Newly released documents shed light on 2008 FISC hearings
Reports have surfaced that search engine Yahoo (and possibly others) were threatened by the US government to comply with PRISM surveillance requirements, or face a $250,000 per day fine in 2008. While Yahoo fought the demand through the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, it ultimately lost and complied with the order, which paved the way towards mass surveillance of Internet users.
In-image advertising service shutting down, payouts still coming by end of September
Yahoo made another pickup in the advertising sector last week, acquiring the in-imaging advertising company Luminate. The advertising company announced the acquisition on its webpage, noting that services would be winding down effective September 3, with any reminding earnings or balances remaining to be returned by the end of September.
Recommendation system gathers data to suggest venues based on location 'stations'
Yahoo continues its trend of buying up startups with the news that the search company has acquired Zofari. Zofari, which is positioned to be the Netflix or Pandora for local recommendations, announced on its website that the startup was acquired by Yahoo to work an undisclosed project. The purchase went relatively unnoticed until TechCrunch reported on it earlier today.
United Airlines updates iOS app, expands international flight check-in feature
United Airlines has released an update for its iOS app, offering a new trial feature that expands the ability to check-in for international flights. Users can scan their passport for international check-ins, or verify existing stored passport data if the user is already logged in the system. Version 2.0.16 also includes a fix for a bug regarding extra flight status cards. The app is free to download through iTunes, and requires iOS 6.0 or later to run.
Deal rumored to be worth at least $300 million, could rapidly grow Yahoo's mobile business
Yahoo could be looking for aggressive growth in its mobile platforms, as reports from Recode and TechCrunch indicate that the search company is acquiring mobile analytic and advertising startup Flurry. While official news of the deal has yet to be announced, sources say that the news is expected to come in later today.
Company is 'not satisfied,' with results, declining display ad revenue to blame
Yahoo posted its second quarter 2014 results yesterday, indicating shrinking revenues from the same quarter in the previous year. The quarter, which ended on March 31, saw a decline in revenue due to disappointing results from display ad revenue. CEO Marissa Mayer realizes that there is still work to do in some areas, as the company looks toward a "unified approach" to advertising.
Service sends out notes after user passes away, cleans up personal data on Internet
Yahoo Japan launched an interesting service this week, one that gives people an option for deleting part of their digital lives once they reach the end of their physical ones. The service, called Yahoo Endings, offers users some basic services like will-writing, but also sends goodbye notes and deletes personal information from Yahoo.
Israeli startup to be a part of Yahoo's cloud team, join research center in Tel Aviv
Yahoo announced last week that it is acquiring the Israel-based video streaming startup RayV for an undisclosed sum. The company will help Yahoo build on its video offerings, giving the company the technology it needs as it looks forward to video content for the future, says the search engine. The deal first made its way across the tech industry as a rumor back in May.
A handful of services are ending so Yahoo can focus on its four core areas
Yahoo announced today that it will be consolidating and shutting down a number of services to better fit with its mission statement. The company will shutter several services in the near future, and either integrate some of those features into other software or see the services' existence ended altogether. Shutting the little-used services down allows Yahoo to focus on the company's four core areas.
Weather Channel supplying more tech, data than Yahoo
The shift from Yahoo to the Weather Channel for iOS 8's Weather app is the result of a "very crafty deal" by Weather Channel CEO and former Yahoo board member David Kenny, says Re/Code. Yahoo has long been Apple's partner for iOS weather, even though all it's been doing is repackaging the Weather Channel's raw information. To entice Apple to cut out the middle partner, the Weather Channel is said to have offered things it wasn't offering Yahoo, including a nine-day forecast, a conditions summary, and more "weather specificity" related to a user's location.
Flickr users forced to link new, existing Yahoo IDs to account
Yahoo is going to remove the ability to sign into Flickr using a Google or Facebook account at the end of this month. E-mails have been sent to users of the photo hosting service warning them that they will be forced to log in using only a Yahoo ID from June 30th, as part of a wider move by Yahoo away from third-party authentication to just using its own account system.
Football match to take one-year break from Roman numerals
Apple has joined with some of its allies and rivals over a common cause: bringing the 50th Super Bowl football game to the new Santa Clara Stadium in 2016. Apple, Google, Gap, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Seagate, Virgin America and Yahoo have all pledged $2 million to help offset the public costs of the event, such as security and youth groups, to alleviate the burden on taxpayers. By coincidence, 2016 is also the year Apple expects to complete its new, $5 billion headquarters, known as "Campus 2."
