General

Bringing Alexander Hamilton’s history to life

In November 2009, the White House uploaded a video to YouTube of playwright and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda performing a piece called “The Hamilton Mixtape.” In the video, Miranda proclaims to then President Obama that he would use hip-hop and spoken word to tell the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton. The room erupts in curious laughter. Hip-hop and 18th century history? How could these seemingly different worlds come together?

Nearly eight years later, Lin-Manuel’s Hamilton: An American Musical has blown us all away. The show is a cultural phenomenon, uniting history buffs, musical theater fans, political wonks and beyond. Through its innovative storytelling and deliberately diverse cast, the show remixes American history into a powerful lesson that resonates with society’s current challenges.

Google.org supported the Hamilton Education Program with a $800,000 grant that today will bring 5,000 students from Title I schools in New York, Chicago and the Bay Area to see the musical, as the capstone of a six-week curriculum about the Founding Era. Through a combination of learning from primary source documents like original letters and newspapers, and musical performances, students from every background will be able to make American founding era history their own. Students will also perform their original, history-based works on the Hamilton stage across these three cities. Perhaps one of them might be a future Lin-Manuel!

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is also launching new digital content on Google platforms that enables students around the world to engage more deeply with Alexander Hamilton’s story. Six new virtual reality tours will transport students, teachers, and fans to important places in Hamilton’s life, no matter where they live. Using Google Expeditions, students can explore places like Alexander Hamilton’s home in Uptown Manhattan, Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, and the infamous site of Aaron Burr–Alexander Hamilton duel in Weehawken, New Jersey.

In addition, using Google Arts and Culture, the Gilder Lehrman Institute is bringing online dozens of rare archives and artifacts related to Hamilton’s era including early printings of the U.S. Constitution and a letter to his wife expressing his love. There are ten digital exhibits that will allow students and others around the world to learn about Hamilton’s life and legacy—from his private and political life to a virtual walking tour of Hamilton’s New York, to the creation of Modern America.

Whether in virtual reality or on the theater stage, Alexander Hamilton has a lot to teach us about the history of our country, the American dream—and most importantly–rising up to opportunity.


Source: Google

Remember where you parked with Google Maps

Some say it’s about the journey, not the destination—but we think it’s about a little of both. Now, Google Maps for Android and iOS will not only help you get where you’re going, but it’ll help you remember where you parked once you’ve arrived. Here’s how it works:

For Android users, tap “Save your parking” to add your parking location to the map. You’ll see a label on the map itself identifying where you parked your car. Tap on that label to open up your parking card, where you can add additional details about your parking spot. You can add a note like “level 3, spot 35,” add the amount of time left before the meter expires (and even get a reminder alert 15 minutes before it does), save an image of your parking spot, and send your parking location to friends.

SavedParkingAndroid

On iOS, the new experience is pretty similar. Tap on the blue dot and then tap on “Set as parking location” to add your parking spot to the map itself. Tap on the parking label on the map to open up your parking card and do things like share it with friends and view pictures of your parking area. This is in addition to the automatic parking detection you might have already noticed in Google Maps for iOS. If you connect to your car using USB audio or bluetooth, your parking spot will be automatically added to the map when you disconnect and exit the vehicle.

SavedParkingiOS

With Google Maps, you get guidance far beyond arrival at your destination, with the ability to save your parking location, explore places you’ve saved to lists, easily find friends and family, and more.


Source: Google

Making the internet more inclusive in India

More than 400 million people in India use the internet, and more are coming online every day. But the vast majority of India’s online content is in English, which only 20 percent of the country’s population speaks—meaning most Indians have a hard time finding content and services in their language.

Building for everyone means first and foremost making things work in the languages people speak. That’s why we’ve now brought our new neural machine translation technology to translations between English and nine widely used Indian languages—Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.

Neural machine translation translates full sentences at a time, instead of pieces of a sentence, using this broader context to help it figure out the most relevant translation. The result is higher-quality, more human sounding translations.

