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Grillin’ it: Barbecue trends and family recipes

3 juillet[ —]

This Fourth of July, the fairground fireworks and pool parties may be put on hold. But there’s one thing we don’t have to cancel: Firing up the grill and hanging out in the backyard. In fact, “4th of July grilling ideas” spiked more than 400 percent in the U.S. within the past week.

While many of us will head to our patios and yards, what we’re cooking up varies across the country. According to Google Trends, North Carolinians are searching for “bbq slaw” recipes. And in Oklahoma, they’re looking up “oven baked barbeque catfish.” In Colorado, searches for “bbq chicken recipes” are up. If you’re curious about what your own state is searching for, you can check out this map showing unique "How to grill..." searches in each state over the past week. 

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And if you head to Search and look up “Fourth of July”, you’ll find Cameos from chefs like Alice Randall and Mary Ann Esposito spilling their BBQ secrets and recipes. (During your search, you may find more than culinary advice; check out the homepage for a sparkling new Doodle and Search results...and perhaps some other surprises.)

Feeling inspired⁠—or hungry? We also asked Googlers to share their favorite grilling recipes. 

“Texas Crutch” Smoked Brisket

Submitted by Ryan Ausanka-Crues, Engineering Manager on Android TV

My family is all from Texas so I grew up barbecuing with my grandfather. As such, I don't apologize for using the Texas Crutch (the method of cooking brisket in foil). Plus, it's fun to wait until after people try the brisket to tell them it was made by a vegetarian. Even though I’ve been vegetarian for 20 years, I still enjoy the art and technique of barbecuing with fire.

  1. Dry-brine the meat (0.1 oz of salt per pound of beef) at least 24 hours before smoking.

  2. Prepare the smoker, then apply big bad beef rub to the meat just before adding to the smoker.

  3. Aim to keep smoker between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit (275 degrees if you're using logs instead of charcoal) and add wood chunks to fire every 30 minutes for the first two hours.

  4. When the meat hits "the stall," wrap tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil and return to the fire (also known as, the Texas Crutch).

  5. Smoke until it reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit (about 12 hours).

  6. Remove from heat and let sit, still wrapped, until temperature drops below 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Steak and Tenderstem Broccoli

Submitted by Ken Graham, Financial Analyst

When I first started grilling, I wanted to perfect this popular method of getting the meat as close to the heat as possible. 

  1. Buy the best quality meat you can afford, about ¾-inch thick is best for this method. Good steak should stand up on it's own, no real sauce or spice needed. I like rib eye, but to each their own.

  2. Take the steaks out of the fridge about an hour before you want to cook them, season with salt and then put them back in the fridge.

  3. Pat the steaks dry when you take them out of the fridge; water will inhibit the browning of the meat. 

  4. You want your grill screaming hot, so whack it up to max on all burners. Before you turn it up, take the grates off, and then place one of the grates directly on the bars (if it's gas) or coals (if it's charcoal). 

  5. Grill your steaks on the grate flipping every minute. Three or four minutes should get you to medium rare, depending on the heat of the grill, but using a meat thermometer is best; you want to get it around 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit.

  6. Serve with whatever sides you like, but I like Tenderstem broccoli, which I grill on the grates I used for the steak. They pick up some of the steak flavor and cook quickly but stay crunchy.

Wine Can Chicken

Submitted by Helynn Nelson, People Consultant and Nekosi Nelson, Staffing Lead

This recipe is one of the first experimental dishes my husband, Kosi, cooked 15 years ago when we were newlyweds and it gets better and better with time. He’s allowed me to co-opt his recipe a bit by introducing one of my favorite! I run the Google wine club in our Austin office, so I also want to suggest a wine pairing: I’d enjoy this meal with a Viognier or an oaked Fume Blanc. 

  1. Gather your ingredients: 2 tablespoons Tony Chachere seasoning; 2 tablespoons Kosher salt; 2 tablespoons onion powder; 2 teaspoons dried thyme; 2 teaspoons dried oregano; 2 teaspoons black pepper; 2 teaspoons garlic powder. For the chicken (I usually choose one around four pounds), you’ll need: olive oil; a 12 oz can of dry white wine.