Asks for limits to government surveillance
Several US technology executives -- including Apple's Tim Cook, Google's Larry Page, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, and Yahoo's Marissa Mayer -- have published an open letter as a part of the Reset the Net anti-surveillance campaign. The letter complains that the USA Freedom Act -- which recently passed through the House of Representatives -- still permits bulk collection of Internet metadata, despite promises by the White House and Congress to halt the practice. The executives are also asking for the flexibility to publish more detail about the quantity and types of government requests they get for customer information.
Pulls data directly from Weather Channel
As of iOS 8, Apple has stopped using Yahoo as the data source for the iOS Weather app, users note. The app now lists The Weather Channel as a source instead. Yahoo was already pulling its own data from TWC, but Apple appears to have cut out Yahoo for business and/or technical reasons.
Deal sees Blink employees fold into Yahoo, app removed from marketplaces
Blink, a mobile app that features self-destructing messages much like Snapchat, has announced that it has been acquired by Yahoo. A statement from the company provided few details indicating that the app would be shut down in the coming weeks on both Android and iOS platforms.
Google, Facebook, Amazon among coalition asking for FCC to reconsider net rules
A coalition of technology companies have co-signed a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its net neutrality proposals. Signed by over a hundred Internet companies, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and Amazon, the letter asks the FCC to reconsider what the companies claim "represents a grave threat to the Internet."
At least $3 billion headed to Yahoo stake purchased in 2005
Chinese search engine monolith Alibaba filed an initial public offering (IPO) prospectus on Tuesday. If predictions are accurate, the IPO will raise more than $15 billion, and very well could pass the technology IPO record set by Facebook at $16 billion before the offering is complete, with a large percentage of the funds raised headed to Yahoo.
Search engine turns focus from privacy concerns to personalization
Last week, Yahoo announced that it would no longer be honoring Do Not Track requests from browsers accessing the search engine and associated services. The move comes as the company attempts to provide a more personal experience to users, bringing policies in line with other companies that ignore Do Not Track requests such as Facebook and Google. This comes as a reversal to previous statements made by the company, which claimed to be "the first major tech company to implement Do Not Track."
CEO to make pitch to Apple to make Google search optional
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who has worked diligently to turn around the veteran search engine's fortunes with some success, is planning on appealing to Apple to make Yahoo's search engine the default choice on the Mac and iOS. Currently Apple offers Yahoo as a option for search, but uses Google as a default (and Bing to power Siri inquiries). Mayer may seen an opportunity to advance Yahoo's already-friendly relationship with Apple, given its fight with Google over Android and patents.
Results see increased migration to mobile, decreasing price per ad
Yahoo has released its first quarter earnings report, with mixed successes. The company posted revenue of $1.13 billion for the first quarter of 2014, a one percent decrease from the first quarter of 2013. Net earnings for the first quarter of 2014 was $312 million, a 20 percent decrease compared to $390 million in the first quarter of 2013. However, search revenue climbed to $445 million from $425 million in the year-ago quarter. Paid clicks increased six percent, with an eight percent increase in price per click.
TransferWise money transfer app now available for Android
London-based startup TransferWise has launched a native Android app, allowing users to transfer money between currencies. A peer-to-peer service, TransferWise facilitates direct money transfers to users in other countries. Six months earlier, TransferWise had released an iOS native app, with the "app" for Android users available on Google Play until today being only a shortcut to its website. Free to download, TransferWise for Android is compatible with Android 2.3 or later.
eBay, Amazon, HP, Oracle near bottom of major corporations
In terms of datacenters, Apple has scored the top position on a new Greenpeace list of the most environmentally-friendly high-tech businesses. The company is the only one with a 100 percent figure on Greenpeace's "clean energy index," since its datacenters are completely free of any dependence on coal, nuclear power, or natural gas. It also has an "A" score under categories of Energy Transparency, Commitment & Siting Policy, and Deployment & Accuracy. It achieved a B in terms of Energy Efficiency & Mitigation.
Acquisition could lead to YouTube competitor from Yahoo
Yahoo could be looking to acquire video service News Distribution Network for $300 million, according to a report. The acquisition, which is said to be in preliminary talks at the moment, could lead to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer taking on her previous employer by creating its own video sharing service similar to the currently-dominant YouTube.
First migration related to NCAA basketball tourney bracket selection
Adding to the list of substantive changes by the new CEO, Yahoo will stop the practice of letting users access Yahoo services by signing in with Google or Facebook login information. The migration will happen gradually, with the ultimate goal of 100 percent of services requiring a Yahoo account over the next year.