Just like it’s easier to learn a language when you already know a related language, our neural technology speaks each language better when it learns several at a time. For example, we have a whole lot more sample data for Hindi than its relatives Marathi and Bengali, but when we train them all together, the translations for all improve more than if we’d trained each individually.

NMT Translation India.jpg

Left: Phrase-based translation; right: neural machine translation

These improvements to Google Translate in India join several other updates we announced at an event in New Delhi today, including neutral machine translation in Chrome and bringing the Rajpal & Sons Hindi dictionary online so it’s easier for Hindi speakers to find word meanings right in search results. All these improvements help make the web more useful for hundreds of millions of Indians, and bring them closer to benefiting from the full value of the internet.


Source: Google

Windows 10 Creators Update rollout: First phase update

As we previously announced, the first phase of the rollout targets newer devices. Based on testing work done with our OEM hardware and ISV app partners, we believe these devices will have the best possible update experience and help us decide when it’s time to begin the next phase of the rollout.

<!–
!function(a,b){"use strict";function c(){if(!e){e=!0;var a,c,d,f,g=-1!==navigator.appVersion.indexOf("MSIE 10"),h=!!navigator.userAgent.match(/Trident.*rv:11./),i=b.querySelectorAll("iframe.wp-embedded-content");for(c=0;c<i.length;c++){if(d=i[c],!d.getAttribute("data-secret"))f=Math.random().toString(36).substr(2,10),d.src+="#?secret="+f,d.setAttribute("data-secret",f);if(g||h)a=d.cloneNode(!0),a.removeAttribute("security"),d.parentNode.replaceChild(a,d)}}}var d=!1,e=!1;if(b.querySelector)if(a.addEventListener)d=!0;if(a.wp=a.wp||{},!a.wp.receiveEmbedMessage)if(a.wp.receiveEmbedMessage=function(c){var d=c.data;if(d.secret||d.message||d.value)if(!/[^a-zA-Z0-9]/.test(d.secret)){var e,f,g,h,i,j=b.querySelectorAll('iframe[data-secret="'+d.secret+'"]'),k=b.querySelectorAll('blockquote[data-secret="'+d.secret+'"]');for(e=0;e<k.length;e++)k[e].style.display="none";for(e=0;e1e3)g=1e3;else if(~~g<!]]>

The millions of customers now running the Creators Update have provided us valuable feedback on the update experience as well as the product itself. We’re also seeing many customers use the Feedback Hub app to search for issues they are having and “upvote” the issue, which in turn helps us quickly spot issues others may be experiencing. By choosing to enable the diagnostic settings at the “full” level in your privacy settings, the Feedback Hub app is also able to provide the associated diagnostic data based on the specific issue you are reporting – this data helps us diagnose and address issues faster.

While it is fantastic to see all the positive feedback on the new features and update experience in the Creators Update, we actually focus more on the issues users are reporting so we can improve the overall experience over time. Depending on the individual issue, we do one or more of the following:

  • Document the issue and provide users more information on the issue, potential user impact, and (in some cases) specific guidance including troubleshooting or workaround/remediation guidance. You can find more information via our support channels, including the Windows community forum.
  • Update Windows itself, or work with a PC, accessory, or ISV app partner to post a driver or compatibility update.
  • Deploy a “block” to prevent further rollout of the Creators Update to impacted devices until an issue is resolved.

Blocking availability of the update to devices we know will experience issues is a key aspect of our controlled rollout approach. We decide what to block based on user impact, and blocking issues are a high priority for us to address as quickly as possible. During the time it takes to address an issue, we want to limit the number of customers exposed to that issue. For example, our feedback process identified a Bluetooth accessory connectivity issue with PCs that use a specific series of Broadcom radios, ultimately resulting in devices not reconnecting as expected. Once identified, we posted this issue to our Windows community forum, provided user guidance on troubleshooting, and blocked additional devices with these specific Bluetooth radios from updating. Once a solution is available, we will update our forum post and remove the block.

