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Microsoft eyes deal to buy Yahoo July 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Google, Microsoft, Yahoo.
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Microsoft Corp. has stepped up its pursuit of a deal to buy Yahoo Inc.

The two companies re-enter talks to strike a deal and fend off a common competitor in Web search leader Google Inc. Yahoo shares jumped 17.96 percent to $33.24 in Nasdaq trading on Friday, while Microsoft shares fell 1.26 percent to $30.58. The two companies have held informal talks over the years, but the latest approach comes as Microsoft seeks a deal to counter Google’s rapid growth.

“It’s been talked about for a long time, ever since Google came into the picture. I can’t imagine a more perfect deal,” said Peter Lobravico, vice president of risk arbitrage sales/trading at brokerage Wall Street Access. “You can’t find a stronger buyer than Microsoft and while it would spur a lot of political and regulatory noise, everyone knows in the end that the deal would go through.”

Analysts often dismiss a takeover of Yahoo by Microsoft since the two companies have such different cultures and Microsoft usually prefers to buy small companies with interesting technology.

The New York Post reported early on Friday that Microsoft made an offer to buy Yahoo a few months ago, but Yahoo spurned the advances. The paper, putting a price tag of $50 billion on a Yahoo takeover, said that discussions continue between the two companies. Microsoft and Yahoo declined to comment on the reports.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs is advising on the process, the paper said. The bank declined to comment. One banking source said that investment banks had been pitching Microsoft on the idea of buying Yahoo for months.

The Wall Street Journal followed with its own story, saying that the two companies are in early-stage talks about a merger or some kind of link-up.

The renewed talks are a sign of Google’s power, the Journal said, and are also an indicator of problems with in-house efforts at Yahoo and Microsoft. A deal could help Microsoft attract advertisers to its online businesses.

“We’ve been a significant believer in a Yahoo-Microsoft combination because both Yahoo and Microsoft both need to create a bigger presence in advertising to compete with Google,” said Marianne Wolk, an analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group.

Google agreed to buy DoubleClick Inc. last month for $3.1 billion, accelerating a push into the graphic ad market. Google beat out Microsoft and Yahoo to win the deal, sources said.


Flickr not even flickering in China June 17, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet, Yahoo.
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Internet photo site says service is being blocked and hopes it’s only temporary

The popular Internet photo site Flickr said that its service is being blocked in China, although the Yahoo subsidiary did not directly blame the Beijing government, which aggressively censors the Internet of material it deems subversive.

The blocking, which began Thursday, is keeping Internet users across a large part of China from viewing photos on Flickr, home to millions of snapshots of everything from birthday parties to beach vacations to nudes.

The Web site also hosts a smattering of images that may be frowned upon by Chinese censors, including student protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989, which includes the famous photo of a man blocking the progress of Chinese army tanks, and bodies of students who were killed in the streets as part of a government crackdown.

China’s tight control over the Internet has become a high-profile issue in recent years as the online world makes increasing inroads with its vast population. Authorities routinely block access to online information about political opposition groups, Taiwanese independence and overseas Web sites such as BBC News, prompting outrage from human rights advocates.

U.S. Internet companies have been caught in the middle, forced to weigh free expression against building their businesses in a potentially lucrative market. Mountain View’s Google and Sunnyvale’s Yahoo have faced intense criticism for their positions, which have included censoring search results and providing information about dissidents to police.

In postings on its Web site Thursday, Flickr said it was experiencing no technical problems and that its service was in fact being blocked, without saying by whom. In an update Friday, co-founder Stewart Butterfield wrote that the Web site’s staff is checking on the issue periodically and that the blocking continues.

“We hope that this is a temporary issue, and we currently believe that it will be,” he said in the posting. “In the meantime, we are investigating our alternatives.”

Telephone and e-mail messages left with Butterfield and a Yahoo spokesman were not returned.

Users from across China posted messages on Flickr describing difficulties accessing images on the Web site, voicing frustration and laying blame on the Chinese government. Access to the Flickr home page and comments area is still apparently possible in China.

