Yahoo: The Folks in the East Did It. Maybe

November 9, 2017

I have not thought too much about Yahoot. Sorry, I meant Yahoo. Oh, right, Yahoo is now Oath. I did revisit the online outfit when I read “Former Yahoo CEO Apologizes for Data Breaches, Blames Russians.” The real news and professional publishing outfit Thomson Reuters informed me:

Former Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer apologized on Wednesday for two massive data breaches at the internet company, blaming Russian agents for at least one of them, at a hearing on the growing number of cyber attacks on major U.S. companies.

I noted this passage:

Mayer said Yahoo has not been able to identify how the 2013 intrusion occurred and that the company did not learn of the incident until the U.S. government presented data to Yahoo in November 2016. She said even “robust” defenses are not enough to defend against state-sponsored attacks and compared the fight with hackers to an “arms race.”

There is nothing like taking action, telling users, and assuming responsibility in a timely manner. Oh, 2013 is just like yesterday.

Yahooooot. Silicon Valley sets the pace.

Stephen E Arnold, November 9, 2017

Free Services: What Happens When They Are Killed Off?

November 3, 2017

In the salad days of online, one paid for “time” (the online connection) and one paid for the “content” (the citations, data, full text). Today data are free. Hooray.*

For users of the the Google flight information, the news that Google was likely to shut down its flight data feed is bad news. Even worse, those nifty MBA inspired spreadsheets which happily omitted the cost of flight data are going to have to be re-imagined.

And Oath (remember Yahoo?) is, it seems, going to cut off the finance, if the story in Hacker News is accurate. The write up states:

Yahoo Finance has apparently killed is API. Zero warning. Lots of apps probably use this. Before, you could get stock information by using  http://download.finance.yahoo.com/d/quotes.csv Now, you get the following message: It has come to our attention that this service is being used in violation of the Yahoo Terms of Service. As such, the service is being discontinued. For all future markets and equities data research, please refer to finance.yahoo.com. What violation of TOS? People have been using this for years without any issues. If you are going to cut this off, how about a warning and heads up? Guess that’s what we should expect from OATH / Verizon.

The comments are interesting.

Net net: The online model from the 1969 to 1995 phase of online may be poking its nose from a Rip Van Winkle snooze.

And those spreadsheets? MBAs are crafty. The numbers will work out—at least in Excel. In real life? Hmmm. Good question.

Stephen E Arnold, November 3, 2017

* Editor’s update: Heads up. I last night (November 3, 2017) I received an impassioned and mom-like communication from a person who wanted confidentiality about the information he was about to impart via Gmail email. (Isn’t that type of email parsed by smart software for the purpose of collecting ad revenue and data?) The alleged former Googler (aka Xoogler) was unaware that I was at dinner with my wife enjoying a grilled squirrel burger with the cheese on the bottom in the approved Google manner. But this write up was an urgent matter in the mind of the agitated Xoogler eager to share confidential information with me. Lucky me! The email included numbers and a statement that I had to rewrite this article because I was, as I have noted on numerous occasions in the course of this 10 year old Beyond Search blog, an “addled goose”. The email made clear that killing Google services and products does no harm, and I was wrong, incorrect, off base, and a Bambi brained deer. Please, check out the source story from Marketwatch. Make up your own mind, gentle reader, because I try to present my opinion whilst separating the giblets from the goosefeathers.  My view is that abrupt, unilateral modifications of services is a good thing for some devlopers and users. But I do enjoy confidential communications about the inner workings of my favorite search engine as I munch my burger with cheese on the bottom in the Sundar Pichai approved manner. Plus, I enjoy recalling the Google Reader, Google Talk, Google Health, Knol, Google Buzz, and my favorite and the fave of some Brazilians, Orkut. You don’t? Well, you, unlike me, are not trying to be Googley. To refresh your memory, check out the Google Graveyeard. Do you have a problem with terminated services? In my opinion, termination with extreme prejudiced is in your best interests. Now put the cheese on the bottom of the meat patty.

Free Content Destroying Print Media

July 27, 2017

Today’s generation has no concept of having to wait for the day’s top stories till the newspaper is delivered. If they want to know something (or even they don’t) they simply turn on their Smart phone, tablet or even watch! With news stories available 24/7 with automatic alerts, most people under thirty can’t possibly fathom paying for it.

It almost wasn’t that way. According to Poynter,

In the 1990s, a cantankerous, bottom-line-obsessed and visionary Tribune Company executive named Charles Brumback pushed something that was called The New Century News Network. The top print news organizations, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Times-Mirror would form a network in which they’d house their content online and charge for it. Members would get paid based on usage. They even started a newswire that was similar to what we know as Google News.