It’s important to note that when customers use the Software Download Site to manually install the Creators Update they bypass many of these blocks. Therefore, we continue to recommend (unless you’re an advanced user who is prepared to work through some issues) that you wait until the Windows 10 Creators Update is automatically offered to you. When your device becomes eligible for the Creators Update rollout, you’ll be prompted to make some important choices on your privacy settings before the Creators Update can install.

Please continue to give us feedback about your experience via the Feedback Hub app. We hope you enjoy the Creators Update, and I’ll be providing more updates on the rollout soon.

Source: Windows

How maps and machine learning are helping to eliminate malaria

Today is World Malaria Day, a moment dedicated to raising awareness and improving access to tools to prevent malaria. The World Health Organization says nearly half of the world’s population is at risk for malaria, and estimates that in 2015 there were 212 million malaria cases resulting in 429,000 deaths. In places with high transmission rates, children under five account for 70 percent of malaria deaths.

DiSARM (Disease Surveillance and Risk Monitoring), a project led by the Malaria Elimination Initiative and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Clinton Health Access Initiative, is fighting the spread of malaria by mapping the places where malaria could occur. With the help of Google Earth Engine, DiSARM creates high resolution “risk maps” that help malaria control programs identify the areas where they should direct resources for prevention and treatment.

We sat down with Hugh Sturrock, who leads the DiSARM project and is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the University of California, San Francisco’s Global Health Group, to learn more about DiSARM’s fight against malaria, and how Google fits in.

As an epidemiologist, why did you choose to focus your efforts on malaria?

I first became interested in 2005, during my undergraduate days at the University of Edinburgh when I worked on a project examining the fungal control of mosquitoes with Professor Andrew Read. I suddenly realized that my research could have a positive impact on people’s lives and from that point on I was hooked. While malaria deaths have decreased dramatically since then, it’s still a huge public health problem.

Which regions is DiSARM targeting first?

We’re piloting DiSARM in Swaziland and Zimbabwe, two regions that are on the cusp of malaria elimination. Between 2000–2014, reported malaria cases in Swaziland decreased by 99 percent, and in 2015, Swaziland reported fewer than 400 local cases. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe achieved a 74 percent decline in reported cases from 2005–2015.

When a small number of cases in a region remain, precise intervention is required to fully eliminate malaria, and DiSARM can help fully close the gap. By focusing our resources more strategically, we can shrink the malaria map and eliminate the disease entirely in these countries.

How does DiSARM use Google Earth Engine to help fight malaria?

If we map where malaria is most likely to occur, we can target those areas for action. Every time someone is diagnosed with malaria in Swaziland and Zimbabwe, a team goes to the village where the infection occurred and collects a GPS point with the precise infection location. Just looking at these points won’t allow you to accurately determine the risk of malaria, though. You also need satellite imagery of conditions like rainfall, temperature, slope and elevation, which affect mosquito breeding and parasite development.

GeoForGood_Disarm_800px_V2.gif

To determine the risk of malaria, DiSARM combines the precise location of the malaria infection,  with satellite data of conditions like rainfall, temperature, vegetation, elevation, which affect mosquito breeding. DiSARM’s mobile app can be used by the malaria programs and field teams to target interventions.

Google Earth Engine collects and organizes the public satellite imagery data we need. In the past we had to obtain those images from a range of sources: NASA, USGS and different universities around the world. But with Google Earth Engine, it’s all in one place and can be processed using Google computers. We combine satellite imagery data from Google Earth Engine with the locations of malaria cases collected by a country’s national malaria control program, and create models that let us generate maps identifying areas at greatest risk.

DiSARM targetting.png

The DiSARM interface gives malaria programs a near real-time view of malaria and predicts risk at specific locations, such as health facility service areas, villages and schools. Overlaying data allows malaria control programs to identify high-risk areas that have insufficient levels of protection and better distribute their interventions.

How are the risk maps used?

