Google launches third-annual 2013 Science Fair for ‘next generation of scientists and engineers’ (Video)

Google launched its third annual Google Science Fair today to find the next generation of scientists and engineers between the ages of 13 and 18.

Google explained on the official Google blog that students can enter the Science Fair in 13 languages, but deadline for submissions is April 30 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Google will select 90 regional finalists in June, and the public can meet the 15 finalists in a series of Google+ Hangouts on Air in August and even vote for the Inspired Idea Award. Judges will then choose 15 finalists, who will then go to Google headquarters for the last event on Sep. 23.

Lastly, at the finals, a panel of distinguished international judges will pick winners in each age group, along with one Grand Prize winner. The Science Fair is in partnership with CERN, the LEGO Group, National Geographic, and Scientific American, and Google said prizes include a $50,000 scholarship, a trip to the Galapagos with National Geographic Expeditions, as well as “experiences at CERN, Google or the LEGO Group and digital access to the Scientific American archives for the winner’s school for a year.”

Google will also give a $10,000 cash grant and offer a Google+ Hangout with CERN to the Grand Prize winner’s school. Meanwhile, the Scientific American will specifically give a $50,000 Science in Action prize to one project that “makes a practical difference by addressing a social, environmental or health issue.”

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Google Forms refreshed with real-time collaboration, auto-save, and more new features

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We have been used to real-time collaboration with Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets for quite some time, but today Google announced on the Google Drive blog that it is refreshing its Forms app with new features, including the ability to collaborate in real-time.

If you need to work with two colleagues on a survey, all three of you can work on the same form simultaneously and even have a group chat on the side, without leaving the form.

Google also said it’s making the entire Forms experience within Google Drive faster and cleaner including auto-saves and the ability to undo and redo edits. You can also now paste bullet lists and multiple spreadsheet rows to automatically insert answers, as well as access new keyboard shortcuts:

Improved copy-and-paste will let you copy a list of bullets from the web or multiple rows of text from a spreadsheet; then, when you paste into a form, each line will be appear as an individual answer. And you can use keyboard shortcuts to get things done more quickly.

The updated Forms app will roll out to Google Drive and Sheets users over the next few days. You’ll also be able to access the new Forms experience from the Chrome web app. A video of the new copy/paste enhancements below: Read more

Samsung advertises its Work/Life balance Galaxy line to those searching for Blackberry10 info

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The company formerly known as RIM, Blackberry, just unveiled BlackBerry10 and two new devices, and it looks as though Samsung decided to not waist time and run competing ads for its Note II.

The above “Work. Life. Balance.” advertisement surfaces on Google when Web surfers try to search for more information about BlackBerry 10. But, that’s not all: Samsung also apparently bought promoted spots on Twitter, as evident by the tweet below.

At Blackberry’s event, musician Alicia Keys said, “I want to further enhance this concept of having your work life and your personal life in one device.” She was promoting BlackBerry 10′s marketing strategy of business and consumer functionality. Samsung clearly knew this would be the company’s target, because its promoted ad instead suggested the Note II as the perfect balance between work and life.

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Google praises immigration reform, says foreign-born individuals ‘play a vital role at Google’

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Google wants the world to know that many of its products and businesses are spearheaded by highly skilled immigrants.

Immigrants are also prevalent in the tech sector, Google said, as they have founded over 40 percent of tech companies, such as Yahoo, eBay, and Intel. Moreover, according to a recent Kauffman Foundation study, roughly one-quarter of all companies started between 2006 and 2012 had a foreign-born founder. These same companies generated $63 billion in sales and employed over 560,000 workers in 2012.

So, why is Google showing so much appreciation for foreigners born outside of the United States? Aside from the fact that co-founder Sergey Brin is Russian-born, Senior Vice President of People Operations Laszlo Bock explained the reasoning on Google’s official Public Policy blog:

This is why we strongly support the bipartisan efforts being made to reform our high skilled immigration laws. We look forward to working with Congress and the Obama Administration to ensure that talented individuals will continue to innovate in the U.S. – a critical part of getting the economy back on track and making it stronger for the long-run.

Google is specifically referring to a bipartisan group of four senators that unveiled a bill this morning that could boost Silicon Valley and help immigrants. The Immigration Innovation Act of 2013, among other things, would increase the H-1B visa cap for skilled foreign workers, according to The Hill.

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Google’s Daniel Graf discusses Google Maps for iOS (Video)

Engadget sat with Daniel Graf recently, who is working on Mobile Maps at Google but originally joined the company in 2011 in an entrepreneurial role at Mobile Apps Lab, and got the lowdown on the Android and iOS versions of the mapping app.

In regards to the iOS counterpart that launched in December, according to Engadget, Graf said, “It has been an interesting project, because we got the opportunity to start from scratch. [The Android version] is actually seven years of history, seven years of product, [...] seven years of user experience. On iOS, we didn’t have those seven years so that gave us a chance to take a step back and say. ‘Hey, what would be the next-generation mobile mapping experience?’”

He also talked about the iOS app’s user experience: “When Larry came on board as CEO two years ago, he talked about beautiful experiences and we had very functional and very useful experiences and in term of beauty I think there was work to do. Now two years later if you actually use our product on desktop, on Android, on iOS there’s a theme there … there’s a design language there, and I would say actually they’re beautiful.”

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