Host of Potential Yahoo Buyers Emerge – Major Companies Linked

Yahoo is up for sale, and some of the major players in media and technology are keen to pick over the bones of the once-great company, with Microsoft, Google, Verizon, Time, and the Daily Mail all indicating an interest in future bids.

“Media companies, such as the Daily Mail and Time Inc., are reportedly thinking of making an offer,” reports CNN Money. “A Daily Mail spokesman confirmed to CNN Money that the company is looking at bidding for Yahoo.”

Yahoo is currently valued at around $34b – a shadow of its value in late-2000, when the company was worth closer to $255b – with the company’s Asian stock accounting for the bulk of that valuation, indicating that the company’s internet business is practically worthless.

Google and Microsoft have also been linked with purchases of pieces of Yahoo’s business, though the former is unlikely to make any such deals over concerns of breaking antitrust laws. Microsoft, however, already has a close relationship with Yahoo, and previously attempted a $45b takeover of the company back in 2008.

“Verizon could also be a player,” CNN Money adds. “It owns Yahoo rival AOL and other media assets, and the company has publicly expressed interest in taking a look at Yahoo. AOL is like a mini version of Yahoo, with a sizable digital advertising and online content business. Verizon bought AOL last year for more than $4 billion.”

“Private equity firms General Atlantic, TPG and KKR are also widely reported to be considering buying Yahoo,” CCN Money reveals.

Former Vice President of Google Product Search Marissa Mayer was appointed CEO of Yahoo in 2012, tasked with changing the fortunes of the ailing business. After a promising start, Mayer soon proved impotent in her efforts to stop the rot that had already decimated Yahoo, with her cost-cutting measures of sub-division closures and staff redundancies designed to keep the company ticking over until it could find a new owner.

Yahoo Mail Went Down And All They Got Was A Single Tweet

In this day and age, keeping your customers up to date is as important as getting them on board in the first place. Reports started circulating yesterday that Yahoo users weren’t able to access their email accounts, and all they got for their troubles was a single tweet.

Originally reported in the thread titled “Yahoo Mail has been down for 14 hours, affecting thousands of users in Europe”, users went from saying that having their service shut down without any response being unacceptable to the barrage of comments from users asking if the service was ever truly running these days or how many people were actually affected by the problem (including a rather large barrage joking about the use of Yahoo mail for business reasons).

After checking out Yahoo Mail’s twitter page (the quickest way to update people these days on issues it would seem), the page was filled with nothing but advertisements spread out over days with no communications regarding the reported outage. That was until we checked out their support page, Yahoo Care. Amongst a slew of advertisements for their fantasy baseball teams was a single tweet saying that some users were experiencing issues.

With people replying saying that they haven’t been able to access their account for extended periods and with no support, a single tweet hardly seems to be cut it (pun intended).

In this day and age, taking days to fix a problem with little to no support for your users seems like a quick way to lose people to other webmail solutions like Gmail and Outlook. We will try to keep you updated (as well as we can with the little information that seems to be available at this moment).

New SMTP STS Email Security Standard Published by Industry Leaders

A number of engineers from some of today’s top tech firms have come together to provide a new standard of security for the sending and receiving of emails. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Comcast, LinkedIn and 1&1 Mail & Media Development & Technology are all part of this new standard that is named SMTP Strict Transport Security (SMTP STS). The new standard will allow email providers to define policies and rules that control the sending and receipt of encrypted email communications, which is a vast improvement over current email security.

When SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) was envisioned back in 1982, it included no facilities for encryption or security. This same protocol has been in use to this day, and despite additions over the years, such as  STARTTLS that have added support for TLS (Transport Layer Security) to SMTP connections, its adoption rate has been low and the majority of email traffic is as unencrypted as in the 80s. Between May and August 2014, in the wake of Edward Snowdon’s leaks, Facebook saw adoption for STARTTLS jump from 58% to a whopping 95%. STARTTLS is not without flaws, though, as it does not validate the digital certificates and is vulnerable to both man-in-the-middle attacks and simple stripping of the encryption.

