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Jonathan McPhie

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Let's do this!
We're excited to start discussions with the South Bay to bring Google Fiber there. Share this graphic to let your neighbors know the news. Learn more and sign up for updates:
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Best TEDx talk ever!  Full disclosure: the speaker is my mom, I am incredibly biased (and proud of her).
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I did it! Under 6 hours elapsed time!!

(Best Buddies 2012 Century bike ride - it was amazing!)
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I haven't traditionally been a fan of fundraising, and I'm even less a fan of begging for money.  Growing up, selling Scout Fair tickets or See's candy bars wasn't particularly meaningful or enjoyable for me.  But context matters, and I feel like my perspective on this is changing - see below.

On September 8th, I'm participating in the Best Buddies Challenge, a 100 mile bike ride from Carmel to Hearst Castle down the PCH.  It's going to be really fun.  But the main purpose of the event is really to raise money for Best Buddies International, a non-profit "dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities".  A great cause!

If you feel so inclined, you can follow the link below to learn more and, if you want, donate to the cause.  Absolutely no pressure.

Feel free to contact me for more details.
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Just FYI...
Are you getting a lot of unwanted email invitations from Google+ Events?  Me too.

You can turn them off in settings:

Scroll down to the "Events" section under "Receive notifications".

You might want to tweak some of the other notifications, too.  I turn most of the email notifications OFF, since the Google-bar notifications are almost always good enough for me.
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Wondering what the team has been up to? This refresh has touched virtually every part of Google+. It feels so natural to me, I almost forget what the old design looked like :)
I'm so proud to share our new beautiful Google+ experience. We worked hard to simplify and beautify the entire product and I truly hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Towards a simpler more beautiful Google:

You should see it sometime today as we roll it out to you all.
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Adjust the volume of "What's hot" in your main stream
#googleplusupdate #whatshot

A few months ago we launched “What's hot”, an always-fresh collection of interesting posts on Google+ ( We later launched volume "sliders,” letting you decide how much or how little individual circles contribute to your overall stream (

Today, and thanks to your feedback, we're bringing these two features together. This way you can control how many "What's hot" posts appear in your main stream on Google+ -- from most, to some, to none at all.

Whenever hot posts do appear in your stream, we'll label them accordingly. And if you're ever in the mood to only see hot posts, you can always click on "What's hot" in the left-hand navigation menu.

We're rolling out this improvement over the next few days, so definitely check back if you don't see it yet. Once it's live, you can visit to turn the heat up, down or off. :-)
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Google+: new safety enhancements, now available for teens

Teens and young adults are the most active Internet users on the planet [1]. And surprise, surprise: they're also human beings who enjoy spending time with friends and family. Put these two things together and it's clear that teens will increasingly connect online. Unfortunately, online sharing is still second-rate for this age group.

In life, for instance, teens can share the right things with just the right people (like classmates, parents or close ties). Over time, the nuance and richness of selective sharing even promotes authenticity and accountability. Sadly, today’s most popular online tools are rigid and brittle by comparison, so teens end up over-sharing with all of their so-called “friends.”

With Google+, we want to help teens build meaningful connections online. We also want to provide features that foster safety alongside self-expression. Today we're doing both, for everyone who’s old enough for a Google Account (13+ in most countries [2]).

Safety starts with your circles
The difference between friends, acquaintances and strangers is a crucial one—especially for teens. Google+ includes circles to help people manage their different relationships, but we’re going a step further for our younger users.

Sharing content
With Google+ you can share privately with your circles, or publicly with the world. Posting something for everyone to see is a big deal, however, so when teens try and share outside their circles, we encourage them to think before they post. [Screenshot #1]

Receiving notifications
Google+ is a great place to connect with close friends, as well as discover others with common interests. We want to help people explore the community safely, however, so we give users control over who can contact them online. By default, only those in teens’ circles can say hello, and blocking someone is always just a click or two away. [Screenshot #2]

Hanging out with friends
Google+ Hangouts bring people together using live multi-person video, and the results range from heartwarming [3] to awe-inspiring [4]. However, we recognize that connecting face-to-face is special and serious, so if a stranger outside a teen’s circles joins the hangout, we temporarily remove the young adult, and give them a chance to rejoin. [Screenshot #3]

Our newly launched Google+ Safety Center [5] describes these and other changes in more detail, but our approach is straightforward: build awesome features that teens really want, encourage safe behavior through appropriate defaults and in-product help, and make abuse reporting tools easy to find and use.