  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together. 

  3. Marinate your chicken in the seasonings 24 hours before grilling. Remember to season the cavity (and wrap in plastic wrap).

  4. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.

  5. Rub the chicken and its cavity down with the olive oil. Pour out 1/4 of the wine and sit the chicken on top of the wine can. Place the chicken in the center of the hot grill and cover. Cook the chicken for an hour to an hour and a half, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Once cooked, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Ancho Chile Skirt Steak Tacos

Submitted by Kayla Geier, Senior Communications Associate

My family's favorite activity is getting together and cooking–whether it's tamales for Christmas or tacos for the Fourth of July. Since my grandfather's passing I've taken the role of grilling, using some of his "secrets", along with tricks from a few cookbooks. I find that grilling helps me keep his memory alive.

  1. Place steak (recipe calls for 2 lbs) in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag or covered bowl. 
  2. Stir together the juice of 2 limes, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder, 1/4 tablespoon onion salt and 2 tablespoons garlic powder. 
  3. Whisk the above in 1/4 cup olive oil, and pour over flank steak. 
  4. Seal bag, and turn to coat. Chill 1-12 hours.
  5. Grill to your liking–medium is always preferred. 
  6. Top with slices of cucumber (it'll cool down the heat), your favorite salsa (mine is Tapatio) and fresh guac with the spice of Serrano chiles on a flour tortilla.

Uncle Buck’s Ribs

Submitted by Susannah Callahan, Product Marketing Manager at Google Nest

Growing up in St. Louis, pork baby back ribs were always a favorite, especially around the Fourth of July. My Uncle Buck—not that one, but just as funny—has been perfecting his rib recipe for friends and family since the 1970s. The layers of marinade and sauces make these ribs extra juicy and tender, but also easy enough to tackle for grilling novices. 

  1. Around 24-48 hours before grill time, place 4-5 lbs (or two full racks) of pork baby back ribs (membrane removed), in the following marinade: 1 cup chicken broth; 1 cup soy sauce; 1 cup brown sugar; 5 tablespoons cider vinegar; 5 tablespoons olive oil; ½ teaspoon garlic powder; ½ teaspoon dehydrated onion; 1 tablespoon of paprika; 1 tablespoon of cornstarch; 3 tablespoons liquid smoke; salt and pepper .

  2. 30 minutes before grilling, glaze the ribs with Korean BBQ sauce (make sure it has apple and pear puree). This sweet sauce helps to caramelize the ribs when they hit the grill.

  3. Heat the grill to 550-600 degrees Fahrenheit and baste each side of the ribs on the grill twice, for two to three minutes. 

  4. Then, turn the grill down to 300 degrees and repeat the basting process and timing above two more times with the leftover marinade. 

  5. Lastly, turn the temperature down to 200 degrees and baste each side with your choice of thick honey BBQ sauce three times for three minutes. Serve immediately. 

Here’s to a happy, safe and delicious holiday! 

The show goes on: Australia’s theaters go digital

1er juillet[ —]

Griffin Theatre Company, in Sydney’s bustling Kings Cross, has  produced new Australian plays and welcomed theater-goers since 1978. In March, like many performing arts organizations in Australia, Griffin had to close its doors—but it was determined to figure out a way for the show to go on. 

With help from Google’s Creative Lab, Griffin Theatre Company created what their Artistic Director Declan Greene calls “theater, but not as you’ve seen it before.” Their piece, “Thirsty!” is an interactive techno-noir detective thriller, streamed on YouTube, which requires the audience to look for clues to assist the actors. We partnered with Declan and his team to develop #Poll, a Chrome Extension that asked viewers to participate and help shape the narrative inside the live comments stream.

Across three nights in May, this “made for digital” performance was streamed live alongside equally experimental works from The Last Great Hunt and Sandpit. The Last Great Hunt’s show refashioned a living room as a live production space—complete with cardboard props and wall-mounted projection, while Sandpit responded directly to audience comments.