The newly proposed SMTP STS addresses both of the main flaws that exist in STARTTLS. Firstly, it informs connecting clients that TLS is available and recommended for use as well as how the certificate should be validated and the consequence of failure to establish a TLS connection. SMTP STS policies are set via special DNS records added to the email for the server’s domain name, providing ways for clients to validate the policies and report failure. Man-in-the-middle attacks can be foiled by a mail server telling a client to cache its SMTP STS policies for a set duration, to prevent false policies being injected.

Whether this new standard will catch on the wider world of the internet remains to be seen, but with so many key companies involved in its development and security being such a key topic in the modern-day, we can only hope that it allows us to keep our emails that much secure and private.

Yahoo Retires Its Games and Several Other Products

Things are definitely not looking good for Yahoo right now, and it’s not exactly clear if the company will be able to bounce back from its recent troubles. Recent news regarding the renowned internet pioneer concerns its games portal and publishing channel, both of which will be discontinued as of May 13 of this year. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise for any of us, as Yahoo has stated in its latest earnings report that it plans to focus on just seven main consumer products, namely News, Sports, Tumblr, Search, Finance, Mail and lifestyle. Yahoo Games has been around since 1998, and even though it doesn’t enjoy the same popularity now as it did back then, it still includes an interesting selection of modern web-based games.

Aside from Games, Yahoo Livetext is also expected to go away soon, even though it was launched just last summer. Several regional, genre-specific media properties will also receive the axe, including Yahoo Astrology, which will be shutting down in countries such as India, Germany, France and the UK. As for Yahoo Build your Own Search Service, it will be killed off on March 31, and Yahoo is encouraging users to try out JavaScript solution YPA instead.

Employers In The EU Can Read Your Private Messages At Work

It’s a slow day. Really slow and you’re bored, so you decide to fire up Facebook and check to see who’s messaged you. Twitter, Facebook, even your personal emails, we all have a way of communicating online. Might not be the best time to open up your personal messages at work though with the ECHR deciding that companies can read your private messages at work.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) declared that as a worker while checking his yahoo messenger at work, it was perfectly in its right as a company to read those messages. The Judges ruled that in the end he had breached the company’s rules and it had a right to check his activity while at work.

This ruling now means that all countries that are part of the European Convention on Human Rights, including Britain, must now follow this decision.

While at work the employee checked his Yahoo Messenger, something he used for both personal and professional contacts. As it believed the account in question was for work, the judges ruled that the company had not been in error on checking the contents of the messages.

While a scary president it lies on several factors, firstly a company would have to have a computer policy in place that means they can read your messages (this policy is something anyone who works with a computer on a daily basis should read, especially if you message on it). As a second step, how would you prove if an account is being used for “work”? Ultimately it’s something that Judges will have to step carefully with, with the ECHR even saying that policies must also protect workers against unfettered snooping.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Yahoo Lost One-Third of Its Staff in 2015

Ailing multinational company Yahoo has lost over a third of its workforce over the last twelve months, in a shocking show of no-confidence in current CEO Marissa Mayer, according to a report in the New York Times.

“Basically, it shows employees losing faith in Marissa Mayer and Yahoo,” Scott Dobroski, spokesman for employment rating site Glassdoor, said.

While Mayer has fought hard to retain staff members that have been offered positions at competing companies with lucrative retention packages, the move has had the knock-on effect of causing resentment amongst colleagues who otherwise remained loyal when offered jobs elsewhere. Her strategy having backfired, Mayer is now pursuing mass layoffs, to be announced at the end of this month. Yahoo shareholders are desperate for Mayer to be fired before she can enact this plan.

“Only 34 percent of employees believe that Yahoo’s prospects are improving, according to surveys conducted by Glassdoor, a firm that collects data on jobs and employers,” the New York Times report reads. “That compares with 61 percent who are optimistic at Twitter, another troubled tech company, and 77 percent who see a bright future at Google, Ms. Mayer’s former employer.”

“One Yahoo employee who was interviewed said she was praying to be laid off so she could collect a severance payment and move on with her life,” the report continues. “Others said they were actively looking for their next jobs — a task made more difficult because of the taint of failure that potential employers sometimes associate with anyone at the struggling company.”