Unfortunately, the heads of print media couldn’t see the future and how their pockets would be deflated due to the giving away of their content to online giants such as Facebook and Yahoo and Google.

Now, these same short-sighted network bigwigs are wanting Congress to intervene on their behalf. As the article points out, “running to Congress seems belated and impotent.”

Catherine Lamsfuss, July 27, 2017

Verizon: The Spirit of Yahoot

June 9, 2017

I surmised from “Confirmed: Verizon Will Cut ~15% of AOL-Yahoo Staff after Merger Closes” that the spirit of Yahoot will live. At least for a while.

Here’s the passage I highlighted in Yahoot purple:

The proportion of jobs being made redundant across AOL and Yahoo is around 15 percent globally, we have confirmed with our sources. This shakes out to as many as 2,100 jobs being lost as part of the corporate merger.

With a price tag close to $5 billion, the new top dogs for Yahoot will have to shake a leg to:

  • Get their money back
  • Generate new, sustainable revenues as mobile search grows beyond 60 percent of search traffic
  • Innovate in ways that open new revenue streams which are themselves profitable.

Yahoot is Oath with a colon.

How does one search for “Oath with a color”? Wonky names can pose some challenges for the New Age search and retrieval systems.

My query for Oath with a colon on Yandex.ru returned these results:

image

I then tried the same query on that popular service Izito and got these results:

image

 

My conclusion: When creating a name, it is a good idea to consider how that name is processed by online search systems.

Oath with a colon is likely to generate some results which will leave Yahoot customers wondering what’s where.

Yep, one Yandex.ru link points to a dictionary and the definition does not mention Verizon. Why would it? And the Izito number one hit reminds me that Oath is the acronym for the State of New York’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings.

Yahoot! I suppose I should think of Yahoot as Oath with a colon. Love those cute names I do.

Stephen E Arnold, June 9, 2017

Yahoo Pay Inequity

April 19, 2017

Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer made a considerable salary, especially considering she came to power during an economic downturn.  Her replacement Thomas McInerney, however, will be making double her salary.  Fortune reports on the income differences in: “Yahoo’s New Male CEO Will Make Double Marissa Mayer’s Salary.”  Pay inequity remains a big topic in today’s job market and this rises to the top as another example of a professional male receiving more money than a woman who held the same position.

Since Yahoo has sold its technology and advertising business to Verizon, it only consists of Alibaba stock, Yahoo Japan, and other miscellaneous investments.  One can assume that McInerney will have a much easier job than Mayer did.  McInerney is the former IAC CEO and his base salary will be $2 million, over Mayer’s $1 million.  He will also be getting more income from Yahoo:

What’s more, Yahoo actually expects to pay McInerney $4 million in his first year working at the company, assuming he earns his target bonus, which is equal to his base salary, according to the new disclosures. That’s 25% more than the $3 million the company is paying Mayer for a salary and cash bonus this year. On top of that, McInerney will also be eligible for grants of long-term incentive rewards of up to $24 million, depending on achievement of performance goals. If he were to receive the maximum amount, it would also be twice as much as Mayer’s long-term incentive grant in 2015, the last full year before the Verizon deal was announced.

McInerney will be paid to run the Yahoo equivalent of a mutual fund.  Yahoo will also not be buying new stock, instead, they will focus on managing their Alibaba stock and Yahoo Japan.  Those two investments basically run themselves.

If you ask me, it sounds like once again a woman cleans up a mess, makes it manageable, and a man comes in to take the credit and more pay.

Whitney Grace, April 19, 2017

Oath Rhymes with Loath and Maybe Sloth?

April 5, 2017

I wanted Yahoo to be named Yabba Dabba Hoot. Darn it. The Verizon outfit which may put some interesting software on mobile phones it sell has come up with the name Oath. I am not sure any of my friends in Harrod’s Creek would have stumbled upon this word. I noted that a number of the write ups reporting about the new name, the Tony Romo like sacking of Marissa Mayer, and the assurances that the calculus of AOL+Yahoot will change my life. See “Under Oath? How Yahoo + AOL Will Change Your Life.”

