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Chris Gaither
Apple guy, Oaklander, Red Sox fan, dad, cyclist, former journalist.
Apple guy, Oaklander, Red Sox fan, dad, cyclist, former journalist.

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This is important.
We have long pushed for transparency so users can better understand the extent to which governments request their data—and Google was the first company to release numbers for National Security Letters. However, greater transparency is needed, so today we have petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to allow us to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately. Lumping national security requests together with criminal requests—as some companies have been permitted to do—would be a backward step for our users.

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Auto awesome.
*Getting started with #AutoEnhance  and #AutoAwesome *

Many of you have been asking, "How do I apply Auto Enhance and Auto Awesome to my photos?" The good news is, all you have to do is upload some new pictures, and we'll do both automatically: 

- To review Google's automatic enhancements, just open a newly-uploaded photo in the desktop lightbox
- Click the new "Enhanced" button to toggle between your original, and Google's enhancements
- If you like the changes, keep them. Otherwise, just uncheck "Auto Enhance" from the More menu
- You can also turn off the feature completely in settings:

It's the same story with Auto Awesome. Just upload some new pics, and we'll get to work:

- Visit your Photos page (, and look for one the five Awesome icons on top of a new photo: Mix, HDR, Pano, Smile, Motion
- Click the Awesome'd photo and enjoy!
- And of course: if you don't want your photos awesome'd, you can turn off this feature too:

In the weeks and months ahead, we'll also be enhancing and awesome'ing the photos you've already uploaded to Google+ -- it just takes a while to process billions and billions of pictures :-)

In the meantime you can either apply Auto Enhance to existing photos one at a time, or upload new pictures to Google+ to have them enhanced automatically. Either way enjoy, and let us know what you think of #AutoEnhance   and #AutoAwesome !
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I/O, I/O, it's off to work we go...

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Larry on Q1 and where we're heading.
We are in the middle of our Q1 earnings call right now. Here are the remarks I just gave.

Hi everyone.  Thank you for joining us.  It’s great to be on the call this afternoon.  

If you are listening online, I hope you liked our warm-up video, I hear they had a great time making it.  

OK … We had a really strong start to 2013 -- with Q1 revenue up 31 per cent year-on-year to $14 billion.  I want to give a big shout out to the sales teams that made this all possible.  We tend to focus on product and engineering -- but our business organization is tremendously strong.  They are Google’s unsung heroes.

Over the last two years, we’ve worked hard to increase our velocity, improve our execution and focus on the big bets that will make a difference in the world.

Take Google Now.  Our goal is to get you the right information, at just the right time.  Launched nine months ago, Now provides boarding passes, delivery updates, and traffic conditions … without you having to ask first.  And this quarter we added movie tickets nicely packaged with directions to the theater.

I am also excited about our Voice Search momentum.  Looking for the nearest pharmacy?  Just ask Google for directions, and we’ll deliver them instantly … no typing needed.  And you can now ask conversational questions like-- “do I need a jacket this weekend?”

Voice commands are going to be increasingly important.  It’s just much less hassle to talk than type!  So this quarter we launched Chrome support for web speech APIs.  Developers can now easily add voice recognition into their web apps.  We expect to see a lot of innovation there.    

The velocity around Google Play is tremendous.  It’s a big bet, and one that’s fundamental to the success of the Android ecosystem.  In our first year:  

We have signed partnerships with all the major movie studios, music labels and publishers; and

Our digital content is available in over 20 countries globally -- seven of which we launched in Q1, including India and Mexico.

And last week, we released a beautiful new UI … with better recommendations, bigger images and a simpler way to buy things.  Play is already a great product and we are improving it at a rapid rate.

As devices multiply, it’s really important that our products work seamlessly whatever device you are using at that moment.  

It’s why I love Google Play … the ability to buy books, apps, movies or songs and have them instantly available on your Android devices, even when you buy it on the web.  When you switch devices while reading, your book opens exactly where you left off!    

In the same way, we need to make advertising across devices really simple for our customers.  

Online advertising has developed in very device-specific ways, with separate campaigns for desktop and mobile.  This makes arduous work for advertisers and agencies, and means mobile opportunities often get missed.  

So in February we launched Enhanced Campaigns, a significant upgrade to AdWords.  Nikesh will talk more about that in a moment … but our goal is simple:  to enable advertisers to focus on their audience and message, while we dynamically adapt their campaigns across multiple devices.  I’ve been very pleased with the rate of progress so far, we’re smoothly moving a huge advertising system and ecosystem on a dime.

