Official Google blog …

Often the hardest part of traveling is navigating the local language. If you’ve ever asked for “pain” in Paris and gotten funny looks, confused “embarazada” with “embarrassed” in Mexico, or stumbled over pronunciation pretty much anywhere, you know the feeling. Now Google Translate can be your guide in new ways. We’ve updated the Translate app on Android and iOS to transform your mobile device into an even more powerful translation tool.

Instant translation with Word Lens
The Translate app already lets you use camera mode to snap a photo of text and get a translation for it in 36 languages. Now, we’re taking it to the next level and letting you instantly translate text using your camera—so it’s way easier to navigate street signs in the Italian countryside or decide what to order off a Barcelona menu. While using the Translate app, just point your camera at a sign or text and you’ll see the translated text overlaid on your screen—even if you don’t have an Internet or data connection.

This instant translation currently works for translation from English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, and we’re working to expand to more languages.

Have an easier conversation using the Translate app
When talking with someone in an unfamiliar language, conversations can… get… realllllllly… sloowwww. While we’ve had real-time conversation mode on Android since 2013, our new update makes the conversation flow faster and more naturally.

Starting today, simply tap the mic to start speaking in a selected language, then tap the mic again, and the Google Translate app will automatically recognize which of the two languages are being spoken, letting you have a more fluid conversation. For the rest of the conversation, you won’t need to tap the mic again—it’ll be ready as you need it. Asking for directions to the Rive Gauche, ordering bacalhau in Lisbon, or chatting with your grandmother in her native Spanish just got a lot faster.

These updates will be coming to both Android and iOS, rolling out over the next few days. This is the first time some of these advanced features, like camera translations and conversation mode, will be available for iOS users.

More than 500 million people use Google Translate every month, making more than 1 billion translations a day to more easily communicate and access information across languages. Today’s updates take us one step closer to turning your phone into a universal translator and to a world where language is no longer a barrier to discovering information or connecting with each other.

Posted by Barak Turovsky, Product Lead, Google Translate

YOU fought for the Amazon!

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As we enter this exciting New Year, we’re so grateful for your continued support! Thanks to partnerships with so many of you across every continent the global movement to protect the Amazon is thriving and growing. Thank YOU!

Every donation you made is a powerful statement about who you are and what you stand for. You believe in justice. You support indigenous rights. You work to defend the Amazon and to protect our global climate. Thank YOU!

Thanks to this growing support Amazon Watch continues to meet and surpass our online fundraising goals and 2014 was wildly successful. You shared our stories, promoted our work and inspired others with your support. Thank YOU!

2015 is going to be a tough one:

  • Investments from China in Ecuador are increasing pressure to expand oil drilling into the most ecologically sensitive parts of the Amazon
  • The newly re-elected president of Brazil has made terrible choices already by naming the “Chainsaw Queen” as Minister of the Environment and a climate change denier as Minister of Science & Technology
  • Five separate oil spills still plague the Marañon River in Peru, a country who continues to chop up its Amazon into oil concessions

We know we have a lot of work ahead of us, and we can’t thank you enough for helping us ramp up capacity to take on these challenges. If you haven’t yet made an investment in the future of the Amazon or you are able to make another, the time is now. What better way to start the new year than to invest in a greener, healthier and more just planet?

Join Amazon Watch as we work together to defend the rainforest and advance the rights of its indigenous guardians in 2015!

Your partnership truly means the world to us. Thank YOU!

For the Amazon,
– The team at Amazon Watch

The Senate ~~~ CONGRESS 1/16 ~~~ The House

chaseNMLKThe Senate will not be in session on Wednesday or Thursday to accommodate the caucus retreats.

The Senate stands adjourned until 9:30am on Friday, January 16, 2015.

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of S.1, to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The next roll call votes will occur on Tuesday, January 20, following the weekly caucus meetings.

The following amendments are pending to S.1:

  1. Murkowski S.Amdt.2 (substitute)
  2. Markey S.Amdt.13 (Keep Oil in America)
  3. Portman-Shaheen S.Amdt.3 (Energy Efficiency)
  4. Franken S.Amdt.17 (Keep Jobs in America)

The Senate has convened and resumed consideration of S.1, a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Senator McConnell announced during his opening remarks that he expects to vote on pending amendments at 2:15pm on Tuesday, January 20th. The Senate will not be in session on Monday, January 19, due to the Martin Luther King holiday. No agreement has been reached to vote on the amendments, but a non-debatable motion to table would be in order if no agreement is reached.


The following amendments are pending to the bill.


On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, at 9:00 p.m., President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union Speech from the Hall of the House of Representatives in the U.S. Capitol.



Roll Call Votes

Legislative Business

Adopted S.Res.27, Legal Counsel: U.S. v Jeffrey Sterling.

Began the Rule 14 process to place on the Legislative Calendar of Business H.R.240, DHS Appropriations.

Completed the Rule 14 process to place on the Legislative Calendar of Business H.R.33, Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act.

Executive Business


Last Floor Action:
4:04:06 P.M. – The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn pursuant to a previous special order.

The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on January 20, 2015.

Last Floor Action:
1:47:54 P.M. – The House adjourned.

The next meeting is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on January 16, 2015.

4:00:41 P.M. The House convened, starting a new legislative day.
4:00:46 P.M. The Speaker designated the Honorable Luke Messer to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.
4:01:10 P.M. Today’s prayer was offered by Reverend Thomas Petri, Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC.
4:02:34 P.M. The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.
4:02:38 P.M. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair led the House in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
4:03:30 P.M. PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE – Pursuant to clause 11 of rule 10, clause 11 of rule 1, and the order of the House of January 6, 2015, the Speaker appointed the following members of the House to the PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE: Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Himes, Ms. Sewell of AL, Mr. Carson of IN, Ms. Speier, Mr. Quigley, Mr. Swalwell of CA and Mr. Murphy of FL.
4:04:06 P.M. The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn pursuant to a previous special order. The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on January 20, 2015.