Category Archive 'Yahoo'

30 Oct 2020

Big Tech

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15 Jul 2014

Yahoo Japan Offering Special Service Designed for Boomers

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Silicon Beat:

It’s old news that the Internet has become an essential part of daily life. But now Yahoo Japan is offering to help people prepare for their eventual death online.

A new service called “Yahoo! Ending” promises to delete personal data from online accounts, send out a digital farewell message to friends and even host a memorial web page where people can leave condolences – once the service has confirmed that a subscriber has died.

That’s according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which said the service will also help people plan their funerals and even compose their wills. (We checked out the Yahoo Japan site, but the English-language version provided by Google Translate left us confused about some details.)

This isn’t actually a new idea: We’ve reported previously on smaller companies that offer this kind of service. But it’s the first time we’ve heard of a comprehensive death package offered by a large Internet company. Yahoo Japan is a joint venture between Sunnyvale-based Yahoo and the Japanese giant SoftBank.

A US version would be poised to make a fortune.

29 Mar 2008

Yahoo and MSN Help China Apprehend Tibetan Protestors

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France24 The Observers:

Yahoo! China pasted a “most wanted” poster across its homepage today in aid of the police’s witch-hunt for 24 Tibetans accused of taking part in the recent riots. MSN China made the same move, although it didn’t go as far as publishing the list on its homepage.

Yahoo indignantly wrote France24 saying: “Yahoo! isn’t doing this. It’s Yahoo! China*.”

*Yahoo had to accept a Chinese partner, and Chinese control, to gain access to China’s market.

Hat tip to Matt Brown Hamlin

07 Feb 2008

Microsoft Acquiring Yahoo

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I am finally getting around to linking a witty and highly perceptive article by Michael S. Malone, author of ABC News’ Silicon Insider column, writing in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, which I’ve been wanting to recommend to friends.

If you look at Microsoft with an objective eye, it becomes apparent that it is a giant company past its prime. It is big and rich, but increasingly toothless. It is able to use its money to put on a great show at the Consumer Electronics Show, underwrite an interesting market initiative — or buy another big company — but it no longer has the fire of ambition or the addiction to risk to ruthlessly execute on those desires any more. As has been noted before, once you look past all of the high profile moves (such as MSN, MSNBC, Zune and XBox), Microsoft has only really been as successful as it reputation would suggest in just two businesses: Windows and Office. Most everything else is flash.

Even Microsoft’s full-out assault on Netscape (which, ironically, will officially die on March 1) for control of the Internet browser industry — justly earning it the sobriquet “Evil Empire” — in retrospect was less a brilliant maneuver by Gates & Co. to capture a hot new industry and more a desperate (and questionable) scramble by a market leader caught napping.

That corporate somnolence, rather than its more-remembered ruthlessness, has far better characterized Microsoft over the past decade. Even the Vista operating system, the most recent upgrade of Microsoft’s core product line, managed to be so late that it almost crippled the personal computer industry. It finally arrived to a chorus of boos, most of them undeserved (it’s a pretty good operating system), but some dead-on (it’s a technological hop when it should have been a leap). Microsoft lost its killer instinct a long time ago. On the rare occasions when the mood resurfaces, the company doesn’t have the chops anymore to execute on its desires.

And that brings us to the Microsoft-Yahoo deal. For all of the excitement, this is just big, rich, but slow-moving giant looking to buy another slow-moving giant, the latter having stuck to an obsolete business plan too long and lost its way. The scheme is less predation than it is desperation: In the world of search, Google owns these two lumbering monsters.

Microsoft understandably covets the sheer size of Yahoo’s subscriber rolls, believing it can accomplish what Yahoo has failed to do: convert more of those 130 million monthly visitors into real, paying customers. But Microsoft has hardly shown it can do that at MSN. So, can it really find a solution to Yahoo’s structural problems?

