Yahoo Down. Long Live Yahoo?
Yahoo is a bellwether of the internet, having existed nearly as long as the world wide web, and serving as the portal along with AOL for most early users of the web. Like AOL, Yahoo is one of the largest sources of news and content on the web, yet it is only profitable when bolstered by completely unrelated sources of income, such as the large stake in Alibaba that was tied to the internet company until earlier this week.
Verizon is finalizing the purchase of Yahoo’s internet brand, after a long, sad bidding process that saw several offers rejected or pulled at the last minute. For about $4.8 billion, Yahoo will now have something else in common with AOL, living under the telecom’s patronage.
There was a time when Yahoo attempted to purchase both Google and Facebook and when it was audacious that those two companies both turned down their offers. Now the internet properties (excluding Yahoo Japan, a separate company) are one of the last independents of the early web to get folded into a larger corporation.
You can argue that it was the risk-averse, nice guy founders that eventually sank Yahoo, or the lack of focus before and after Marissa Mayer took over management of the company in 2012. Maybe it was the way that Google and Facebook gave users everything that Yahoo didn’t, and sidestepped some of the moves that Yahoo made that look foolhardy in hindsight. Either way, like AOL, Yahoo has the visitors, just not their money. Under Verizon there’ll be renewed interest in making money, though it may still be indirect, by getting more eyes on the giant cell provider’s main business.
Chris Rio, Cracked
Did you know that Neopets was run by the Church of Scientology? Or that Napster still exists, albeit in a pointless state?
Cracked took a look at six famous and formerly popular websites to see what happened to them, and the findings are both sad and hilarious.
While being amazed at how much dial-up internet still adds to the AOL profit sheet, take a look at some ill-advised web marketing campaigns to go right along with those services. Just think of the stunts that we pull now that will look even more ridiculous in ten years than they already do.
Heather Timmons, Quartz
China kicking out foreign journalists for undisclosed reasons (exposing corruption in China, that is)? Apparently not hypocritical compared to complaining about India kicking out Chinese journalists working for the state news service after breaking several Indian laws.
Three journalists working for the Chinese government news service Xinhua were ejected from India after the Indian government refused to renew their visas. While the reaction could be seen as downright petty (as the organization itself describes their Indian hosts), it can also be viewed as a set of terrifying blinders considering allegations of literal spying on part of the journalists, and how often China imprisons or bans anyone who supports Tibet or points out anything in the country being less than perfect.
Jaws of Justice Radio, KKFI
Find Out How The Electronic Frontier Foundation is Covering Your Butt Online
The Electronic Frontier Foundation was founded in 1990 to provide legal counsel and guidance for individuals and companies concerning the internet and technology. They also champion fair use, free software, and free speech online. The founders of the EFF (John Gilmore, John Perry Barlow, and Mitch Kapor) have devoted their lives to furthering technology and individual freedoms.
Jaws of Justice Radio has a conversation with Shahib Buttar, Director of Grassroots Advocacy at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, where they discuss the EFF, online privacy, and digital rights.
I’m proud to be a member of this organization, and encourage those of you reading to look into it as well. If you would like to support the EFF (and get some cool swag!), you should become a member today.
Cade Metz, Wired
DARPA is thinking to the future of network security, where the varied threats and the sheer number of attacks will make it nearly impossible for the few humans capable of understanding high-level security to keep the already duct-taped internet together. Seven different companies are competing against an unknown-to-them adversary in seven different supercomputers put together for a public demonstration of the best software made to defend and fight against other software that the private sector is able to offer.
While it’s likely that none of the competitors will be able to successfully complete all tasks set by the government R&D lab, promising starts are expected, which will help prepare for a time where we’ll need bots to help protect us from other bots. Considering the number of known (let alone unknown) vulnerabilities in every networked device, like the ability to capture all keystrokes of a wireless keyboard, it’s only a worry if this is too little, too late.