“We’re still hiring, and our application numbers are strong,” Yahoo said in a statement. The company refused to comment on staff morale.

‘Snooper Charter’ Causes Issues With Google, Microsoft, Twitter And Others

The Investigatory Powers Bill (IP Bill for short) goes by another name, the Snooper Charter. The bill is aimed to help extend and update the government’s legislation surrounding their surveillance powers, this extension though is gaining more than a little public notice with more than a few people expressing how worried they are about these new powers. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter can now be added to this list of people that have issues with the current bill.

Listing their concerns, they state they understand the responsibilities of Governments to protect people and privacy, they continue by saying that they believe a legal framework can protect people, companies and the Government. They cite their membership to the “Reform Government Surveillance” (RGS) coalition before continuing in saying that any surveillance must be lawful, necessary, transparent and proportionate.

Current proposals look to force ISP’s to retain at least a years worth of data about sites you visit, an action that has raised concerns by ex-NSA director Bill Binney. The primary areas that they wished to bring into notice are the conflicting laws between the proposal and international law. Continuing on to state that an international framework, as suggested by Sir Nigel Sheinwald, should be established to help with issues and prevent the use of warrants on people based within the UK to attempt to extract information from a branch of the company in a different country.

One of the main issues is encryption with digital data and the bill states that companies will have “obligations relating to the removal of electronic protection applied by a relevant operator to any communication or data”, basically saying that any protection you have on your devices companies will need to be able to remove. This didn’t go down well in America when the government ordered Apple to unencrypt a phone while China’s new law forces companies to provide them with encryption keys.

I recommend reading through their concerns if you are interested and keep listening out for more information as it develops on the “Snooper Charter”, as no matter how you use technology, this law will impact everyone.

Text Spamming Lands Yahoo in Class Action Lawsuit

In an unexpected declaration from a Chicago federal judge on Monday, web giant Yahoo have found themselves faced with a class action lawsuit against them on the grounds of the sending of a large volume of unsolicited text messages to users of the Sprint Corp telephone company. Yahoo was found to have been sending ‘welcome’ messages to the users whenever another user sent them a ‘ping’ on Yahoo messenger.

Yahoo is yet to comment on the lawsuit but has unsurprisingly chosen to fight the legal claims against them. Their argument is based on the idea that the penalties and costs associated with such cases would be disproportionate to the harm caused. These costs? If the messaging was chosen to be wilful, violates the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, resulting in damages of up to $1500 per case. With as many as 500,000 users affected by the messaging, the costs would start to add up, not to mention the legal costs of each claim. U.S. District Judge Manish Shah did not believe that Yahoo’s objections to the lawsuits were reasonable and informed the affected users that they could sue as a group due to the similarity of their claims. Should the case against Yahoo be successful, the costs could easily have them writing a bill for millions of dollars.

Nothing is more annoying than unsolicited spam, even more so on your personal telephone. Hopefully, this case should deter other companies from sending unwanted messages to users in future should it be successful.

Revamped Yahoo Messenger Adds Unsend Feature

In an effort to bring their venerable instant messaging service back into popularity, Yahoo has revealed a new version of their Yahoo Messenger app. This revamp brings a bevy of new features of the service, most notably introducing the ability for users to access up to a year’s worth of instant messaging conversations and delete any message they sent from the inbox of both users.

The ability to unsend instant messages is made possible with Yahoo’s shift to storing IM conversations in the cloud. This both allows new functionality such as the unsend, but also saves storage space on client devices, as embedded images and attachments will be links to private web resources instead of on device. In contrast to the delete ability, also included is the social-media-esque ‘like’ function, where in both 1:1 and group chats, it is possible to ‘like’ another user’s message or image.

The changes also take advantage of Tumblr’s image handling power (which is owned by Yahoo) in order to shift away from the emoji and towards the more traditional animated gif image, which could be experiencing a revival in recent times. As well as this, Messenger also integrates a smart contacts feature, similar to the one in Yahoo Mail, powered by Xobni’s platform which is able to understand the relationship between your contacts for ease of creation for groups. They even found time to add offline features, where any messages you send while offline or suffering poor connection will be sent once connectivity is resumed.