Jain Hua Li, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said he hadn’t heard of Flickr until told about it in a conversation with a Chronicle reporter, and then suggested that the blocking may be because Chinese authorities are trying to protect children from racy images.

Lucie Morillon, the U.S. representative for Reporters Without Borders, a French group that promotes free expression, said that the Beijing government often censors Web sites under the guise of protecting children or national security. She called the blocking of Flickr “one more blow against the free flow of information online by Chinese authorities” and added that it is particularly lamentable in light of promises by China to loosen restrictions before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Source >SanFranciscoChronicle

Yahoo to shut its original photo site May 6, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Yahoo.
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Yahoo plans to close its Yahoo Photos service this fall, the company said Friday. Users of Yahoo Photos will have to move to photo sharing site Flickr soon.

Yahoo Inc is shutting down Yahoo Photos, its first-generation photo storage site, and asking users to move instead to Yahoo’s Web 2.0 photo sharing site, Flickr, a company official said.

In June, tens of millions of registered users of Yahoo Photos will be notified of various options including upgrading to Yahoo’s Flickr service or various outside-photo storage sites, says Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield.

Yahoo also will offer consumers the option of loading their photos on competing sites when users are notified next month.

These include PhotoBucket, the most popular online photo sharing service among users of social network sites like News Corp’s MySpace, or more conventional photo printing and storage site such as Kodak Gallery, Shutterfly Inc or Snapfish, he said. “Flickr will get top-billing, of course,” he said about the plan to give users mulitple alternatives.

The move follows the explosive surge in growth by PhotoBucket, an independent photo storage site based in Palo Alto, California, from a quarter of the market a year ago to around 40 per cent last month, according to Hitwise Inc data.

Yahoo! does digg style boards, gets protests February 24, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Yahoo.
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Yahoo’s new Suggestion Boards met with protests from digg users

Yahoo! has announced that it has launched its own digg-inspired service. Using the Yahoo! Suggestion Boards you may comment on various products and vote for them in a digg-like manner.

There are suggestions boards available for Yahoo! Answers, Autos, Autos Custom, My Yahoo!, Pipes, Real Estate, Site Explorer, Travel, TV, Upcoming.org, the Yahoo! Developer Network, and the Yahoo! Developer Network Gallery. Note that this is not a new digg per se, but a service that uses digg-like features. The purpose is not to suggest online news articles or blog posts, as digg does.

That has not stopped the testosterone-driven digg-community from going amok, however. The current Autos Suggestion Board is for instance dominated by comments from digg users complaining about the similarity to digg.com >

“Don’t rip off sites! Be original Yahoo. Come on, this is pathetic.”
“this is sad…how do you programmers/designers sleep at night?”
“Totally agree…Yahoo, come on you lame SOB’s…You couldnt change even the dam COLORS???”

and it goes downhill from there. It should be noted that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and that Yahoo! has credited digg in their own presentation. Moreover, digg does not have a copyright on online voting. We suggest that Yahoo! buy digg and put an end to all this complaining.

See also Yahoo Launches Digg-Like Suggestion Site (TechCrunch)

Source > PandiaSearchEngineNews

Fictional erotic story posted online January 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet Safety, Yahoo.
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When a Victorian woman, in Australia, found a fictional erotic story about herself posted on the internet, it was a nightmare she had never dreamed possible.

The woman, who has asked not to be identified, contacted  the police. Victoria Police computer crime squad detectives found the fabricated story posted on a number of websites, and a number of yahoo.com profiles containing personal details of women along with comments allegedly made by them. Each woman was contacted and each denied knowledge of the profiles. Detectives discovered the profiles in an online group within Yahoo.com.

They contacted Yahoo. com in the US and a copy of all data within the group was obtained. This information led police to a male suspect in regional Victoria. Photos and computer-generated pictures of women and computer equipment was seized in a raid on his home. Child pornography was also found. The suspect pleaded guilty to cyber stalking and possession of child pornography.

He was sentenced to an eight-month intensive corrections order and placed on the sex offenders registry.