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What do lush treetop walks, skyscrapers and colorful beach sunsets have in common? Starting today, these diverse Malaysian landscapes are available for you to check out on Street View in Google Maps.

Over the past year, we’ve taken our Street View cars on a cross-country adventure of peninsular Malaysia, driving to new heights at the top of Gunung Raya in Langkawi, roving the tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands and meeting the ends of many roads we never even knew existed. Now a digital rendering of approximately 90 percent of the scenery found along public roads in West Malaysia is available on Street View.

View of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur

Tea fields in the Cameron Highlands
Street art in George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Driving through the streets of George Town. Can you spot our Street View car?

We also went off-road with Street View Trekker to bring you a preview of Malaysia’s diverse natural wonders. Explore over 400,000 new panoramic shots of Taman Negara, considered by many as the world’s oldest rainforest, including views from its dizzying treetop canopy walks and ancient trekking trails. You can also hit the beaches of Langkawi, take a ride on a cable car or even jump on a boat.
Canopy walk at Taman Negara

Tengah Beach in Langkawi

Cable car in Langkawi
Penang National Park
We hope this new Street View imagery can help you discover and explore the beauty of our country as it continues to grow and transform.

Posted by Nhazlisham Hamdan, Street View Operations Manager, Google Malaysia

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If you’re an undergraduate or graduate student who’s passionate about technology, and want to dive headfirst into Internet policy at a public interest organization that’s at the forefront of debates on topics such as copyright, connectivity and free expression, the Google Policy Fellowship could be the program for you.
Applications are now open for placements at two organizations in Asia Pacific, including the Asian Development Bank in Manila and the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at The University of Hong Kong. Some of the topics open for research in Asia this year include enabling connectivity and trade by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region, and media policy development.

Learn more about this global program and the application process on the Google Public Policy Fellowship website, and get your applications in soon.

Posted by William Fitzgerald, Public Policy Manager, Google Asia Pacific

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From earthquakes to tsunamis, Indonesia is no stranger to the dangers presented by natural disasters. In times of crisis, it’s critical that useful information is available to as many people as possible. That’s why we’re launching Google Public Alerts and a Crisis Map for Indonesia.

Google Public Alerts are designed to provide accurate and relevant emergency alerts when and where you need them. Going forward, earthquake and tsunami warnings will appear on the Google Public Alerts page and across Google Search, Google Maps and Google Now.

In the event of a tsunami, searching for related information on Google Search or Maps on your desktop or mobile device will result in a warning like the one below.
Public alert for “tsunami nias” in Google Search 

And you can click on the alert to find out more information with details about the projected area of impact, estimated time of arrival, wave height and advice on what to do to stay safe.
Public Alert details for a tsunami warming 

On Android and iOS devices, Google Now will display a card with alert information and any evacuation instructions to all users who are located in affected areas.
Public Alert on Google Now for a tsunami warning

This is also the first time we’re working with a telecoms operator to further the reach of these critical alerts on feature phones. Indosat subscribers will be able to access these alerts by dialling *123*77# from their Indosat number and following the prompts.
Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 8.57.00 PM.png
Indosat users can receive alerts on their feature phones

In addition to these emergency alerts, we’re also launching a Google Crisis Map for Indonesia. In times of crisis, this map will provide relevant information and the ability for organizations to add other layers of information, including shelter and hospital locations, evacuation routes and more.

We’re able to provide this crisis map and Public Alerts in Indonesia thanks to Badan Meteorologi Klimatologi dan Geofisika (BMKG) and Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB). Their partnership and commitment to providing information to the public enables Google and others to make critical and life-saving notifications more widely available.

We look forward to expanding Google Public Alerts to more countries and working with more warning providers soon. We encourage potential partners to read our FAQ and to consider using an open format for their data, such as the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP). To learn more about Public Alerts, please visit our Public Alerts homepage.

Posted by Meryl Stone, Strategic Partnerships, Google Crisis Response

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What does Malaysia mean to you? That’s what we asked kids in the first ever Doogle4Google competition held in Malaysia. Today, in celebration of Malaysia Day, we’re featuring the winning doodle on www.google.com.my.