With all of these new features added to the classic messenger, will they see you going back to the service? Or do you already find all of your IM needs elsewhere now? Let is know in the comments which IM platforms you prefer and if you’re willing to go back to Yahoo now.

Yahoo Might Decide to Sell Its Core Business

Things are not looking good for Yahoo right now, as the company is struggling with both popularity and financial issues. Lately, some of the firm’s most important executives have decided to leave, most likely because profits have been shrinking for quite some time now. In light of these events, it looks like the company might be willing want to hand over its main business to someone else. According to the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo started to hold more and more board meetings during which company leaders are talking about the possibility of selling. Consequently, even though nobody really knows what will be decided during these meetings, some private equity firms are already showing an interest.

Yahoo’s representatives have not issued an official statement about the news so far, and it’s worth keeping in mind that Microsoft tried and failed to buy Yahoo back in 2008. A deal with a large company could allow Yahoo to regain some of its former glory, even if it would need to give up on its core business. However, things could go the other way as well, as Yahoo could still try to maintain its independence and focus on viable recovery plans.

Do you think that the Sunnyvale-based company still has a chance to pull itself together?

Yahoo Mail Restricting Access If You Use An Ad-Blocker

So remember those days when you waited five minutes to load a video or had to browse through those five tabs to find the one which was playing a video you had no idea even existed? A lot of people still suffer this fate, having their internet traffic and experience trampled on by the online plague of intrusive adverts. To combat this a series of software, often plug-ins to web browsers, was released under the title of ad-blockers. These pieces of software blocked unwanted ad’s and allowed you to whitelist any adverts you did like or even whole sites which you knew you could trust. Companies dislike this approach because they have no control over what adverts are played and therefore, end up losing money, a big name to join the crowd to punish ad-blocker users are Yahoo mail.

As shown in the screenshot above, provided by Portnoyd on the Adblock plus forums, shows the welcome message they got when they tried to access their email and found that Yahoo ‘recommended’ disabling Ad Blocker to continue using the email system, even going so far as to say “Uh oh … We are unable to display Yahoo Mail”. This would be believable, Ad Blocker may accidentally block something if it’s designed in a certain way, the sad part is though the URL states ADBLK _TRAP, clearly showing that the redirect is built to prevent Ad blocker’s users from accessing the site, rather than the error it pretends to be.

Are you a Yahoo Mail user? Have you found this problem? Should companies just accept that we wouldn’t use Ad Blockers if their adverts didn’t disrupt us on a regular basis?

Even Yahoo Turns to Google as Revenue Falls

AMD, IBM and now Yahoo. It seems we currently live in an age where large organisations rather thrive or sink, and sink fast at that, hitting the ground as they fall. According to Sky News Yahoo has announced a deal with rival Google in a surprising turn to work together on advertising and internet search after its latest financial results disappointed.

Chief executive Marissa Meyer has pledged to cut costs further and focus on a new strategy for growth. Marissa went on to state the following
“We see a unique moment and opportunity for Yahoo as we move into 2016 to narrow our strategy and focus on fewer products with higher quality to achieve better growth and better results.”

The third quarter figures, which showed another three months of declining revenues, prompted a 2% fall in its share price in after-hours trading. Yahoo revealed an 8% decline in sales on the same period a year ago whilst in the last week Yahoo just like IBM and AMD  has been hit hard with a significant drop in shares.

In an unexpected and risky move, Yahoo plans to grow revenues by sending some traffic to the Google’s search engine while prudently still using Microsoft Bing. I’ve got to admit other than going on Yahoo to look at the odd news article, I haven’t used it much at all these last ten years, whilst google continues to grow stronger.

Personally I’m even in the process of filtering out my yahoo email account in favor for Gmail. Do you even Yahoo Bro? Let us know in the comments.

Extensive Malvertising Campaign Targets Yahoo!

This Malvertising Campaign is no longer active having been reported to Yahoo by Anti Malware blocker Malwarebytes, it’s still newsworthy to note the stats and techniques which targeted yahoo Ad Network for now and future reference.