In a world where people can no longer always gather in large groups, Griffin Theatre Company is one of several partners that Creative Lab has helped as they adapt theater experiences, explore new kinds of live performance, and use digital tools to get audiences more involved. Working with organizations right across Australia, including Opera Queensland, we’ve developed a first-of-its-kind Performance Guide to support the broader arts community, with guidelines on how organizations can create works for online audiences, including information on live streaming, ticketing, promotion and more. The guide also shows arts organizations how to add donation links to their business profile on Google, letting people know how to help them with their rebuilding efforts. 

In addition to the Performance Guide, we’ve provided general support to cultural organizations to help them stay in touch with audiences around the world. Last month, Google Arts & Culture announced the launch of “Connected to Culture”—a multi-language digital toolkit to help organizations keep their cultural programs going online. We’ve hosted training for organizations like the Australia Counciland Create NSW, walking them through the process of creating ‘made for digital’ work and sharing what we’ve learned so far. 

It’s been a privilege to work with partners like Griffin Theatre Company, and inspiring to see their creativity shine even in adversity. As theater doors slowly open again, we’re looking forward to continuing to work with Australian cultural organizations on new possibilities for their work and their audiences. 

Free tools and training to help with economic recovery in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

1er juillet[ —]

Through lockdown, many of us found that online tools have been a real lifeline. We’ve used them to find information and stay connected with our communities, support local businesses, teach our children and learn new skills ourselves. The same tools will be vital in helping countries recover more quickly and more sustainably. 

That’s why Google is making a new pledge to help 10 million people and businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) find jobs, digitize and grow over the next 18 months.

Helping people learn new skills and find new jobs

Long before the coronavirus, it was clear the jobs of the future would require a new set of digital skills, so we launched Grow with Google to help people learn new skills. We were blown away by the demand, and by what people went on to achieve, and in five years we’ve trained over 14 million people in EMEA and 70 million around the world.

We’ve seen a tripling of demand for this training during lockdown. To help even more families, communities and businesses recover faster, we’re investing in new, targeted programs. For example, we will be covering the costs for 100,000 people to take the Google IT Support Professional Certificatewhich prepares people for a career in IT. Fifty thousand of these places are reserved for under-served groups who otherwise face real barriers to learning (such as language, caring responsibilities or financial difficulty). will fund local nonprofits to provide the tailored support these people require to successfully complete the course.

To help people find new job opportunities, we’ll launch our job search tool in more countries in EMEA. We are testing new features for the recovery—such as helping you find jobs that let you work from home. Job search is built in partnership with job boards, local employment agencies and others, like Pôle Emploi in France, in the Middle East and in Germany, and it also helps them by finding job seekers with the right skills faster.

We’ve learned over the last five years that we need to do more to reach those whose existing jobs are most at risk of disruption by new technology. Two years ago, we allocated 100 million in grants, to be disbursed over five years to organizations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa that focus on digital skills and economic opportunity. Today, we're announcing that $15 million of that funding will go to nonprofits that help workers and small business owners who are technologically, financially or socially excluded with critical digital skills and access to jobs.

Grow with Google

Helping local businesses get online and find more customers

As we come out of lockdown, and consumer spending picks up, we’re upgrading our tools  to help more local businesses find and connect with customers quickly. Through Google my Business, it’s easier for businesses to share their latest opening hours and information across Google Search and Maps. They can also shift quickly to new services and business models, such as pick-up, delivery and online classes and appointments. 

ProjectGraffiti_GIF_Online Attributesi.gif

We are also investing in new programs to help industries hardest hit by the pandemic, including retail and travel. 

For retail businesses, online demand has grown exponentially, so they need to provide a great customer experience to be competitive. The improved version of Grow My Store helps local businesses improve digital shopping, grow customer traffic and optimize online stores. Reaching new audiences by exporting abroad should be an easy option for every business regardless of size. 

