Connect with us

Google

The Googlers who help track Santa each Christmas

Among Dave’s favorite Santa Tracker projects is the Google Assistant integration, where people can ask to hear stories about Santa’s journey. He also enjoyed updating Santa’s soundtrack. He admits the team got a bit weary of hearing Santa’s same song on replay, so they came up with multiple tunes. “We ended up making a video…

Published

on

Among Dave’s favorite Santa Tracker projects is the Google Assistant integration, where people can ask to hear stories about Santa’s journey. He also enjoyed updating Santa’s soundtrack. He admits the team got a bit weary of hearing Santa’s same song on replay, so they came up with multiple tunes. “We ended up making a video similar to the crackling yule log ones, but featuring Santa.” (Go ahead and give it a listen.)

Some highlights for Sam over the years include adding Google Maps Local Guides’ photos to Santa’s route, and Code Boogie, a coding game where you can teach elves to dance. He’s also personally responsible for Elf Maker, in which you can create your own elf. “I’m really proud of that!” And he points out Snowball Storm, too, which another developer made that he was particularly impressed by.

There have also been little updates, like asking the creator of the Santa Tracker font to adjust the type so people all over the world could read it better. Of course, not everything Santa’s team worked on…worked. “One engineer who focused on AI and human movement came up with this idea for a game where you could enable tracking on your computer and teach the elves to dance,” Dave says, “and they would mimic your movement.” But just before launch…they found a glitch. “If the tracker lost you for a second…the elves’ heads and arms would go flying off!” Santa and the team decided not to launch the game. “That game was sent back to Elf engineering for further work,” Dave says.

Once all of this work is done, there’s the job of bringing Santa to everyone else. Part of Rachelle Lacroix’s work at Google for the past five holiday seasons has been doing exactly this. “Using marketing channels and social media, I help make sure people around the world can easily find and experience Santa Tracker,” she says. Rachelle says she’s loved seeing the creativity from teams come out in our work with Santa, but simply being a part of this group is one of the best parts for her. “Technical and creative Googlers alike really tap into their childhood when they work with Santa,” Rachelle says. “So much thought and care goes into every detail — and the team takes this work very seriously! Still, we find ways to have fun … it’s hard not to smile at all of the playful holiday puns that pop into our meetings and emails.”

Dave and Sam both feel the same. “It’s been the most fun meeting people — virtually or, in the ‘before times,’ by cycling around campus — who I wouldn’t otherwise interact with,” Sam says.

As the team prepares to help Santa launch this year, the work is winding down, and Dave and the rest of the group will return to their normal jobs. Still, the once-a-year project comes with its benefits. “It’s like a minor celebrity status,” Dave says. “I’ve loved telling my son I work with Santa.”

Source

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Google

A milestone for King’s Cross: a local innovation hub

Over the last few years, King’s Cross has truly transformed, becoming a thriving hub of innovation and creativity. The transformation is a sign of the UK’s strengths, with its incredible local talent and strong history of leading technological and scientific progress. These strengths inspired us to invest here in King’s Cross, in one of our…

Published

on

By

Over the last few years, King’s Cross has truly transformed, becoming a thriving hub of innovation and creativity. The transformation is a sign of the UK’s strengths, with its incredible local talent and strong history of leading technological and scientific progress. These strengths inspired us to invest here in King’s Cross, in one of our most ambitious developments to date.

Today, together with local MP, Keir Starmer, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, leader of Camden Council Georgia Gould, and our building partners, we celebrated a major milestone in the construction of our new King’s Cross office – and in our long-standing commitment to the UK – as we placed the final beam on our new development.

Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party and MP for Holborn and St Pancras said:

“It’s fantastic to attend not only as the leader of the Labour Party and local MP but as a proud local resident of more than 25 years. Congratulations to Google on your magnificent new building, and for all it represents – a seizing of opportunity, harnessing of talent, the creation of good, sustainable jobs and an immense contribution to our community. You’re showing what can be achieved when forward looking local government partners with the ingenuity of the private sector.”

We have long believed that creativity is spurred by environments that promote connection and wellbeing. This is more important than ever as we adapt to a future of flexible, hybrid working. Our new King’s Cross building will be equipped with new workplace technologies to help global and remote teams collaborate more effectively, build relationships, learn from colleagues and dream up new ways to solve complex challenges.

It will also be a place for community and connection thanks to the ground floor retail and community spaces, which are being curated with — and for — the local community. In the coming weeks, in partnership with more than 30 youth organisations in Camden, we’re excited to open our doors to 500 local young people for a week of taster sessions to inspire school students and job seekers with careers in technology, as well as more than 100 local work experience students.

Innovation extends to the design of the building itself, which is playing an important role in helping us to achieve our goal of going carbon free by 2030. We’re pioneering new technologies that will make our King’s Cross office our most ambitious smart building to date, including a system of 13,500 interconnected devices that will work together to improve energy efficiency in real time.

While the doors of our new King’s Cross development won’t open until 2024, incredible work is already underway nearby. The neighbourhood is home to thousands of our engineers working on products like Android, Wear OS, Search and Google Business Profiles, which are used the world over. In fact, many of the team behind some of our newest products – to be released later this year – are based right here in King’s Cross. We look forward to growing these teams and being a part of the local community’s future growth and development.

Source

Continue Reading

Google

Protecting people’s privacy on health topics

Privacy matters to people — especially around topics such as their health. Given that these issues apply to healthcare providers, telecommunications companies, banks, tech platforms, and many more, we know privacy protections cannot be solely up to individual companies or states acting individually. That’s why we’ve long advocated for a comprehensive and nationwide U.S. privacy…

Published

on

By

Privacy matters to people — especially around topics such as their health. Given that these issues apply to healthcare providers, telecommunications companies, banks, tech platforms, and many more, we know privacy protections cannot be solely up to individual companies or states acting individually. That’s why we’ve long advocated for a comprehensive and nationwide U.S. privacy law that guarantees protections for everyone, and we’re pleased to see recent progress in Congress.

Source

Continue Reading

Google

Google and U.S. developers find agreement over Google Play store

Finally, we’ve heard developers want to understand more about how Google Play operates, which is why we’ve agreed to publish annual transparency reports. The reports will share information about the Google Play Store, including statistics such as apps removed from Google Play, account terminations, and other data regarding how users interact with Google Play. Source

Published

on

By

Finally, we’ve heard developers want to understand more about how Google Play operates, which is why we’ve agreed to publish annual transparency reports. The reports will share information about the Google Play Store, including statistics such as apps removed from Google Play, account terminations, and other data regarding how users interact with Google Play.

Source

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Today's Digital.