Four-member startup joins Yahoo Labs team for language processing work
Yahoo is continuing its trend of buying companies, and has announced possibly its last acquisition for this year. The search company has confirmed its purchase of SkyPhrase, a startup that is working on processing natural language requests, for an undisclosed amount, with the company's small team of four employees being integrated into the Yahoo Labs team in New York.
Yahoo Screen includes news, music, various TV shows
Apple has silently added two new app channels to the Apple TV interface. The first, PBS, grants access to some of the public broadcaster's TV shows. Yahoo Screen incorporates live news, events, and music, as well as original Yahoo programs, and content from third parties like The Daily Show, ABC News, and Saturday Night Live.
Users will have more encryption options in Q1
Yahoo has announced plans to encrypt all information that moves between its data centers, in an attempt to prevent unauthorized access by the National Security Agency or other government agencies. The company is also preparing to add new encryption options for users, enabling all data to be encrypted on its way to and from Yahoo's servers.
Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter memo over spying concerns
A group of technology companies has asked members of the UK government that there needs to be a debate about Internet surveillance. Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and Twitter have jointly written a memo to Members of Parliament (MPs) calling for more transparency in requests for information by government-controlled organizations, such as GCHQ.
Yahoo recovery progressing despite challenging online advertising market
Yahoo today reported results for the quarter ended September 30. The company posted $1.139 billion for the third quarter of 2013, a five percent decrease from the third quarter of 2012. Revenue, excluding traffic acquisition costs, was $1.081 billion -- a one percent decrease compared to the year-ago quarter.
Apps get conversation views, 1TB of free storage
Yahoo is launching redesigned web, iOS, and Android versions of its Mail app, according to an announcement. The most immediately obvious addition is a more striking visual theme, which pulls from curated Flickr photos. This allows a theme to be picked on one device but propagate to the Mail app on several devices simultaneously.
Laws would only offer more precision in reporting gov't. requests
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Yahoo are among the companies that have signed a new Center for Democracy and Technology letter asking the US Congress to pass Rep. Zoe Lofgren's (D-CA) Surveillance Order Reporting Act of 2013, and Sen. Al Franken's (D-MN) Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013. The bills were first introduced in August, and would let companies be more precise about when and how often they receive national security-related requests and hand data over to the government.
2010 slideshow identifies 38 different ways of tracking iPhone users
A National Security Agency presentation from 2010, leaked to Germany's Der Spiegel by Edward Snowden, calls former Apple CEO Steve Jobs "Big Brother" and iPhone customers his "zombies." The presentation is titled Exploring Current Trends, Targets and Techniques, and as a whole discusses NSA efforts to hack into iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices. Slides on iPhone location services make reference to Apple's own famous "1984" Macintosh ad, and by extension George Orwell's novel warning about government surveillance and the manipulation of history.
App facilitates slide show presenting via iOS
Boinx Software today released its latest product, PhotoPresenter for iOS. Suitable for impromptu 'show-and-tell' situations, PhotoPresenter lets users display a device's photo library by connecting their iPhone, iPad or iPod to an HDTV set or a projector through HDMI, VGA or AirPlay. The audience of the images sees only what is selected to be displayed, and presenters can jump freely between media files. Available for $1, PhotoPresenter can be purchased via the iTunes App Store.
Company highlights its FISA challenge
Yahoo has published its first global transparency report, outlining raw statistics surrounding government requests for user data in the first half of the year. In an accompanying blog post, Yahoo general counsel Ron Bell criticized the US government and highlighted the company's two-year legal challenge against the 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
Yahoo starts offering username expiry monitoring for $2
Yahoo is starting to offer older disused usernames up for reuse, and allowing potential owners to pay $2 for alerts when a username expires. The new Watchlist will allow a user to monitor up to 5 usernames, with e-mails automatically sent when any names on the list become dormant in a three-year period. Usernames will also be held for 14 days, giving the Watchlist user time to register without added competition from other potential username owners.
IQ Engines API to close in next 30 days
Yahoo has continued its buying spree by acquiring an image recognition startup. IQ Engines, a startup specializing in recognizing items in photographs and cataloging such items, has been purchased for an undisclosed amount by Yahoo, with the team behind it shuttering its API in the next 30 days and moving over to work with Yahoo employees working on Flickr.
Nokia commences rollout of Amber update to Lumia phones
Nokia has started to roll out the Amber update for Lumia devices running on Windows Phone 8. The rollout, set to occur throughout August until the end of September according to Nokia Conversations, will introduce the Smart Camera app, improved image processing, the Nokia Pro Camera for Lumia 920, 925, and 928; Nokia Glance Screen for when phones are inactive, faster map updates, changes to Xbox Music and Internet Explorer, and a new FM radio app.