Our Market Finder tool now provides export marketing and logistics help in light of COVID-19. To help retailers understand changes in demand, we’re releasing a new interactive tool that shares insights on fast-rising retail categories in Google Search, where in the world searches are growing, and the queries associated with them.


For the travel industry, we’re partnering with experts like the UN World Tourism Organisation to launch training to help tourism officials across Europe, the Middle East and Africa understand and use the range of digital tools to attract travellers. This builds on our efforts to support tourism businesses across the region to help them grow with digital tools, get access to training and digitize heritage

Helping businesses work more efficiently and think differently

The crisis has accelerated trends that we’d expected to see over a longer period of time, like the use of AI and automation to help grow sales, reduce costs, and make better decisions. Research suggests that the European companies using AI most extensively are likely to grow three times faster than the average firm over the next 15 years, adding €2.7 trillion, or 19 percent, to European output by 2030.

To make this accessible for every business, we’re launching our AI for business tool to small and medium businesses in Europe. The tool, in English, with more languages to follow this year, provides businesses with a personalised report recommending the most relevant applications of AI and the potential benefits, along with practical suggestions on how to get started. This is part of our commitment to build trust in AI through responsible innovation and thoughtful regulation, so that European citizens can safely enjoy the full social and economic benefits of AI. 


Financial support for local businesses

A digital transition cannot rely on technology alone: businesses need financial resources as well. That’s why we announced grants and ad credits for local businesses a few weeks ago. And we’ve recently launched the ability for businesses in 19 European countries to add support links on Google My Business to give their communities the option to support them with donations and gift cards. We have also added several new partners to enable gift cards, including SumUp, LaFourchette, OptioPay,, and Atento. 

We remain fundamentally optimistic about the future, and about the role technology can play, and we’re working with governments to help people, businesses and communities. Online tools, which have been a lifeline for many of us in lockdown, are now helping people find jobs and learn in-demand skills. If we work together, technology can be a lifeline for everyone as Europe, the Middle East and Africa look ahead to a sustainable recovery for everyone.

To find out more about these tools and programs, visit

A new way to save this summer with Nest thermostats

30 juin[ —]

Warm evenings, backyard barbeques and sticky watermelon fingers mean two things for my family: Summer is finally here and the air conditioning is running. As the days get longer and temperatures rise, so does my energy bill. 

Thankfully, Nest thermostats can help me save energy automatically. As of today, we’re announcing our Seasonal Savings feature will be available for free. Seasonal Savings isn’t the only Nest thermostat tool that works in the background to save energy, and sometimes money. Here are a few ways you can benefit from using the device without having to lift a finger. 

1. Seasonal savings for all 

For the first time, this summer we’re making Seasonal Savings available to all Nest thermostat owners for free. Previously, this feature was only available to customers of utilities with Seasonal Savings programs. It acts like a personal energy monitor, making small schedule tweaks to help you save energy and lower your bill, without you even noticing. 

By adjusting your schedule just a fraction of a degree each day, users save energy while staying comfortable. These little changes can really add up—the average customer sees 3 to 5 percent in energy savings on their home’s heating and cooling systems. Collectively, if everyone participates, that’s millions of dollars saved.

Seasonal Savings is rolling out on all Nest thermostats in the U.S. and Canada (except Quebec) starting this month. If you have a Nest Thermostat, you’ll see a notification on your device and in the Nest app asking if you’d like to opt-in, and from there your thermostat will start helping you save energy.

2. Get rewards for saving

Just like traffic clogs up roads when everyone drives to work at the same time, energy “rush hours” happen when everyone in a certain area turns on their air conditioning at once. When there’s a peak in energy demand, it makes providing energy more expensive, less reliable, and less environmentally friendly for energy companies.  So, many energy companies work with Nest to offer Rush Hour Rewards.  When you sign up, your Nest thermostat will make changes to the temperature in your home on a handful of those peak energy usage afternoons during the summer. This lowers the demand while still keeping you comfortable. The icing on the cake: Energy providers pay users  for signing up.