The Swaziland and Zimbabwe national malaria control programs use risk maps to help track progress and make decisions about how best to use their resources—for example, where to spray insecticides and where to conduct health promotion campaigns. With this data, they can make these decisions in a matter of minutes, rather than days or weeks. And they have much more precise information about where to target their efforts. They can drill down and direct their spray teams to go to the individual houses most at risk. This technique improves the targeting of interventions, saving money and time for the malaria programs.

DiSARM targetting households.png

DiSARM’s targeting module uses the risk map to prioritize areas for interventions such as indoor residual spraying (IRS), insecticide treated nets (ITNs) and mass drug administration (MDA).

We’ve also developed a mobile app with instructions for field teams and the locations of buildings they need to target on an offline map. They can also use the app to collect data even if they don’t have connectivity while they’re in remote locations.

What’s next for DiSARM?

Over the next year, we’re planning to expand the platform to show not just the current malaria risk, but a forecast for the future. We believe Swaziland and Zimbabwe can eliminate malaria and we hope this tool can get them—and other countries—closer to achieving that goal. To learn more, visit disarm.io.


Source: Google

Windows 10 Tip: Keep track of your tabs with Microsoft Edge

It’s easy to lose track of what’s in your tabs, especially if you have many tabs open from the same site that all look alike. The new tab preview bar and “Set these tabs aside” features in Microsoft Edge with the Windows 10 Creators Update allow you to easily manage and navigate your tabs.

Keep track of your tabs with the new tab preview bar:

The new tab preview bar in the Windows 10 Creators Update gives you a visual preview of every tab you have open without leaving your page.

The new tab preview bar gives you a visual preview of every tab you have open without leaving your page. Quickly manage your tabs using the preview bar without waiting for the pages to load by clicking on this Tab preview bar in Microsoft Edge icon next to the open tabs. You can also scroll through the previews with touch, mouse wheel, or a touchpad.

Set tabs aside for later:

Microsoft Edge makes it easy to sweep aside all the tabs you have open into a collection that you can restore at any time. Just click the “Set these tabs aside” button on the upper left-hand corner of your browser. Click the button next to that to see tabs you’ve set aside, then click “Restore tabs” to jump back in.

Head over here to learn more about getting the best out of Microsoft Edge, and have a great week!

Source: Windows

The Unspoken VR Tournament is coming to Microsoft Store!

The Unspoken VR Tournament is coming soon to select Microsoft Stores in the U.S. and Canada

The Unspoken VR Tournament is coming soon to select Microsoft Stores in the U.S. and Canada.* Oculus Rift works natively with Windows 10, which makes it easy to set up, jump in and have an incredible VR gaming experience.

On May 13, you can slip into a hidden world of bare-handed spellcasting and magicians’ duels at your local Microsoft Store. Local winners will then return to the store to battle it out in a series of regional competitions on May 20. Finalists will be flown out to New York City for the national finals at the flagship Microsoft Store in New York on June 3 to compete for the grand prize: Rift and Touch, plus an Oculus Ready PC and $1,250 in cash!

Follow Microsoft Store on Facebook for more updates.

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open only to legal residents of the United States and Canada excluding Quebec. Open to players 13+, some restrictions apply. Round 1 ends 5/13/17. For details, see www.oculus.com/unspoken-tournament or your local Microsoft Store.
Rules: www.oculus.com/unspoken-tournament/legal/rules.

Source: Windows

These events allow to you to share time with other replica watches sale watch lovers as well as learn about what the brands are up to. In the process, you'll get treated to rolex replica sale fabulous dinners, meet celebrities, receive gifts, and feel like a valued customer who the brands really want to rolex replica sale have a relationship with. Depending on where you live and the brands you like to purchase from, these events can be quite frequent, and also really fun. Their value should not be underestimated, and again, if you don't purchase rolex replica sale watches in an "official manner" you'll never be included. Personally, I have to say that while I don't like spending more money than I need to, the value of these above unexpected benefits, in many instances, can make up for the discounts replica watches available at gray market retailers when you want to buy a new watch. In a sense, each time you rolex replica sale purchase a high-end timepiece, you are designating yourself as part of a elite group of replica watches sale people who have the appreciation and resources for luxury items.