A tribute to Bob Moog

In the mid-1960s, Dr. Robert Moog unleashed a new universe of sounds into musicdom with his invention of the electronic analog Moog Synthesizer. The timbre and tones of these keyboard instruments (true works of art in and of themselves) would come to define a generation of music, featuring heavily in songs by The Beatles, The Doors, Stevie Wonder, Kraftwerk and many others.

When people hear the word “synthesizer” they often think “synthetic”—fake, manufactured, unnatural. In contrast, Bob Moog’s synthesizers produce beautiful, organic and rich sounds that are, nearly 50 years later, regarded by many professional musicians as the epitome of an electronic instrument. “Synthesizer,” it turns out, refers to the synthesis embedded in Moog’s instruments: a network of electronic components working together to create a whole greater than the sum of the parts.

With his passion for high-tech toolmaking in the service of creativity, Bob Moog is something of a patron saint of the nerdy arts and a hero to many of us here. So for the next 24 hours on our homepage, you’ll find an interactive, playable logo inspired by the instruments with which Moog brought musical performance into the electronic age. You can use your mouse or computer keyboard to control the mini-synthesizer’s keys and knobs to make nearly limitless sounds. Keeping with the theme of 1960s music technology, we’ve patched the keyboard into a 4-track tape recorder so you can record, play back and share songs via short links or Google+.

Much like the musical machines Bob Moog created, this doodle was synthesized from a number of smaller components to form a unique instrument. When experienced with Google Chrome, sound is generated natively using the Web Audio API—a doodle first (for other browsers the Flash plugin is used). This doodle also takes advantage of JavaScript, Closure libraries, CSS3 and tools like Google Web Fonts, the Google+ API, the Google URL Shortener and App Engine.

Special thanks to engineers Reinaldo Aguiar and Rui Lopes and doodle team lead Ryan Germick for their work, as well as the Bob Moog Foundation and Moog Music for their blessing. Now give those knobs a spin and compose a tune that would make Dr. Moog smile!

Introducing the SketchUp Showcase

 

It’s our sincere pleasure to unveil The SketchUp Showcase, a home for the most impressive, interesting, and inspiring project stories that have been shared with us.

Why a new showcase? Often, when you find an amazing model in the 3D Warehouse, it doesn’t tell the full story behind a project. You can download it and see how it was built. But you probably wouldn’t get a sense of why it was built. Where did the inspiration come from? What were the design challenges the modeler faced? What happened after the model was finished? The story just isn’t complete.

The Showcase is a space where the stories, images, renders, animations, and 3D models of passionate SketchUppers can shine a bit brighter.

 

 

What was the inspiration behind this 3D model? | Image courtesy of Roberto Bergamo 

 

But that’s not all – the Showcase is also a first look at a new element of SketchUp technology: an online 3D model viewer. This 3D viewer lets you orbit, zoom, and pan 3D models right in your browser! To see it in action, find a project marked with a red flag or simply click here. Please note: you’ll need to use the latest version of Google Chrome to take advantage of the WebGL goodness that makes this viewer possible.

Go ahead and start exploring now; content is organized by category filters, so you can easily find projects based on your interests.

A project page featuring the new online 3D viewer | The Catalyst Playground in VietnamFinally, our team would like to dedicate the SketchUp Showcase to all the passionate SketchUppers who’ve supported us for over a decade. As we enter a new chapter with Trimble, we hope the Showcase and the online viewer are proof that SketchUp is only getting better. It’s clichéd to say we wouldn’t be much of anywhere without you, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Thank you for all of the love (sometimes tough) you’ve sent our way. Your passion for SketchUp is still what gets us out of bed in the morning.

Now playing: Faster movie search on Android and iPhone

With the December movie season in full swing, we’ve just made it even faster and easier to discover movies, showtimes and theaters, all from your smartphone. Now when you search for [movies] or your favorite theater like [century san francisco] on Google.com from your phone, you’ll see interactive results for movies in a new swipeable ribbon, with the most relevant information displayed at the top of the page.

For each movie, you’ll see the movie poster, a short summary, ratings and the nearest theaters and showtimes. Designed to help you quickly browse what’s playing in theaters now, this information instantly updates as you slide through the movie posters — no need to wait for a page to load or to use the back button.

To learn more about a movie, tap the movie title to find details like the cast and a full summary. And if you see a play button on the movie poster, you can tap to view the official trailer. You can even buy tickets directly from your smartphone by tapping on underlined showtimes — and skip past those long holiday box office lines!

So the next time you head out to see sagas of vampires, the world’s biggest Muppets fan, dancing penguins or nearly impossible heists, try the new interactive results for movies by visiting Google.com on your iOS or Android phone’s browser and searching for [movies], [theaters] or a movie title. This feature is available in English, in the US.

(Cross-posted on the Inside Search blog)