3. Clearing the air (filter)

Dirty or clogged air filters can affect your heating and cooling system’s efficiency, making your system work harder to move air through your home and using more energy. Personally, air filters aren’t high on my priority list and I often forget to change them. This is why your Nest thermostat can help you remember when it’s time to change the filter with a Filter Reminder, tracking the last time you changed it and showing you reminders on your thermostat when it's time to switch it out. 

4. Leave it to the Leaf 

The Nest Leaf icon appears on your Nest thermostat display or in the Nest app when you choose an energy-saving temperature. The temperatures that earn a Leaf will depend on your temperature preferences, your home and your schedule. When you follow the Leaf, you know you’re saving energy. 

5. Waste not, want not

The Nest thermostat can use its sensors and, if you opt in, your phone’s location, to check if you’ve left the house. It can then automatically adjust the temperature, so you don’t waste energy cooling an empty home. Then when you come back, your thermostat will readjust to your preferred setting.

So sit back, relax and let your Nest thermostat get to work helping you save this summer.

Four years later, Google’s first Code Next class is graduating

30 juin[ —]

My weekday routine is a balancing act. When I walk to the subway station at six in the morning, it's typically still dark outside. If I'm lucky, I'll snag a seat on the 5 train for the hour-long ride from the Bronx to Manhattan, but most days I'm standing—balancing with one hand on a pole and the other gripping my phone (usually working on something on Google Docs for class at the last minute).

Cindy Hernandez

I'm headed to Yale in the fall!

I’m one of the 54 students that make up Google Code Next’s first graduating class. Code Next, which started in 2015, is a free computer science education program that supports the next generation of Black and Latinx Tech leaders. 

For four years after school and on the weekends, my classmates and I participated in a rigorous curriculum focused on computer science, problem solving and leadership—balancing that on top of our schoolwork. Our coaches from Google, who have lots of different backgrounds (from software engineering to youth development), provided hands-on coding instruction, inspiration, and guidance as we navigate our way through the Code Next program. We have developed websites, applications, and hardware models.

I had never coded before participating in Code Next. I didn’t think it was for me, but my mother pushed me to sign up, so I gave it a try. Looking back on the past four years, I admit, I’m lucky that I listened. During my freshman and sophomore years, I was at Code Next every day, working on projects, even before the assignment was due and often just for fun. 

I work really hard on what I’m passionate about and coding became my passion. One time, we were asked to make a digital ping pong game from scratch—we had to write all of the code ourselves. There were awards for certain categories (like display and ease of use), and I won most of them, if not all. I always remember that moment because I was really proud of myself, bringing the awards to the coaches to show them what we had done.

There was another time when I participated in a coding competition hosted on Google’s campus. It wasn’t affiliated with Code Next, but my coaches still showed up to watch and support me from the sidelines. I ended up winning first place by designing a website from scratch. It  was a huge accomplishment for me. I had never coded before Code Next so to win the competition where everyone is really smart, I thought, “Wow, maybe this is something I’m good at and maybe I can turn this into a career for myself in the future.”

I hope to be a software engineer one day. I dream of going to Japan, learning Japanese and maybe even working there. Until then, I’ll be attending Yale University in the fall—I’m the first person in my family to go to college. 

If it weren’t for all my coaches at Code Next I definitely would not be where I'm at today. It was because of Code Next and the way it was taught that I truly found my passion. Here are a few other proud graduates of Google’s first Code Next class. They’ve shared a bit about themselves, their aspirations and dreams for the future. 

Stadia Savepoint: June updates

30 juin[ —]

With June coming to an end, it's time for another update in our Stadia Savepoint series. Here are the updates we’ve made this month to the Stadia platform:

Touch controls on mobile

Access touch controls within any game on your mobile device when a controller is not already connected.

Expanded OnePlus compatibility

Stadia is now compatible with OnePlus 5, OnePlus 6, and OnePlus 7 series mobile devices. More info here

Per-device resolution settings

Added the ability to set your preferred resolution on each device that you play Stadia on. 

Experiments tab supports additional mobile devices

Any Android phone that can install the Stadia app can play games using the Experiments tab in the settings menu. 