Our winner, sixteen-year-old Lee Yee Run, a student of SMJK Yoke Kuan in Sekinchan, Selangor, says his doodle entitled “Beauty of Malaysia” was inspired by the true and unique colours of his country. It captures the diverse landscapes of Malaysia, from the mountains, to the seaside and Kuala Lumpur’s iconic buildings. He hopes his doodle will encourage others to take time to discover spots they’ve never visited.
Check out the doodles by all our finalists, which we hope will inspire you to explore more of the beauty that Malaysia has to offer.


From left to right: Ages 13 - 15 category winner — Mohammed Anoof Ibrahim of Mutiara International Grammar School, Ampang; Matthew Zaheen (Marketing Manager, Google Malaysia); Ages 10 - 12 category winner — Chin Joe Yi of SJK (C) Kwang Hwa, Penang; Grand Winner — Lee Yee Run of SMJK Yoke Kuan in Sekinchan, Selangor; Sajith Sivanandan (Managing Director, Google Malaysia); Ages 7 - 9 category winner — Vaisnawi Harulnathan of SJKG Vallambrosa, Klang

Posted by Sajith Sivanandan, Managing Director, Google Malaysia


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Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog

Knowledge is a game changer. I’ve long been inspired by the Internet and how it opens the doors to opportunity. It provides access to knowledge, no matter who you are or where you are. For instance, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Nobel Laureate at a world-class research center or a young student at a rural school in Indonesia, with Google Search, you have the same information at your fingertips as anyone else.

If we look at how people are getting online and accessing information today, increasingly it’s through a smartphone. While 1.75 billion people around the world already have a smartphone, the vast majority of the world’s population—over five billion more—do not. That means most people are only able to make simple voice calls, rather than connect with family through a live video chat, use mapping apps to find the closest hospital, or simply search the web. We want to bring these experiences to more people.

That’s where Android One comes in. At I/O, we first talked about this initiative to make high-quality smartphones accessible to as many people as possible. And today we’re introducing the first family of Android One phones in India.
Addressing key barriers—hardware, software and connectivity
There are three big reasons why it’s hard for people in countries such as India, Indonesia or the Philippines to get their hands on a high-quality smartphone. First, is the hardware itself. Even entry-level smartphones still remain out of reach for many (bear in mind that in some of these countries the average monthly income is around $250). Second, many people in these markets do not have access to the latest Android software and popular applications. Finally, even where 3G and 4G networks are available, not enough people have phones that can support data and the plans can be expensive.

Android One aims to help tackle these challenges. By working closely with phone and silicon chip makers to share reference designs and select components, we’re making it easier for our partners to build phones that are not just great to use, but also affordable. They have lots of processing power, so you can get information quickly. They have high-quality front- and rear-facing cameras. And for all those pictures, along with your apps and videos, Android One phones will have expandable storage. We also added features that people in India will find particularly useful, like dual SIM cards, a replaceable battery and built-in FM radio.
To help ensure a consistent experience, Android One devices will receive the latest versions of Android directly from Google. So you’ll get all the latest features, up-to-date security patches, and peace of mind knowing your stuff is always backed up. It also means Android One devices will be some of the first to be updated to the Android L release later this year. For our hardware partners, they’ll be able to create customized experiences and differentiate their devices without having to change the core software.

In an effort to reduce data costs, if you have an Airtel SIM card, you’ll get these software updates for free for the first six months. As part of this same Airtel offer, you’ll also be able to download up to 200MB per month worth of your favorite apps (that’s about 50 apps overall) from Google Play—all without counting toward your mobile data usage.

More to come
This is just the beginning of the Android One journey. The first phones, from our hardware partners Micromax, Karbonn, Spice and chipmaker MediaTek, are available starting today in India from leading retailers starting at Rs 6,399. We’re also excited to welcome more partners to the program, including phone manufacturers Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo, and chipmaker Qualcomm. We expect to see even more high-quality, affordable devices with different screen sizes, colors, hardware configurations and customized software experiences. Finally, we plan to expand the Android One program to Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) by the end of the year, with more countries to follow in 2015.

Access for access’s sake is not enough. With Android One, we not only want to help people get online, we want to make sure that when they get there, they can tap into the wealth of information and knowledge the web holds for everyone.

Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps, Google

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This post is part of our regular series of interviews with people across Asia-Pacific who’ve caught our eye, using the Internet to create, connect and grow.

What inspired you to create Rick Hanes Guitars?
There’s a saying that you live only once so you have to make it meaningful. I thought about it and realized that today almost everything, even the smallest things like sandal jepit or hair dye, are imported, so why not create something myself, right here in Indonesia? That something was the guitar, which I’ve always been passionate about.

Why did you choose to go online?
The Internet helps us with every aspect of the business: reaching consumers and distributors, making information about our guitars easily accessible, and building our community of fans. After winning the Guitar of the Year Award in 2012, social media helped us get the word out. Global platforms like YouTube also help us to easily share information that can be difficult to capture in writing or through pictures, such as our artists’ stories.

What has been your biggest challenge?
Staying innovative. It’s hard work, but without constant innovation, we can’t compete. The Internet is an incredibly important source of information for product research and development. Plus it offers a way to easily and quickly seek input from people around the world. It’s effective because it’s available to anyone with a connection and the barriers to entry are low. We produce just 100 guitars a month, so we have room to iterate and create really great products with the right input.

For example, my first guitar, the Mr D Squirrel series, had a plug-in option for an iPod or iPhone, enabling guitarists to make use of the sound effects provided by Apple’s Garage Band app. I learned about this app online. This innovation means musicians can turn their electric guitars into nearly any other musical instrument with just a little piece of hardware. We are now researching the best way to bring the plug-in option to Android users as well.


The Rick Hanes Band (Doddy Hernanto, Taraz "Triad" Bistara, Donny Suhendra and Joenathan Amanta) playing at Jazz Traffic 2012

What does the future hold for Rick Hanes Guitars?
Rick Hanes is still a guest in this country. Above all, I want more Indonesian musicians to fall in love with our guitars and select Rick Hanes over international brands. It would be great to see “Cintai Produk Indonesia” (Love Indonesian Products, a campaign to promote local brands) turn into reality. I think the Internet can help make this happen. Indonesians love social media, so this is a great way for us to build a local following. With millions of young Indonesians coming online for the first time, the future looks bright not just for us, but for all music lovers.

Posted by Doddy 'Mr D' Hernanto, VP Artists Relationship & Business Development, Rick Hanes Guitars and and member of the Google Business Group Surabaya

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Update 12 September - Crisis Map:  To further aid rescue efforts in Jammu and Kashmir, we've just launched a Crisis Map with updated satellite imagery showing the incredible extent of the flooding.  Our hope is that this information will help rescue agencies, volunteers and others involved in rescue efforts respond to the crisis by identifying flood zones, evacuation routes and weather conditions.
This image from the Jammu and Kashmir Crisis Map shows a before and after cross section from the city of Srinagar
The map is available at: google.org/crisismap/2014-jammu-kashmir-floods, and can be embedded on any website using the 'share' link at the top of the page.



Originally Posted 10 September - Person Finder: We've launched Google Person Finder in India to help gather and relay information for those affected by the devastating floods in the state of Jammu and Kashmir - the worst in 60 years. It is available in English and Hindi, and can be accessed on the web or any mobile phone via SMS.

Person Finder can be accessed below or at: google.org/personfinder/2014-jammu-kashmir-floods


If you do not have web access, you can request information via SMS by sending the message “Search”, followed by the person’s name i.e. “Search <name>", to the number 9773300000. For example, if you are searching for Rohan Gupta, send the message “Search Rohan Gupta”.

The Person Finder tool can also be embedded on any website using the following HTML code:

<iframe src="http://google.org/personfinder/2014-jammu-kashmir-floods/?ui=small"
   width=400 height=300 frameborder=0
   style="border: dashed 2px #77c"></iframe>

We launched this tool, as we've done in other disasters, to allow individuals to post the details of, and search for the status of, family members or friends affected by this disaster. If you’re worried about someone in the disaster affected area, then click on “I’m Looking for Someone” and type in their name. If you want to let people know you’re safe, or if you have heard from someone in the disaster affected area, then click on “I have information about someone” and put in their names and details. As the number of names and records increases, the tool will make it easier for those who are safe to pass on their status to people worried about them.

Posted by the Google Crisis Response Team