Halloween tops Google search trends

In the weeks leading up to All Hallows’ Eve you turn to Google Search to ask these two crucial questions. So with just days left to perfect a costume for yourself, your kid, your pooch or your partner, here’s a look at some of the top Halloween costume trends across the United States.

If your costume involves a certain familiar ‘do, prepare to have company. Get-ups based on the bombastic GOP candidate for President are spiking, with the top-related search being “Donald Trump wig.” And don’t go looking for blue or purple hair-dye at the last minute on Saturday: chances are it will already have been bought up by kids dressing up as Disney’s “Descendants” characters Mal and Evie.
And if you’re aiming for a unique costume, you might want to avoid buns on the side of your head too. “Star Wars” is the second most searched costume nationwide, and within that Princess Leia reigns supreme above Dark Side standbys Stormtrooper and Darth Vader.

Superhero Squad
“Suicide Squad” may not hit box offices until next summer, but one character from the film is already making a killing in costume searches. “Harley Quinn” takes the top search spot nationwide (rival Batman is in fifth place). But Harley and Bruce Wayne are just a few of the superheroes (and super villains) you can look for this weekend: People are also donning their cuffs for Wonder Woman, their creepy facepaint for Joker, their bodysuits for Catwoman, and their half shell as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (T-U-R-T-L-E Power!). Even lesser-known characters like Scarlet Witch, Vision, Wasp are getting a boost from film franchises like “The Avengers” and “Ant-Man.”

Frightful Fidos
“Dog costume” is always a top search around Halloween—but not because you’re dressing up as Snoopy or Scooby. No, you’re searching for the cutest costume for your four-legged friend. In addition to being adorable, the top dog costumes are just as “Star Wars”-filled as the top human costumes. We assume that’s because they’ve already got the fur and/or ears to make it work.
If dressing your pooch as Chewy feels like asking for trouble, other popular canine costumes include “lion,” “dinosaur,” “shark” and … Olaf. Because—ahem—you still can’t let “Frozen” go.

Better together
When you want a partner in crime or just want insurance against looking silly solo, couples costumes are the way to go. This year, you’re dressing up as famous pop culture pairs like Bonnie and Clyde (the top couples costume overall), Jasmine and Aladdin, Woody and Jessie from "Toy Story," Danny and Sandy from "Grease," and Barbie and Ken. You’re keeping that Halloween realness with searches for Gomez and Morticia Addams and Beetlejuice (#2 on the list, and based on Google Images subject to lots of interpretation). And you’re bringing new meaning to the phrase “I’m dressing up with my boo” with searches for a “Boo and Sully” costume from “Monsters, Inc.”

The treat in “trick or treat”
Even for adults, Halloween is an excuse to eat junk food. In the past month you’ve searched for candy corn, candy apples and Halloween variations on all of your favorite sweets, from donuts to pudding cups to Kit Kats. But one candy reigns supreme: marshmallows (no, not that marshmallow) are the top searched candy over the past month.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who, despite the above, is still taking recommendations for this year’s costume

Bringing the Internet within reach of 100 million Indonesians

Posted: 28 Oct 2015 04:20 PM PDT

Starting next year, the top three mobile network operators in Indonesia will begin testing Project Loon balloon-powered Internet. Over the next few years, we’re hoping that Loon will help put high-speed LTE Internet connections within reach of more than 100 million Indonesians, giving them access to the limitless educational, cultural, and economic opportunities of the Internet.

From left to right: Ririek Adriansyah, CEO of Telkomsel; Dian Siswarini, CEO of XL Axiata; Alexander Rusli, Indosat CEO; Mike Cassidy, VP, Loon; Sergey Brin, President, Alphabet Inc

In Indonesia today, only about 1 out of every 3 people are connected to the web, and most of their connections are painfully slow. Many people live in areas without existing Internet infrastructure; on an archipelago of over 17,000 islands, with mountains and jungles, it’s difficult to run fiber optic cable or install mobile phone towers. That’s where Loon comes in. Loon balloons act like floating cell phone towers in the sky. Flying on the winds at altitudes twice as high as commercial planes, each one beams a connection down to the ground; as one balloon drifts out of range, another moves in to take its place. We hope this could help local operators extend the coverage of their existing networks, and reach further into rural and remote areas.
Project Loon balloons travel approximately 20 km above the Earth’s surface in the stratosphere. Winds in the stratosphere are stratified, and each layer of wind varies in speed and direction. By moving with the wind, the balloons can be arranged to form one large communications network.

These tests with Indosat, Telkomsel, and XL Axiata are an important step toward bringing all of Indonesia online, and a key milestone for the Loon team as we continue to test, learn and expand the project.

Of course, to make the Internet not just accessible but useful, there’s more to do, and we have a wide variety of efforts underway in Indonesia and elsewhere to help achieve that goal. For example, Android One phones are helping to make affordable high-quality smartphones more accessible in places where most people first access the Internet on a mobile device. We’ve also built features for when connections are slow or nonexistent, such as Search Lite and offline videos on YouTube. And Google Translate for Bahasa and Sundanese can help knock down the language barrier between Indonesia and the rest of the web.

The Internet is still out of reach for too many people, but we’re making progress. If all goes well, soon many more millions of people in Indonesia will be able to bring their ideas, culture and businesses online. At that point, the sky’s the limit, says Mike Cassidy, Vice President, Project Loon .

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