'll search candidates' YouTube channels to return a set of relevant videos. You can filter the results by channel (all candidates, McCain's campaign, Obama's campaign or the presidential debates). When we return a result, we use yellow markers to indicate the exact moments the words you're looking for are uttered. Just hover over the marker to read the transcript of a short audio snippet or click on it to jump to the right moment inside the video. You can also share a given video with your friends (just click on ), in case they don't want to take your word for it. Keep in mind that speech-to-text technology is not perfect yet, and some transcriptions might contain some errors. But we think this tool will serve as a valuable resource as we count down to Election 2008.
Checking for political consistency (or inconsistency) has never been so simple. And as election day nears, keep checking our election-related projects.
Thursday, September 25, 2008 9:24 AM Posted by Jack Hebert, Software Engineer
While political consistency (or inconsistency) can be funny, as John Stewart pointed out in a recent episode of the Daily Show, it can also be a serious political matter.
With upcoming elections in the United States and Canada, we've built a tool that you can use to compare what candidates and other political figures are saying about different issues: we call it "In Quotes." As you might know, Google News already extracts quotes from news articles. Even so, it was a pretty tedious process to compare what two people were saying about a particular topic.
As you might have guessed, In Quotes allows you to do just that. You can easily read what, for example, John McCain and Barack Obama have already said about the economy, education or energy (that's just the e's!). There are more people to select from beyond the US presidential candidates, though, and we also have customized lists of people and topics for Canada, the United Kingdom and India. You can scroll through quotes for each topic, or click the "spin" button to see a random quote for the issue. As with our existing quotes feature, the quotes are automatically selected from Google News articles. It's also worth pointing out that we've launched this feature in Google Labs, which means that it's an experimental feature for the moment.
Monday, September 8, 2008 6:44 PM Posted by Josh Cohen, Business Product Manager
Aggregators like Google News were today the subject of news – this time pertaining to a 2002 story regarding United Airlines. For those of you who are interested in the nuts and bolts of why this was indexed by Google News, here are the details:
On Saturday, September 6th at 10:36PM Pacific, the Google crawler discovered a new link on the Florida Sun-Sentinel website in a section of the most viewed stories labeled "Popular Stories: Business." The link appeared in that section sometime after Googlebot's last crawl at 10:17PM; because the crawler saw this new link appear, it followed it to an article titled "UAL Files for Bankruptcy."
The only date found in the context of the article indicated that the article was from September 7, 2008.
The article was indexed and then available through Google News search, but was not shown on our headlines pages.
We removed this story from the Google News index as soon as we were notified that it had been linked to in error.
It has been widely reported that many readers were unable to determine the original date of publication of this article, and our crawling was similarly unable to recognize that the article was old.
Since our last post, some have asked why Google News didn't recognize that an old story relating to United Airlines' 2002 bankruptcy was outdated. We thought that a brief chronology would be helpful.
On Saturday, September 6th at 10:36 PM Pacific Daylight Time (or Sunday, September 7th at 1:36 AM Eastern Daylight Time), the Google crawler detected a new link on the Florida Sun-Sentinel's website in a section of the most viewed stories labeled "Popular Stories: Business." The link had newly appeared in that section since the last time Google News' Googlebot webcrawler had visited the page (nineteen minutes earlier), so the crawler followed the link and found an article titled "UAL Files for Bankruptcy." The article failed to include a standard newspaper article dateline, but the Sun-Sentinel page had a fresh date above the article on the top of the page of "September 7, 2008" (Eastern).
Because the Sun-Sentinel included a link to the story in its "Popular Stories" section, and provided a date on the article page of September 7, 2008, the Google News algorithm indexed it as a new story. We removed this story as soon as we were notified that it was posted in error.
While we don't know why the Sun-Sentinel's website included the link in its "Popular Stories" section, our timestamps show that Google News first crawled the UAL story after following the link from the Sun-Sentinel's "Popular Stories" box:
At 10:17:35 PM/PDT, our crawler retrieved a copy of the Sun-Sentinel business section page.
As you can see, no UAL story appears at this time.
At 10:36:38 PM/PDT, our crawler retrieved an updated copy of the same section. This updated version included a new link in the "Popular Stories: Business" section to a story titled "UAL Files for Bankruptcy."
At 10:36:57 PM/PDT, our crawler followed the new link and fetched this copy of the UAL story.
At that point, our index was updated to include the article with the date that the story was crawled, and the story became searchable on Google News.
At 10:39:57 PM/PDT, the Sun-Sentinel received its first referral to the UAL story from Google News, with a user clicking on a Google News link to the Sun-Sentinel's UAL story.
The Tribune Co. (owner of the Sun-Sentinel) has confirmed in its September 9, 2008 press release that the first referral from Google News to the article came after the UAL story appeared in the "Popular Stories" section.
We hope that this sheds some light on the situation from our perspective.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008 10:43 AM Posted by David Garnick, Product Manager
The Republican National Convention is underway in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Google News is taking you there. Well, maybe not literally there, but as close as we can get you! For the duration of the convention, you can watch live streaming of the activities on a player located on the special Elections section of Google News. (It's also embedded just below this sentence.)
Thursday, June 5, 2008 2:00 PM Posted by Xin Li, Engineering Manager
The devastating earthquake hit China’s Sichuan province at 2:28 pm on May 12. I was so worried: there was no news about what had happened shortly after the earthquake, and even worse, I was unable to reach my parents in my home town there. It was not until 2 hours later that my call to my parents finally got through, to find that, luckily, they were all safe. Despite my own good fortune, I could not help crying even in public for all the friends in my home town, whether known or unknown. The catastrophic impact was far more than the media could describe.
