Doodle 4 Google contest kicks off, giving young artists a chance to win big prizes

doodle 4 google contest kicks off 2012 winnerGoogle has put the call out to budding young artists with the launch of its annual Doodle 4 Google contest. Now in its sixth year, the competition gives US-based students from kindergarten through 12th grade the chance to see their work of art on Google’s search homepage. And as if having millions of web users around the world see your winning effort isn’t enough, the winner will also bag a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for their school.

“Doodles are meant to surprise and delight people when they visit the Google homepage,” the company says on the contest page. “Who better to surprise and delight than talented and creative young artists. Google would not exist today if it weren’t for creativity, passion, and imagination so we love to celebrate and promote these values in our younger users.”

The theme for this year’s contest is My Best Day Ever. The Mountain View company has posted a short video (below) featuring a bunch of kids talking about how their best day ever might look. “Soccer,” says one, while another takes a more surreal route: “I’ll go to my Grandma’s with my monkeys and my giraffe and ride on the roof with it,” he says.

With 114,000 young doodlers entering last year’s contest, it looks like this year’s guest judges – who include journalist and TV personality Katie Couric and The Roots’ Ahmir Questlove Thompson – will have their work cut out.

Googlers will have a chance to pick their favorites from May 1 when voting to find a winner from each state begins. Once selected, they’ll be flown to New York City for a national awards ceremony on May 22. The winning doodle will appear on Google’s homepage the very next day. But it’s not all bad for those who miss out on the top prize – all state winners will have their artwork displayed at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.

Entrants have until March 22 to get doodling. For more information on how to enter, click here.

[Image: 2012’s winning entry]

Product Review

Simple, smart, and affordable, Google’s USB-C earbuds are a must-buy

Google’s follow-up to its wireless Pixel Buds are the wired Google Pixel USB-C earbuds. It’s the simpler route, but the earbuds are still smart, deliver good sound, and -- best of all -- they’re affordable.

We toured the Google Hardware Store pop-up in New York: Here’s what it’s like

To show off its slew of new products, Google is opening up pop-up shops in New York and Chicago starting October 18. You'll be able to buy products -- such as the Pixel 3 or the Google Home Hub -- at the Google Hardware Store.

Google Pixel 3 vs. Apple iPhone XS: Does Google’s A.I. take down Apple?

The Google Pixel 3 is here, boasting top-tier specs like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and 4GB of RAM, and some of the world's best artificial intelligence features on a phone. But can it take out the Apple iPhone XS?
Home Theater

Google Translate busts out of Pixel jail, now works on any Assistant headphones

The best feature of Google’s Pixel Buds was the built-in real-time translation. Now that incredibly useful feature is available on any headphones that feature Google Assistant integration.

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are plenty of great tools you can use, both online and offline. These are our favorites and a step by step guide on how to use them.

Carbuying can be exhausting: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.

Your ‘Do Not Track’ tool might be helping websites track you, study says

New research from the "Do Not Track" features embedded in popular browsers are being ignored, opening up the possibility of consumers having their information targeted by specific ads based on their web histories and cookies. 

How to recover Google contacts

If you accidentally deleted an important person from your Google Contacts, they might not be lost forever. Recovering them is a fairly easy process -- as long as you do it quickly. Here's how.

Afraid that Bitcoin could be a bubble? Here's how to sell what you've got

If you're investing in cryptocurrencies, it's important to have your exit strategy in place if prices start to crash. If you've decided it's time to get out or just want to learn how to sell Bitcoins, here's how to get started.

Don't take your ISP's word for it: Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.

Feed your fandom: These are the best YouTube channels for sports lovers

If you're a cable cutter who still wants to enjoy quality sports highlights and analysis, YouTube is the place to go. There are plenty of great sports-centric channels on YouTube, each of which provides great highlights and top-shelf…
Social Media

YouTube is back after crashing for users around the world

It's rare to see YouTube suffer serious issues, but the site went down around the world for a period of time on October 16. It's back now, and we can confirm it's loading normally on desktop and mobile.

Chrome 70 is now available and won’t automatically log you in to the browser

Google has officially launched Chrome version 70 on Windows Mac and Linux. The update introduces some new Progressive Web App integrations on Windows 10 and also tweaks the much controversial auto login with Google Account feature.
Smart Home

Here’s everything you need to know about Amazon Prime Pantry

The marvels of the Internet have made it possible to do all your shopping from the comfort of your living room. Amazon Prime Pantry allows you to buy groceries and household items online. Here's more info about the service.