Hiring of Bernardo Hernandez latest Google-Yahoo tansfer
Yahoo has installed a new leader for Flickr, with Google's managing director of product management for Zagat transferring to the company. The addition of Bernardo Hernandez to Yahoo to replace the resigned Brett Wayn is the latest ex-Google employee to take a prominent position in the company under the leadership of Yahoo CEO and early Googler Marissa Mayer.
Social discovery browser purchased, team moves to Yahoo
Yahoo has acquired Rockmelt, a content discovery app that started life as a web browser build with heavy social network integration. The latest purchase by Yahoo, speculated to be in the region of $60 million and $70 million, means that all of its apps and the web service will be shuttering at the end of the month, with users being encouraged to export their data before closure.
Yahoo-owned blogging service will not police content hosted on servers
Tumblr has clarified its policy for users posting adult content on their blogs. While the company seemingly does not want to police such content on its service, it will be blocking blogs dedicated to porn and other similar topics from its own internal search, as well as preventing them from being indexed by third-party search engines, such as Google or Bing.
New product launches cited for quarterly results
Yahoo has posted its quarterly earnings report results, seeing little actual improvement to its bottom line. The search engine posted revenue at $1.135 billion for the second quarter of 2013, a seven percent decrease from the second quarter of 2012. Income at $137 million for the quarter is claimed to be 150 percent of the second quarter of 2012, but the second quarter of 2012 included a restructuring charge of $129 million. Not including the restructuring charge, income actually fell 26 percent from the second quarter of 2012.
AltaVista, Yahoo Axis, RSS Alerts hit by closure announcement
Yahoo has listed off another 12 products that the search company will be shuttering over the summer. AltaVista, a search engine bought by Yahoo in 2013, is the most notable from the list, with the shutdown of a number of services part of "an ongoing effort to sharpen our focus and deliver experiences that enhance your daily lives," according to the company blog.
iOS versions of the developers apps no longer available
PhotoForge 2 developer GhostBird Software has announced that it is joining Yahoo's Flickr team. The company will be bringing its entire team and intellectual property involved with iOS apps KitCam and PhotoForge 2 to the rejuvenated photo storage locker. Effective immediately, users who purchased the apps from the iOS app store will no longer be able to re-download the apps.
Some IDs have been unused for more than a decade
In a first-of-its-kind purge for the search engine, Yahoo is freeing up old IDs that have been inactive for at least 12 months. In mid-July, users can stake a claim on what Yahoo IDs they want to claim that have been in use. Yahoo will award the credentials in mid-August.
Charges of widespread monitoring follow discovery of Verizon NSA data collection
Just a day after respected UK newspaper The Guardian reported that a leaked secret US court order showed that the National Security Agency (NSA) was harvesting millions of phone records and "telephony metadata" from Verizon customers, a new report from The Guardian and the Washington Post has charged that the NSA is further using a secret program called PRISM to harvest usage data from the internal servers of most of America's major tech companies -- including Apple, Google, Microsoft and many others.
Yahoo redesigns search page, improves loading times
Yahoo has redesigned its search page with a more streamlined appearance. The update, which will roll out to US-based users today, uses a much flatter design than before, pushes the search results higher up the page, and also introduces a navigation bar to other Yahoo services at the top. Aside from changing the design to something that seemingly borrows from the Google design playbook, the Yahoo blog claims that some behind-the-scenes work has also led to improved loading times for results.
Web giant continues makeover by acquisitions
Yahoo has reportedly entered a bid to buy Internet television service Hulu, according to reports. The web giant submitted a bid for Hulu on Friday, sources tell AllThingsD, though the dollar figure for Yahoo's bid was unknown. Should Yahoo win the bidding process, Hulu would mark the second large acquisition the company has made since CEO Marissa Mayer came to the helm of the firm.
Large tech companies hide funds in Cayman Islands, Switzerland
Large tech firms are coming under scrutiny over their tax avoidance measures, following the testimony of Apple executives to a US Senate Permanent Subcommittee. Google, Yahoo, Cisco, and other multinational corporations have been found to be using an assortment of tax loopholes and off-shoring in order to avoid paying governments in the US and Europe at least $100 billion.
Pro users retain all the previous benefits as long as account is kept current
Flickr Pro users have been informed by Yahoo about the future of the once-premium accounts. As long as the user's account is kept in good standing, customers paying $25 per year for unlimited storage will be allowed to keep the plan indefinitely, with no plans for the Pro benefits to be purged.
Capacity revealed at NYC presser
Speaking at tonight's Yahoo press event in New York City, Marissa Mayer and Yahoo's Mobile Engineering Senior Vice President and Flickr product manager Adam Cahan revealed the new Flickr and accompanying new Android app, offering users 1TB of photo storage in a "very metro" user interface.