People and pages for the young(er) at heart
The joy of real-life sharing lies in connecting with everything we care about—from family and friends, to businesses and brands. Teens, like adults, deserve a rich experience online, so today we’re welcoming some of their favorite individuals and organizations to the Google+ community. [6]

Between strong user protections and teen-focused content, it’s our hope that young adults will feel at home (and have some fun) on Google+. And of course, we do have at least one thing in common with our newest users: we’re both busy growing up.


[3] Google+: Just hanging out together
[4] Highlights from the Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu Google+ Hangout
[6] +106 and Park +A THIN LINE +AKB48 +Ashley Tisdale +Big Time Rush +Cody Simpson +ESPN +GLEE +Greyson Chance +Google Science Fair +Harry Shum Jr +The Hunger Games +Lea Michele +Mindless Behavior +Nickelodeon +Scotty McCreery +Selena Gomez +Shay Mitchell +Teen Vogue +The Annoying Orange +Material Girl Collection +Victoria Justice +Young Hollywood
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Great news!
Toward a more inclusive naming policy for Google+

With Google+, we aspire to make online sharing more like sharing in the real world. And during the Google+ signup process, we've asked users to select the name they commonly use in real life.

Since launch we've listened closely to community feedback on our names policy, as well as reviewed our own data regarding signup completion. The vast majority of users sail through our signup process -- in fact, only about 0.1% submit name appeals.

When we analyze the set of all name appeals on Google+, we find that they generally fall into three major categories:
- The majority (60%) of these users want to simply add nicknames.
- About 20% of appeals are actually businesses (who are inadvertently trying to set up their business as a Profile, rather than using Google+ Pages which were intended for this purpose.)
- And the remaining 20% would either prefer to use a pseudonym or another unconventional name.

Today we’re pleased to be launching features that will address and remedy the majority of these issues. To be clear - our work here isn’t done, but I’m really pleased to be shipping a milestone on our journey.

Nicknames and Names in Another Script

Over the next week, we’ll be adding support for alternate names – be they nicknames, maiden names, or names in another script – alongside your common name. This name will show up on your Google+ profile and in the hovercards which appear over your name. In the next few weeks, we’ll be displaying it more broadly as part of your name in other areas of Google+ as well. So if you’re Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jane Doe (Smith), or Saurabh Sharma (सौरभ शर्मा), you can now communicate your identity the way you want to.

To add an alternate name, go to your Google+ profile, click Edit Profile, select your name and click on “More options.” (See attached photos)

It’s important to remember that when you change your name in Google+, you’re changing it across all services that require a Google Profile.

Other Established Identities

On Google+, we try to flag names which don’t represent individuals, such as businesses or abstract ideas which should be +Pages. Sometimes we get this wrong, so starting today we’re updating our policies and processes to broaden support for established pseudonyms, from +trench coat to +Madonna.

If we flag the name you intend to use, you can provide us with information to help confirm your established identity. This might include:

- References to an established identity offline in print media, news articles, etc
- Scanned official documentation, such as a driver’s license
- Proof of an established identity online with a meaningful following

We’ll review the information and typically get back to you within a few days. We may also ask for further information, such as proof that you control a website you reference. While a name change is under review, your old name will continue to be displayed. For new accounts without an old name, your profile will be in a non-public, read-only state during the review. Either way, you'll be able to see the status of your review by going to your profile.

For more details, check out the Google+ Names Policy:

To reiterate, the features described herein will be rolling out over the next couple days.

Today is a small step towards improving the ways in which you can communicate your identity on Google+. We will be listening to feedback from the community and will continue to refine all aspects of how we handle names and identity over the coming weeks, months and beyond.

Thanks for your continuing feedback and support.

Bradley and Team G+

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