Design News

Opening the Google AI China Middle

Since becoming a professor 12 years ago and joining Google a year ago, I’ve had the good fortune to work with many talented Chinese engineers, researchers and technologists. China is home to many of the world’s top experts in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. All three winning teams of the ImageNet Challenge in the past three years have been largely composed of Chinese researchers. Chinese authors contributed 43 percent of all content in the top 100 AI journals in 2015—and when the Association for the Advancement of AI discovered that their annual meeting overlapped with Chinese New Year this year, they rescheduled.

I believe AI and its benefits have no borders. Whether a breakthrough occurs in Silicon Valley, Beijing or anywhere else, it has the potential to make everyone’s life better for the entire world. As an AI first company, this is an important part of our collective mission. And we want to work with the best AI talent, wherever that talent is, to achieve it.

That’s why I am excited to launch the Google AI China Center, our first such center in Asia, at our Google Developer Days event in Shanghai today. This Center joins other AI research groups we have all over the world, including in New York, Toronto, London and Zurich, all contributing towards the same goal of finding ways to make AI work better for everyone.

Focused on basic AI research, the Center will consist of a team of AI researchers in Beijing, supported by Google China’s strong engineering teams. We’ve already hired some top experts, and will be working to build the team in the months ahead (check our jobs site for open roles!). Along with Dr. Jia Li, Head of Research and Development at Google Cloud AI, I’ll be leading and coordinating the research.

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WordPress Themes: Customized Improvement or Present Premium Theme

With an ample amount of premium WordPress themes available you might question the need to have a custom theme designed and built for you. While there are some great WordPress themes available, a custom designed and built theme has numerous advantages.

Ducks and Decorated Sheds

A few years ago I attended a user-experience talk by Dan Klyne of The Understanding Group where he talked about an architectural concept called “Ducks and Decorated Sheds” by authors Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour.

Simply put, the architects looked at two different options for building usage–a completely custom building (ducks) or reusing an existing structure (decorated shed) to fit your business. “Duck” refers to the Big Duck building in Long Island which was originally constructed to sell ducks and duck eggs. The building is literally shaped like a duck and very explicitly communicates its merchandise.

Decorated sheds are generic structures that need signs and decoration to denote their purpose. For example, restaurants in a strip mall or big box stores.

This analogy very much applies to the custom vs. existing theme question. There are times when having a theme designed and built completely around the needs of your organization makes sense (duck). There are other times where selecting an existing theme makes sense (decorated shed).

Let’s explore the benefits of going custom.

Why Go Custom (Duck)

Two reasons a company might not choose a custom website are time and money. Starting from scratch takes more time and a larger budget. If you have an immediate need and/or very limited finances then a custom site is understandably not the most inviting option. There are, from our experience, many reasons to opt for the custom site though.

Your Organization

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A take a look at Staff Drives in motion on the California Academy of Sciences


Located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences is an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum all wrapped into one. Attracting visitors from all over the world, the California Academy of Sciences aims to explore, explain, and sustain life on Earth. In addition to biodiversity research and conservation efforts, they offer a large variety of exhibits to educate visitors about wildlife, ecosystems, and the sustainability of our planet.

The California Academy of Sciences uses G Suite and other Google products to help employees collaborate, onboard new team members effectively, manage data for science-based animal care, and schedule upcoming physicals and treatments for live animals. Recently, they migrated all their digital data to Team Drives, a G Suite for Nonprofits tool that lets organizations store, search, and access shared content from anywhere. In Team Drives, files belong to the team instead of the individual, so users won’t need to search across siloed folders with varying permissions. Since implementing this change, the California Academy of Sciences has been able to reduce time spent searching for documents, limit duplication of efforts, and collaborate more closely with their team members and other organizations internationally. We spoke with Associate Director of the Steinhart Aquarium (and Google super user), Laurie Patel, who successfully migrated 15 years of digital data to Team Drives in just one evening, to learn more about how they’re using the tool.

Three endangered African Penguins on exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences. The penguin on the left is a juvenile hatched at the Academy as a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan.

Better animal health management through unlimited storage


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Xamarin.Varieties animated profile playing cards

Back in 2013, I wrote an article called “CSS animated profile cards“. It showed how to create different kind of animations using HTML and CSS animation. Now, I wanted to take that same concept but apply it on an app build with Xamarin.Forms. Luckily, the Xamarin.Forms Animations will help us achieve that!

I created four animations (Push, Slide, 3D Flip and Explode) and applied them to profile cards. So, how can you create this effect for yourself? The source code can be found on Github in case you directly want to dive into the code. Otherwise, read on! Since we’re using Xamarin.Forms, these animations work perfectly on iOS and Android.

The setup

I actually took the HTML/CSS as input for the animation styles. The setup is a base class with a an Picture and a Profile that are placed “on top” of each other. On top of that, there’s another invisible frame that can receive the Tap-events using a TapGestureRecognizer. These are simply all the elements we need in order to make the animations work.

When looking at the code in the ProfileCardBase-class, this would be the heart that does the magic. Check out the full implementation as well.

public abstract class ProfileCardBase : ContentPage
// The Profile and Picture are properties the several Animations will use to animate
public Grid Profile { get; set; }
public Image Picture { get; set; }

// These methods will be called when the uses Taps
public abstract Task ShowProfileAsync();
public abstract Task HideProfileAsync();

public ProfileCardBase(string headerText, Profile profile)

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web optimization Greatest Apply or search engine optimisation Self-Sabotage? Find out how to Conduct a Clear Marketing campaign

Women Presenting SEO analysis

For many individual website owners and businesses who are new to SEO, their only goal is to improve their search engine rankings. They’ll do anything to get their service sitting comfortably at the top of the search page.

Most novices who want their website or business to rank higher on Google use a number of different SEO tactics, and some days will show sudden gains, and other days they’ll see no progress at all. When you’re employing so many different tactics at once, it’s hard to tell what’s working and what isn’t.

However, one thing many newbies to SEO overlook is that not all SEO tactics are created equal. In fact, SEO tactics can be quite easily divided into “goodies” and “baddies”.

Some tactics you might think are helping your website improve its search engine rankings, could be hindering it.

Why use ‘Clean’ SEO?

Google punishes websites which use ‘cowboy’ SEO tactics. Their algorithm can detect when a website is using ‘black hat SEO’ – which are attempts to cheat the system – and the site is then punished accordingly. This doesn’t just happen to small websites – both BMW and JC Penney have been removed from Google’s front page for dodgy SEO.

For a small business owner or website, it’s important to conduct a clean SEO campaign. Otherwise, months of hard work can easily disappear overnight, when Google’s algorithm realizes you’ve been trying to cheat the system. You can be on the front page one day, and miles away from it on the next.

Here we’re going to break down to explain the difference between Black Hat SEO, which amounts to self-sabotage, and a White Hat SEO campaign, which will bring you sustained growth.

Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEO is the equivalent of getting a lift in a car to finish first in a marathon.


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