Number of blog transfers to Wordpress spikes after Board approval
Yahoo has confirmed it has bought Tumblr, in a deal noted yesterday to be in the region of $1.1 billion. The search company has already moved its company blog over to the blogging platform, and despite CEO Marissa Mayer saying "We promise not to screw it up," there is reportedly a large jump in the number of users moving from Tumblr to Wordpress.
Stagnant Internet giant buys popular young property
In the latest step of CEO Marissa Mayer's plan to turn around popular but stagnating Internet giant Yahoo, the company's board has reportedly approved a $1.1 billion acquisition of the social sharing site Tumblr. The board met on Sunday to discuss the acquisition, which appears to have been a foregone conclusion due to the fact that Yahoo had already scheduled a Monday event on Friday. The company is expected to announce the acquisition at that event.
Suspected topics Tumblr acquisition, Flickr update
Yahoo is holding a "product-related" event on May 20. The New York City event will see CEO Marissa Mayer speaking on an undisclosed topic for about an hour at 5PM EST, which the company calls in an mass email "something special."
Offer for blogging platform claimed could top $1 billion
Yahoo is in discussions to acquire or work with blogging service Tumblr, according to reports. The talks between the two companies are, depending on the report, concerning a possible strategic alliance between the two or an outright purchase of Tumblr, with the search engine said to be offering as much as $1 billion.
Trial centers on failure of Yellow Pages service
The Superior Court of Mexico has overturned a lower court ruling that found Yahoo liable for $2.75 billion in damages. Plaintiffs Ideas Interactivas and holding company Worldwide Directories sued Yahoo over breach of contract and lost profits on a yellow pages service.
Analyst increases Yahoo gross revenue estimate by $60M
Microsoft has extended its revenue guarantee with Yahoo, according to an SEC filing. The revenue-per-search guarantee, part of the ten-year deal the two companies struck in 2009, will be extended by one additional year, allowing Yahoo to earn more revenue than it otherwise would have if the guarantee fully elapsed.
Amoroso remaining on board until shareholder meeting in June
Yahoo has announced that Chairman of the Board Fred Amoroso is resigning. The former IBM executive will remain on the board of directors until the annual shareholder meeting on June 25. The chairman position will be filled by Maynard Webb, Jr. temporarily until a new director is found.
Yahoo! integrates Summly into iOS app
Yahoo! has launched an updated version of its iOS app featuring Summly integration, a new interface, and improved search options. Acquired by Yahoo! at the end of March for a supposed $30 million, Summly is a news aggregator that uses natural-language algorithms to create quick story summaries. These summaries are now provided to users in an endless news stream that has been designed specifically for the iPhone and iPod touch. Search is also said to be improved, both for video and images, giving users the option to narrow down searches to different categories and selecting only the topics that are of interest.
Six Yahoo properties axed as part of refocusing drive
Yahoo has shuttered a number of services, in its continued efforts to remove underperforming products and shift its focus towards more profitable areas. A company blog post signed by Jay Rossiter, executive vice president for platforms at Yahoo, states that local event calendar service Upcoming, Yahoo Deals, SMS Alerts, the Yahoo Mail and Messenger apps for feature phones using J2ME, and Yahoo Kids, formerly known as Yahooligans, will be closed down.
Over $1.1 billion in revenue earned company $390 million
Yahoo today released quarterly financial results that approached, but fell short of, Wall Street expectations. The company's net revenue reached $1.07 billion, the low end of what the company forecast in January, with analyst estimates at $1.1 billion. Yahoo said it earned $390 million, or 35 cents a share in the first three months of the year, compared to $286 million, or 23 cents in first quarter of 2012.
May involved expanding Siri partnership, more mobile features
Apple and Yahoo are discussing ways to bring more of Yahoo's best features to Apple's iOS platform, the Wall Street Journal reports. While the two companies are already working together on various projects -- the default Stock and Weather apps on iOS devices are powered by Yahoo, its search engine is an option in Safari, and its sports stats are incorporated into Siri -- the idea may be to continue Apple's move away from Google services wherever possible. This may include expanded service offerings and more cooperation.
Windows Blue to be renamed Windows 8.1 for release
Microsoft may name its upcoming operating system refresh Windows 8.1, if a leaked image is proven correct. A screenshot posted on WinForum.eu and confirmed by sources of ZDNet shows the leaked Windows Blue build adding a suffix to the Windows 8 name instead of using Windows 9. The RT edition will be known as Windows RT 8.1. Though unlikely, it is still possible for Microsoft to give the OS update a different name, as a firm release date has yet to be set.
Deal closes Summly app immediately, content absorbed into Yahoo soon
London-based newsreader developer Summly has been acquired by Yahoo. The deal, said to be worth $30 million, will see the Summly app close, and Yahoo issued a statement that said the company plans to "acquire the technology and you’ll see it come to life throughout Yahoo’s mobile experiences soon."