Wireless Stadia Controller functionality on mobile

We’re rolling out support for wireless play using the Stadia Controller on your mobile device. Just link your Stadia Controller to your phone by following the linking code shown on your screen.

This month, players adventured across the lands of Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls Online and learned how to pull off trick combos on boats in Wave Break, in addition to many other games now available for purchase on the Stadia store. We also announced new games coming to Stadia, including the survival adventure Windbound on August 28 and a chance to enter a world inspired by classic JRPGs with Cris Tales on November 17.

If you sign up for Stadia, you’ll get one free month of Stadia Pro and instant access to eighteen games, including PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, Zombie Army 4: Dead War, Destiny 2: The Collection, and The Elder Scrolls Online. In addition, if you’ve ever signed up for Stadia Pro, you’ll receive $10 off on your next purchase of any game from the Stadia store. 

Start playing Stadia on your TV for $99.99 with the new Stadia Premiere Edition, complete with a Stadia Controller and Chromecast Ultra. 

Stadia Pro updates

Recent content launches on Stadia

New games coming to Stadia

That’s it for June—we’ll be back soon to share more updates. As always, stay tuned to the Stadia Community Blog, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest news.

Work profile: the new standard for employee privacy

30 juin[ —]

Employees increasingly demand privacy from the technology they use every day, but employers often see privacy in opposition to enterprise data security. 

Since its debut in Android 5, the work profile has secured company data on personally-owned devices while preserving employee privacy. The separation of work and personal apps means IT gets full control over work apps and data, but has no visibility into personal apps. In Android 11, we’re bringing these privacy protections to company-owned devices as well, while providing IT the additional capabilities needed to manage company assets. 

Employees demand privacy, even on company-owned devices

In a recent survey by ESG research, 71 percent of employees said they expect all personal information to remain private on work devices. This resistance to traditional full device management creates challenges for IT organizations. In fact, employee concern about privacy is the top reason mobile devices remain unmanaged by IT, according to IDC: 

“Many users of corporate-liable devices have privacy concerns about app usage and corporate IT monitoring their activity,” says Phil Hochmuth, program VP, enterprise mobility at IDC. “Due to this concern, more than a third (38 percent) of corporate-owned devices deployed in enterprises go unmanaged.”

Personal data should always stay private

Android is committed to delivering simple, consistent privacy protections to our users. Just as IT shouldn’t put company data at risk to enable mobile productivity, employees shouldn’t be asked to reveal private, personal data to their company. 

That’s why we’ve expanded Android’s commitment to employee privacy in Android 11, by bringing the privacy protections of the work profile to company-owned devices. This means IT can deploy the work profile to help protect employee privacy across their entire fleet, regardless if the device is personally or company-owned.

Always get the right level of management

To make the work profile a great tool for company asset management, we had to bring to it many of the capabilities our customers value in Android’s fully managed devices. These include: 

  • Asset management protections, even if devices are lost or stolen

  • Personal usage policies such as restricting what apps employees can use, to keep device usage in compliance with corporate policy

  • Hardware management, to restrict or prevent configuration of features like Bluetooth, cameras, and removable storage

Extending management beyond the work profile required us to separate the management of data from visibility into that data. For example, IT can block an employee from using social media apps on a company-owned device, but in doing so doesn’t need to know the other apps they use outside of work. Now Android can help preserve employee privacy in the personal profile while enabling IT management of what employees can do with the personal profile.

Work profile chart

Whoever owns the device gets to decide how the device can be used. As before, if an employee owns their device IT can only manage core security features, like preventing users from installing apps from unknown sources. But if the company owns the device, IT can now manage how users interact with the whole device. In this way, the work profile adjusts its management capabilities according to who owns the device, while offering the same privacy protections in all scenarios.

Get it first with the Android Management API

We’re pleased to announce that the Android Management API will support these work profile enhancements in July enabling customers and developers to try out these new features on the Android 11 Beta.