Automated facial recognition performed on webcam stills by UK security agency
The British security intelligence agency GCHQ secured millions of photographs from webcams used with Yahoo's chat services, a report alleges. The agency is claimed to have captured and stored images from more than 1.8 million users in one six month period in 2008 alone, with the surveillance activities said to have continued from 2008 to 2010, though it is possible the program continued for years afterward.
Companies want easier time recouping legal fees
A collection of companies -- including Apple, Google, Yahoo, Intel, Cisco, and Facebook -- are asking the US Supreme Court for measures to help deter frivolous patent lawsuits, Bloomberg reports. In particular, the companies are seeking to change the language used to determine when a defendant can claim coverage of legal fees from a plaintiff. The current standard allows coverage only if a suit is ruled "objectively baseless" and filed in bad faith.
FISA requests detailed in agreement with US government
A group of tech companies have released more information about government requests from the NSA and other agencies for user information, as part of their transparency reporting programs. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Microsoft have all posted more statistics online for these Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests, following an agreement between the companies and the US Department of Justice (DoJ).
Affected users notified by e-mail, SMS to change password
Yahoo email users seem to be the most recent victim of mass data theft. The search engine, in a security update posted today, claims to have "identified a coordinated effort to gain unauthorized access to Yahoo Mail accounts." The company then took action on behalf of its users, prompting them to reset passwords on the breached accounts.
iOS app soon to become unavailable
Donna developer Incredible Labs has been acquired by Yahoo, according to an official announcement. Most of the company's seven workers will be taking jobs at Yahoo. The Donna iPhone app, however, will soon be pulled from the iOS App Store.
Despite drop, income climbs year-over-year to $348.2 million
Yahoo's quarterly financial results once again suffered from decreasing online advertising prices. For the fourth consecutive quarter, Yahoo revenue fell -- dropping six percent to $1.266 billion. Net income rose to $348.2 million, up from the $272.3 million in the same quarter a year ago.
No comment by Yahoo or De Castro on reasons behind premature exit
Early Marissa Mayer Yahoo hire Henrique de Castro is leaving the search engine's employ after 15 months on the job. A memo to Yahoo staff claims that Mayer has fired the executive and restructured the upper management of the company. Neither Yahoo nor de Castro have commented on the reasons behind the departure.
Up to six different malware packages installed by merely viewing an ad
Users visiting Yahoo's homepage over the last several days have been exposed to Java-based malware through the Yahoo advertising network. Researchers have claimed that advertisements holding the malicious code were displayed nearly 300,000 times per hour. No click was required to trigger the code -- merely visiting the site displaying the malware-laden ad was sufficient for attack on machines with active Java plug-ins installed.
Yahoo developing natural language digital assistant
Yahoo is working on its own voice-controlled digital assistant to rival that of Google Now and Apple's Siri, according to a new report. Android Police revealed on Wednesday a video that appears to show a Yahoo-branded personal assistant app running on an Android device. Sources familiar with Yahoo's plans say that the web giant will leverage its massive existing user base and various services to push out a service comparable to Apple and Google's offerings.
On the agenda are NSA surveillance, Obamacare, income inequality
President Obama is spending part of December 17 in conference with an assortment of Silicon Valley executives in order to "address national security and the economic impacts of unauthorized intelligence disclosures." On tap to meet at the White House are Apple CEO Tim Cook, Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson, and 11 others.
Yahoo Mail issue claimed to be harder to fix than initially believed
Yahoo has acknowledged that a number of users were not able to access Yahoo Mail for part of this week, with the company apologizing for the outage on the official blog. The mail downtime commenced on Monday, with the company claiming to have fixed the issue for the majority of affected users last night, though support teams are apparently still working on some loose ends.
Yahoo snaps up another app team for video features
Internet giant Yahoo has acquired yet another small company, this time QuikIO, which provided cross-platform video streaming services, as well as an app for Apple's iOS platform. Pando Daily confirmed the acquisition this week, pointing out that the service will be shutting down by December 31 of this year. The acquisition is the latest in a string that has seen Yahoo snapping up smaller companies as it attempts to retool for a push to regain mindshare in the coming months.
Agents infiltrate World of Warcraft
Eight tech giants, including industry competitors Apple, Google and Microsoft, have joined forces to demand reforms to the US government's surveillance tactics. In an open letter sent to President Barack Obama and members of Congress, the companies argue that current surveillance practices, as detailed in ongoing leaks from former National Security Agency staffer Edward Snowden, have created an imbalance "too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual-rights that are enshrined in our Constitution."
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.