USA Today brilliantly revealed that Verizon’s Xoogler believes “the brands will stay the same. “ Yep, that’s what happens when Verizon acquires companies: The status quo is the Baby Bell way. Well, sometimes as long as one is not the CEO, the CFO, the legal team, and anyone who does not understand the ethos of the Young Pioneers and Bell Telephone training methods:

image

The real journalism outfit which we call McPaper here in Kentucky quoted the Xoogler responsible for the AOL Yahoot marriage. Tim Armstrong and apparently someone else allegedly said:

Armstrong has described Oath as a B2B brand, overseeing the names that you are all familiar with. Beyond Yahoo and AOL, those names include Tumblr, Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Engadget. In all, about 1.3 billion consumers use the company’s collection of brands making these among the most powerful digital brands on the Internet. “We like to say branding wise if you look at a hat, Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Yahoo Sports will be on the front, Oath will be on the side,” Armstrong said. Besides the early reaction to Oath hasn’t been all that flattering, with the new name the subject of numerous jokes out on social media.

On the side. Does oath mean economic growth?

Stephen E Arnold, April 5, 2017

Yahoot: Paying for Success

March 17, 2017

The Xoogler Marissa Mayer may get $23 million before Uncle Sam takes a bite. According to the “real” journalistic outfit Variety, I learned:

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, following the closing of the Verizon acquisition of the internet company’s operating businesses, will get a golden parachute package worth around $23 million if she’s fired or leaves for good cause within a year, Yahoo disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday.

My source was “Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Would Get $23M Severance Package after Verizon Deal Closes If She’s Fired or Leaves for Good Cause.” The payoff, if it occurs, provides $3 million in cash and the balance in equity.

Assuming no hitch in the git along, the new top Yahooligan will be Thomas  McInerney, who has been a senior manager at IAC.

Yahoo. It’s a hoot. Paying for success.

Stephen E Arnold, March 17, 2017

ScyllaDB Version 3.1 Available

March 8, 2017

According to Scylla, their latest release is currently the fastest NoSQL database. We learn about the update from SiliconAngle’s article, “ScyllaDB Revamps NoSQL Database in 1.3 Release.” To support their claim, the company points to a performance benchmark test executed by the Yahoo Cloud Serving Benchmark project. That group compared ScyllaDB to the open source Cassandra database, and found Scylla to be 4.6 times faster than a standard Cassandra cluster.

Writer Mike Wheatley elaborates on the product:

ScyllaDB’s biggest differentiator is that it’s compatible with the Apache Cassandra database APIs. As such, the creators claims that ScyllaDB can be used as a drop-in replacement for Cassandra itself, offering users the benefit of improved performance and scale that comes from the integration with a light key/value store.

The company says the new release is geared towards development teams that have struggled with Big Data projects, and claims a number of performance advantages over more traditional development approach, including:

*10X throughput of baseline Cassandra – more than 1,000,000 CQL operations per second per node

*Sub 1msec 99% latency

*10X per-node storage capacity over Cassandra

*Self-tuning database: zero configuration needed to max out hardware

*Unparalleled high availability, native multi-datacenter awareness

*Drop-in replacement for Cassandra – no additional scripts or code required”

Wheatley cites Scylla’s CTO when he points to better integration with graph databases and improved support for Thrift, Date Tiered Compaction Strategy, Large Partitions, Docker, and CQL tracing. I notice the company is hiring as of this writing. Don’t let the Tel Aviv location of Scylla’s headquarters stop from applying you if you don’t happen to live nearby—they note that their developers can work from anywhere in the world.

Cynthia Murrell, March 8, 2016

Lawyer Responsible for Yahoo Security Failures: Believe It or Not

March 7, 2017

I read “Yahoo’s Head Lawyer Is Taking the Fall for Its Hacking While Marissa Mayer Is Getting Her Pay Docked.” The few layers I know are not exactly the sharpest tacks in the tool room when it comes to technology. I was amused but not surprised to learn that a legal eagle dropped the security mouse from 2,000 feet.

The write up explains:

…Yahoo’s head lawyer, Ron Bell, got bounced for not doing his job…the relevant legal t4eam had sufficient information to warrant substantial further inquiry in 2014 and they did not sufficiently pursue it.

Right.

Stephen E Arnold, March 7, 2017

Quote to Note: Yahoo and Sunshine

March 1, 2017

Here’s a quote I highlighted. The source is CNBC.com, a real journalism type outfit. The quote appeared in “How Richard Branson, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk and 13 Other Leaders Start the Day.” Marissa Mayer allegedly said:

Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse and the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.

Yep, with a nice golden parachute, the world may look golden. About that Yahoo security breach. Must be sunshine.

Stephen E Arnold, March 1, 2017

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