Exclusive to the Android Management API, we’re bringing Android 11’s new combination of strong personal privacy protections and robust asset management features to older Android devices, as far back as Android 8. This means customers can deploy a single management solution across most, if not all of their Android fleet, not only for personally- and company-owned devices but across a wide range of Android versions as well. Speak with your enterprise mobility management (EMM) provider to learn how your company can make the most of the work profile.

Prioritizing privacy

Since the beginning, we designed Android Enterprise with employee privacy at the forefront. We are looking forward to expanding that mandate into the world of company-owned devices in a way that ensures both security and privacy for employers and employees. To learn more about the privacy enhancements in the work profile and other enterprise features coming in Android 11, please visit the Android developer site.

One percent of Googlers get to visit a data center, but I did

30 juin[ —]

For years I’ve wondered what it’s like behind the protected walls of a Google data center, and I’m not alone. In my job at Google, I spend my days working with developers. Our data centers are crucial to the work that they do, but most have never actually set foot inside a data center. And until recently, neither had I. I went on a mission to find answers to common questions like: Why are visits so tightly restricted? How secure is a Google data center? How do we meet regulatory requirements? Here's what I found out.

To keep our customers' data safe, we need to make sure the physical structure of the data center is absolutely secure. Each data center is protected with six layers of physical security designed to thwart unauthorized access. Watch the video above to follow my journey through these layers to the core of a data center, and read on to learn even more.

“Least privilege” is the rule to live by

badge swipe

There are two rules strictly enforced at all Google data centers. The “least privilege” protocol is the idea that someone should have only the bare minimum privileges necessary to perform their job. If your least privilege is to enter Layer 2, you won’t have luck moving to Layer 3. Each person’s access permissions are checked at badge readers that exist at every access point in a data center facility. Authorization measures happen everywhere using this protocol. 

Another rule exists that prevents a vehicle or individual closely following another to gain entry into a restricted area without a badge swipe. If the system detects a door open for too long, it immediately alerts security personnel. Any gate or door must close before the next vehicle or person can badge in and gain access.

Two security checks: badge first, then circle lock

circle lock

You’ve probably seen dual-authentication when you try to sign into an account and a one-time password is sent to your phone. We take a similar approach at the data centers to verify a person’s identity and access. At some layers in the data center, you’re required to swipe your badge, then enter a circle lock, or tubular doorway. You walk into a special "half portal" that checks your badge and scans your eyes to gain access to the next layer of the data center. It prevents tailgating because only one person is allowed in the circle lock at a time.

Shipments are received through a secure loading dock

The facility loading docks are a special section of Layer 3, used to receive and send shipments of materials, such as new hardware. Truck deliveries must be approved for access to Layer 3 to enter the dock. For further security, the loading dock room is physically isolated from the rest of the data center, and guard presence is required when a shipment is received or sent.

All hard drives are meticulously tracked

hard drive

Hard drive tracking is important to the security of your data because hard drives contain encrypted sensitive information. Google meticulously tracks the location and status of every hard drive within our data centers—from acquisition to destruction—using barcodes and asset tags. These asset tags are scanned throughout a hard drive's lifecycle in a data center from the time it’s installed to the time it's removed from circulation. Tracking hard drives closely ensures they don’t go missing or end up in the wrong hands.

We also make sure hard drives are properly functioning by doing frequent performance tests. If a component fails to pass a performance test, it’s deemed no longer usable. To prevent any sensitive information from living on that disk, we remove it from inventory to be erased and destroyed in Layer 6, Disk Erase. There, the disk erase formatter uses a multi-step process that wipes the disk data and replaces each bit of data with zeros. If the drive can’t be erased for any reason, it’s stored securely until it can be physically destroyed. 

Layered security extends into the tech itself

Our layered security approach isn’t just a physical safeguard for entering our data centers. It’s also how we protect the hardware and software that live in our data centers. At the deepest layer, most of our server boards and networking equipment are custom-designed by Google. For example, we design chips, such as the Titan hardware security chip, to securely identify and authenticate legitimate Google hardware. 