That remains to be seen — and Microsoft’s one genius is as a late adopter. The real problem Yahoo — and perhaps soon Microsoft — faces is that those legions of Yahoo users don’t want to be stuck inside a small corner of the Web, not getting all of the experiences and services (like live TV and first-run movies) they were promised. Especially not when they can run around and find all of those things, in abundance, elsewhere on the Web. Microsoft is even less prepared to solve that problem than Yahoo.

That leaves search, which is probably the real reason Microsoft wants Yahoo. Combining the two search engines would, in terms of sheer numbers, represent the biggest challenge to Google to date. But the sum of two also-rans is almost never a winner — unless the newly merged is very, very lucky in its competitors. That’s what happened with HP and Compaq: Who’d have guessed that Dell would suddenly fall on its face?

Incredibly, the same may happen with a Microsoft-Yahoo deal if it happens. If you look at the stock market, peruse the industry gossip blogs, follow the departure of key employees, or read about the various new initiatives (energy?) the company is pursuing, it becomes increasingly apparent that Google is a company about to have an early midlife crisis. Microsoft-Yahoo may turn out to be a pedestrian idea with absolutely brilliant timing.

If that is the case, and the merger proves successful, it will have more to do with Google than Microsoft and Yahoo. Which is why the feds should stay out of it.

So, Yahoo: Take the deal (unless a better one comes along). Microsoft: Let this be the first of many high-risk moves. Treat Yahoo as a heart transplant, not a skin graft. And Google: This new competition should be a warning to stop fooling around and get back to business.

02 Feb 2008

Let Us Prey

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John Murrell at Good Morning Silicon Valley reports on Microsoft’s $31 a share offer for Yahoo.

You could watch it playing out like one of those “nature, red in tooth and claw” documentaries. There was the wildebeest (played by Yahoo), slowed by a nagging groin injury, gradually starting to fall behind the herd. The vultures and hyenas (played by analysts and pundits) were starting to circle and salivate, respectively. Then, off in the tall grass there’s a stirring, then an explosion of dust as the lion (played with scenery-chewing enthusiasm by Microsoft) springs at its quarry and sinks its teeth into the back of its neck. Sensitive viewers may want to turn away.

02 Nov 2006

Don’t Be Evil

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With Google and Yahoo playing ball with the Communist regime in China, Microsoft (of all companies) is talking about possible non-cooperation.

A senior executive for Microsoft has said the firm could pull out of non-democratic countries such as China.

Fred Tipson, senior policy counsel for the computer giant, said concerns over the repressive regime might force it to reconsider its business in China.

“Things are getting bad… and perhaps we have to look again at our presence there,” he told a conference in Athens.

“We have to decide if the persecuting of bloggers reaches a point that it’s unacceptable to do business there.”

“We try to define those levels and the trends are not good there at the moment. It’s a moving target.”


12 Jun 2006

Yamanner Worm Hits Yahoo Today

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If you subscribe to any Yahoo Groups email lists, you have undoubtedly been hit today by numerous copies of a worm. I’ve seen about twenty copies this afternoon, all stopped by PC-cillin.

Information Week warns:

A new worm targeting Yahoo’s Web-based e-mail service bent on collecting addresses for a spam database has been spotted in the wild, a security company warned Monday.

The “Yamanner” worm exploits a JavaScript vulnerability in Yahoo’s Web mail, Cupertino, Calif. security specialist Symantec said in a Monday morning warning to customers of its DeepSight Threat Management System. Yamanner is spreading, added Symantec, which has assigned the threat a “2” in its 1 through 5 rating system.

The worm targets addresses with the “” and “” domains, and arrives as an HTML message containing JavaScript. As soon as the recipient views the message, the script automatically runs to spread the worm to other users in the Yahoo address book. The message will have a From” address of and a Subject: of “New Graphic Site.”

“Harvested addresses from the address book are then submitted to a remote URL, which is likely to be used for a spam database,” noted Symantec in its alert.

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