When the earthquake happened, we, as humans, felt ourselves to be so weak and helpless. However, as the rescue and recovery plans started, people found there was so much they wanted to do. The government, rescuers from around the world and indeed the whole nation have joined together to recover from this unpredictable disaster. Many of my colleagues in Google China helped to start several initiatives in response. The reaction to this misfortune has been overwhelmingly loving and positive. So far, the value of aid donated nationally and internationally has exceeded more than 6 billion USD.
As we, the Google News team in Shanghai, witnessed events, we had a strong desire to help keep people informed with in-depth coverage of the unfolding crisis. So we created a special section in the China edition of Google News to cover the earthquake. The section also contains a link near the top of the page which directs readers to a Checkout Donations page where they can make donations to people in need.
News carries the message, passes on stories of adversity and hope, and relieves the hardship. There’s still a lot of work to do, but we think that by spreading news about this tragedy, we can help connect people who care about it.
An aftershock of 5.3 magnitude struck Sichuan today, June 5, 2008. As of today, the China earthquake death toll has risen to over 69,100.
Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Sichuanese.
Thursday, May 15, 2008 4:32 PM Posted by David Garnick, Product Manager
The massively destructive cyclone that struck Myanmar (Burma) has caused an extensive loss of life. However, in the wake of the cyclone, there are new crises facing the population of the country. Getting aid to those in need, stemming the spread of disease, and guarding the safety of orphaned children are among the most urgent needs.
To keep the world informed about these stories as they develop, we've launched a special section, titled Myanmar (Burma). The section is available in the English language editions of Google News in Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The lead stories appear on the front pages of these editions. Like other front page sections, you can find deeper coverage on the specific section page.
In addition to providing news coverage of the ongoing crisis, the special section contains a link near the top of the page that will direct you to a Checkout Donations page where you can make donations to UNICEF or Direct Relief International. Now you can help make a difference while you keep yourself informed.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008 11:21 AM Posted by Josh Cohen, Business Product Manager
If you somehow escaped US electioneering up to this point, you probably won't today, Super Tuesday, when 24 states choose their candidates for the fall election. This will be the largest number of primaries going on at one time in the history of the U.S. electoral system.
Over the last few weeks and months, there has been a massive volume of news coverage, statistics and polls -- and there will be even more today. Our mission is to help organize all of it for you, so you can find what you're looking for. There are a number of ways Google can help you keep track of all the candidates and issues -- from Maps with the latest results, to YouTube videos from voters across the country. You can read all about these initiatives on the Google Blog.
Of course, we want to do our part as well. In addition to all the latest stories from thousands of sources in our new Elections section, we've also put together a gadget that tracks the progress of the candidates in each of the 24 states. Here's an example of how it might look; please note these are not actual results!
In addition to providing up to date information about the results on all the candidates as the polls close, you'll also be able to view this information on Google Maps. You can see the results across the United States, within a particular region, and even as specific as a particular county.
Friday, December 21, 2007 5:07 PM Posted by David Garnick, News Engineering Team
I'm a bit of a junkie for political news, and of course I follow elections. The U.S. section of Google News covers a broad range of topics that are of interest to a national audience; thus, typically, few stories pertain to elections. There is no simple query that I can use in the News search box that will give me a broad and current selection of stories related to the elections. To provide direct access to extensive coverage of the candidates, the campaigns, and the issues, Google News has launched a new Elections section on our front page. This brings you the top stories on national, state, and local elections throughout the United States.
The Elections section appears on the front page along with all of the previously supported sections. If you've personalized your front page, you can add this new section with a single click of the button following the announcement at the top of the front page. If you navigate to the full Elections section, there is a gadget you can use to "Follow the Candidates." The candidates tab allows you to select the candidates you wish to track. The video, news, and blogs tabs allow you to find content specific to those candidates. The maps tab allows you to follow those candidates on the campaign trail. You can use the button below the gadget to add the gadget to your iGoogle page.
Now I can easily satisfy my appetite for election news, and as a big election season gets underway, I'm excited and proud to be working on the Google News Team to help keep others informed too.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007 10:32 PM Posted by Dan Meredith and Andy Golding, Software Engineers, News Team
We wanted to give you a heads-up on a new, experimental feature we'll be trying out on the Google News home page. Starting this week, we'll be displaying reader comments on stories in Google News, but with a bit of a twist...
We'll be trying out a mechanism for publishing comments from a special subset of readers: those people or organizations who were actual participants in the story in question. Our long-term vision is that any participant will be able to send in their comments, and we'll show them next to the articles about the story. Comments will be published in full, without any edits, but marked as "comments" so readers know it's the individual's perspective, rather than part of a journalist's report.
As always, Google News will direct readers to the professionally-written articles and news sources our algorithms have determined are relevant for a topic. From bloggers to mainstream journalists, the journalists who help create the news we read every day occupy a critical place in the information age. But we're hoping that by adding this feature, we can help enhance the news experience for readers, testing the hypothesis that -- whether they're penguin researchers or presidential candidates-- a personal view can sometimes add a whole new dimension to the story.
We're beginning this only in the US and then, based on how things go, we'll work to expand it to other languages and editions. We're excited about the possibilities of this new feature and we hope you are too, so if you've been covered in a news article please send us your comments and we'll work with you to post it on Google News.