At the storage layer, data is encrypted while it travels in and out of the data center and when it’s stored at the data center. This means whether data is traveling over the internet moving between Google’s facilities, or stored on our servers, it’s protected. Google Cloud customers can even supply their own encryption keys and manage them in a third-party key management system deployed outside Google’s infrastructure. This defense-in-depth approach helps to expand our ability to mitigate potential vulnerabilities at every point

To learn more about our global data centers, visit our Data and Security page. We will also be sharing more about our security best practices during the upcoming Google Cloud Next ’20: OnAir event.

Our focus on helpful devices: Google acquires North

30 juin[ —]

Today we're announcing that Google has acquired North, a pioneer in human computer interfaces and smart glasses. They've built a strong technology foundation, and we're excited to have North join us in our broader efforts to build helpful devices and services.

From 10 blue links on a PC, to Maps on your mobile phone, to Google Nest Hub sharing a recipe in the kitchen, Google has always strived to be helpful to people in their daily lives. We’re building towards a future where helpfulness is all around you, where all your devices just work together and technology fades into the background. We call this ambient computing.

North’s technical expertise will help as we continue to invest in our hardware efforts and ambient computing future. They'll join the Google team based in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada—North’s hometown and an area with impressive tech talent. We're excited to welcome our new colleagues, and committed to the growing global tech community of Kitchener-Waterloo. For more on what this announcement means for North and its community of customers and partners, read this blog post from North’s founders.

Travel back in time with AR dinosaurs in Search

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Dinosaurs may have ruled the Earth millions of years ago, but with augmented reality (AR), you can turn your home into “Jurassic World.” We're partnering with Universal Brand Development, Amblin Entertainment and Ludia to bring 10 dinosaurs from the franchise film, “Jurassic World”, to Google Search. Watch the massive T. Rex stomp in your living room or gaze up at a majestic Brachiosaurus as it towers above a neighborhood tree. 

Search for a dinosaur on Google using a mobile device and tap “View in 3D” to rotate or zoom in and see it up close. You can then bring the dinosaur into your space with AR and adjust its size to understand how big it is in relation to the things around you. On Android devices, turn up your volume to hear the thudding footsteps and roars of each dinosaur. 

“Jurassic World” dinosaurs that are viewable in AR include: Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptor, Triceratops, Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Dilophosaurus, Pteranodon, and Parasaurolophus.

A behind-the-scenes look at how
“Jurassic World” AR dinosaurs are made 

Using technology from Ludia’s “Jurassic World Alive” game, these AR dinosaurs are some of the most realistic models out there. Check out this video to see how an AR Brachiosaurus is made, including 3D modeling, texturing and animation.

“To create the 3D dinosaurs, our concept artists first did preliminary research to discover information about each creature,” says Camilo Sanin, Ludia’s Lead on Character Creations. “Not only did we draw research from various forms of literature, our artists also worked with paleontologists and the ‘Jurassic World’ team to make the assets as accurate and realistic as possible. Even the smallest of details, such as irregularities of skin color and patterns, are important.” 

Unlike some of Google’s AR animals, like a dog or tiger, dinosaurs pose a new technical challenge: their massive size. The new auto-scale feature on Android can now automatically calculate the distance between your phone and a surface in your space and resize the dinosaur so it fits on your phone screen. If you tap “View actual size,” AR tracking technology automatically repositions the dinosaur in your space to make room for it.

view actual size.gif

New auto-scale feature on Android

How to access and share

On Android, search for “dinosaur” or one of the 10 dinosaurs on the Google app or any Android browser and tap “View in 3D.” You can see 3D content on devices running with Android 7 and above and you can see AR content on ARCore-enabled devices. Easily explore all dinosaurs using the carousel format. 

On iOS, search for “dinosaur” or one of the 10 dinosaurs on the Google app or on with Chrome or Safari. 3D and AR content is available on devices running iOS 11 and above.

You can also create AR videos—or recreate your favorite scenes from the “Jurassic World” movies—with the recording option. Don’t forget to tag your photos and videos on social with #Google3D and #JurassicWorld. Safe traveling (back in time)!

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