In today’s multi-screen world, the opportunities are endless.  Think about your device.  

Battery life is a challenge for most people … you shouldn't need to carry a charger around with you to make it through the day.  

If your kid spills their drink on your tablet, the screen shouldn’t die.  

And when you drop your phone, it shouldn't shatter.  

There’s real potential to invent new and better experiences -- ones that are much faster and more intuitive.  

So having seen Motorola’s upcoming products myself, I am really excited about the potential there.  In just under a year they’ve accomplished a lot and have impressive velocity and execution.

I wanted to finish up by talking a little bit about the future.  

We invest the vast majority of our resources and time in our core products as well as our big bets like Chrome, YouTube and Android.

But as CEO it’s also super important to keep focused on the future.  Companies tend to get comfortable doing what they have always done, with a few minor tweaks.  It’s only natural to want to work on things you know.  But incremental improvement is guaranteed to be obsolete over time.  Especially in technology, where history has shown that there’s a lot of revolutionary change.

So a big part of my job is to get people focused on things that are not just incremental.  Take Gmail.  When we released that, we were a search company -- it was a leap for us to put out an email product, let alone one that gave users 100 times as much storage as anyone else.  It was the same with Android.  And it’s why we’re investing in what appear to be speculative projects to you today, such as self-driving cars.  

We’ve found that with ambitious goals and a committed team you can make progress pretty quickly.  The best people often want to work on the biggest bets -- and there’s not much competition because no-one else is crazy enough to try.

We started Google Fiber because Sergey thought it would be great to show how high-speed Internet access can improve people’s lives.  Three years later, our first homes are live in Kansas City, and in the last two weeks we have announced plans to roll-out the service in Austin and Provo.  

And just this week -- after three years of development -- we started handing over Glass devices to developers.  I get chills when I use a product that is the future, and that happens when I use Glass.  Someday we'll all be amazed that computing involved fishing around in pockets and purses.

There are so many opportunities in the world to create technology that make people’s lives better.  We are still only at 1 per cent of what’s possible … we are really just getting started … and that is why I am so excited to be here -- working hard with Googlers to take our company to the next level.

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What would you do with Glass?
Seeking Glass Explorers:

Last year we showed Glass to the world for the first time - we jumped out of airships, crashed New York Fashion Week and even took a ride on the subway. It’s been an exhilarating journey so far and there’s a lot more to come, but we can’t go it alone. We’re developing new technology that is designed to be unobtrusive and liberating, and so far we’ve only scratched the surface of the true potential of Glass.

Now we want you to get involved and that’s why today we’re expanding our Glass Explorer Program. We’re looking for bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass. Glass is still in the early stages, so we expect there will be some twists and turns along the way. While we can’t promise everything will be perfect, we can promise it will be exciting. 

We’d love to make everyone a Glass Explorer, but we’re starting a bit smaller. So, if you want to be one of the first Explorers, go to to find out how. 

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What it takes for governments to access personal information.
Today we’re releasing new data for the Transparency Report, showing that the steady increase in government requests for our users’ data continued in the second half of 2012, as usage of our services continued to grow. For the first time we’re also including a breakdown of the kinds of legal process that government entities in the U.S. use when compelling communications and technology companies to hand over user data. See the data: and read more on our blog:

The problem with Spotify: so much amazing music, so little time.

My favorites this week include Alabama Shakes, Lianne La Havas and Deep Sea Diver.

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The first step to breaking habits is identifying them. Wise words here.
I know it's still a little early, but I'm declaring this the 2012 Quote of the Year for me.

"Your priorities are where you spend your time.  You can't say your priorities are A, B, and C, if all your time is spent on D, E, and F."
                                        --+Nat Torkington 

Nat laid this on me in the middle of a three hour+ epic discussion that we had at Sci Foo, and it was one of those baseball-bat-to-the-head moments for me. Most people I know say that their family is their highest priority, but act like their family is second, third, or even fourth on their priority list.

I don't think a day has gone by since that chat without me thinking about that quote at least once, and I have absolutely, without a doubt changed the way I spend my time as a result of it.

It's easy to say that something is a priority, especially when everyone agrees that "yeah, of course that's a priority!"

But it's a lot harder to live like that.

Thanks Nat.  Beers are on me next time we get together.

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See images from Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong's burial at sea service aboard the USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, in the Atlantic Ocean. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, died Saturday, Aug. 25. He was 82. See additional images at:
Astronaut Neil Armstrong's Burial at Sea Service, September 14, 2012 (13 photos)
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