Marissa Mayer exceeds performance goals, receives $1 million bonus
Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer has picked up $1.12 million bonus for meeting performance targets, reports Bloomberg. As Mayer only joined Yahoo in July of 2012 from Google, where she was one of its top executives, the payment was made on a pro-rata basis. Since joining Yahoo, Mayer has helped to drive its stock price up over 40 percent, while also helping Yahoo to its first sales increases in the past four years.
Yahoo BlackBerry app set for closure
In its continuing effort to shed deadweight, Yahoo has announced that it is shuttering seven services, including its BlackBerry mobile app. The shutdowns were announced on the company blog, and include Yahoo avatars, its BlackBerry app, Yahoo Clues, the app search service, Yahoo Sports IQ, and the Yahoo message boards website.
Hitcase outs new iPhone mount
Hitcase has launched a new iPhone mount that can be attached to any any smooth, flat surface. With two ball joints and a single tightening clamp in the socket arm, the SuckR mount's axles can be loosened simultaneously to quickly change to another viewing angle. In addition, the adjustable Railslide system allows the mount to be used with the iPhone 4, 4S and 5, as well as with the Hitcase and Hitcase Pro.
Acquisition mirrors CEO's previous efforts at Google
On Tuesday, Yahoo acquired its third mobile application team since Marissa Mayer took the reins of the company in June. The company announced that it had purchased the company and personnel behind the mobile application Alike, which is a recommendation tool for suggesting local businesses a user may enjoy based on previous visits and other data collected on the customer. The terms of the deal were not announced.
Quarterly earnings less than 2011, analysts still happy
Earlier this afternoon, Yahoo released its highly-anticipated quarterly and yearly financial results. The search engine posted revenue of $1.346 billion for the fourth quarter of 2012, a 2 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2011. Despite the increase, net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $272 million, an eight percent decrease from the same period of 2011. Earnings for the entire year was $3.945 billion including a one-time gain of $2.755 million related to the sale of Alibaba shares, compared to $1.049 billion for the prior year.
Rare public photo practically a 'who's who' of Silicon Valley
An unusual photo was posted to Facebook showing a CEO dinner gathering -- hosted by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer -- that included a significant number of tech CEOs from a wide array of companies, and notably included Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple's SVP of Design. Ive was perhaps the only non-CEO at the table, but was seated next to Mayer in the rare, candid shot. Attendee Mike Cassidy -- of Google X, the experimental project arm of Google -- posted the photo, which includes executives from Dropbox, Path, Twitter, Yelp and more.
Hacker details attack process in YouTube video
[Updated with Yahoo response] Yahoo Mail accounts have been hacked, with a DOM-based cross-site scripting vulnerability being the main vector of attack. Details of the hack, including how to perform the attack on specific e-mail accounts, has appeared online in a YouTube video demonstration, with the entire attacking process taking just a couple of minutes.
Web interface adopts Gmail-like touches
Yahoo has launched a significant update of its Mail service. The web interface, foremost, has been updated with a cleaner look, as well as an improved search function. One AllThingsD source claims that Yahoo was deliberately aiming at making the site "more Gmail-like." Yahoo is also reportedly working on an overhaul of its homepage. The company's new CEO, Marissa Mayer, has meanwhile stated in a blog post that the new Mail should roll out to most users.
Plaintiff open to 'settlement with an interesting number'
Carlos Bazan-Canabal, who says he is a partner in both of the firms that recently earned a $2.7 billion judgment against Internet giant Yahoo in a Mexican court, says that he and his partners would be willing to accept a legal settlement for less than the initial judgment. Bazan-Canabal is named as strategic planning director in both Worldwide Directories S.A. de C.V and Ideas Interactivas S.A. de C.V., and he says the two firms are prepared to listen if Yahoo makes them an offer. Bazan-Canabal says that "if we can reach a settlement with an interesting number, we would go for it."
Five-person video chat company to join Yahoo's mobile group
Yahoo announced today that it had acquired OnTheAir, a five-person video chat startup company, in a deal meant to improve Yahoo's mobile communications capabilities. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Yahoo did say that OnTheAir's team would be integrated into Yahoo's mobile group. The acquisition is seen by some observers as part of a continuing effort on the part of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to improve the company's ability to compete in the mobile sector.
Yahoo cites procedural errors, application of law
Sources within Yahoo say that the company has solid ground upon which to appeal a surprise $2.7 billion judgment handed down by a Mexican civil court last week. Details in the case remain murky even today, but sources familiar with Yahoo's plans indicate that the company believes the decision rests on shaky procedural ground and that there were multiple errors in the application of laws. Yahoo's appeal will likely be held by a panel of three judges in a superior court in Mexico City, though when that appeal may be filed is unclear.