According to the following statistics, yahoo and its combined websites has an estimated 6.9 Billion visits per month, which makes this attack one of the biggest targeted attacks seen recently.

  • www.yahoo.com | 6.9B monthly visits
  • news.yahoo.com308.50M monthly visits
  • finance.yahoo.com | 135M monthly visits
  • sports.yahoo.com | 112.50M monthly visits
  • celebrity.yahoo.com | 66.60M monthly visits
  • games.yahoo.com | 43.40M monthly visits

The attack leverages Microsoft Azure websites with the following domains being used,

      trv0-67sc.azurewebsites.net/?=trv0-s4-67sc

  • ch2-34-ia.azurewebsites.net/?ekrug=sewr487giviv93=12dvr4g4

This chain of events leads to the infamous Angler Exploit kit which attempts to exploit known software vulnerabilities within a person’s computer. Think of it like this, your browsing the web for cat pictures, you arrive at a site which contains a malicious link or ad, without clicking on the advert, the tool attempts to find and exploit for example a Flash or another program bug, if it’s successful it will then attempt to compromise said computer. Angler is also known for spreading the rise of Crypto Ransomware which is extremely dangerous. To allow myself a plug, and this is my first one, here’s a link to an article which I have written concerning the Windows 10 Crypto Malware.

Malware within adverts is hugely popular because it does not need the user to click on the ad for the Malware to spread. The nature of the Internet pushes these attacks at a phenomenal rate which exploits the globe. Always update your plug-ins, software, Anti Virus and Windows patches on a regular basis, we all know Flash is about as breakable as a glass hammer. Unless Adobe adapts, it will be remembered in nostalgia circles rather than a current product.

It may be wise to either uninstall or change Adobe Flash’s settings to “Ask to Activate”

Thank You Malwarebytes for providing us with this information.

Yahoo Trying to Trick Java Users into Switching Search Engines

Do you use Yahoo Search? No? Me neither. But Yahoo is hoping to change that via trickery. The internet giant has teamed up with Oracle to backdoor Yahoo Search as your default search engine when installing Java. The deal was announced by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on Wednesday and will come into effect later this month.

According to Oracle, Java is installed on 89% of desktop computers in the US, and billions of devices around the world, including mobile phones and smart TVs, which by proxy could give Yahoo a huge market boost in its effort to expand the reach of its search engine.

Yahoo has been making steps to increase the userbase of its search engine which, while once popular over a decade ago, is now lagging behind Google, and even Microsoft’s Bing, as the internet’s search engine of choice. A deal with Mozilla, making Yahoo Search the default browser for the Firefox internet browser, was greeted by groans, and this new Java deal is set for an equally negative reaction, potentially rendering Yahoo’s efforts counterproductive.

In truth, the stealth defaulting to Yahoo Search is rather transparent: a checked tickbox that can be opted out of. So, if you tend to click ‘next’ without reviewing what you are agreeing with, you deserve to be a Yahoo user. It’s an unethical tactic, using bundling in order to proliferate your product, but one that responsible computer users can easily sidestep.

Thank you Wall Street Journal for providing us with this information.

Yahoo Pays NFL to Stream a Regular-Season Game for Free

On Wednesday, Yahoo announced a partnership with the NFL to stream a regular-season football game across the globe for free.

The game between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars will take place on October 25 in London and will also air “exclusively” on Yahoo’s Web and app platforms across the globe, with the exception of the teams’ local TV affiliates—meaning that no cable or satellite network, including paid services like DirecTV Sunday Ticket, will air the game. Yahoo will rely on a CBS crew to produce the broadcast, but have not released any more information.

ArsTechnica reported:

“This confirms the news that was released in early March about plans to globally stream the contest though, at the time, neither a provider nor any possible price had been confirmed. A Sports Illustrated report on the announcement claimed that other potential bidders for the digital rights had been turned down due to their desire to attach a pay-per-view charge to the match; meanwhile, an NFL spokesperson told Sports Business Daily that the league had reached out to companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple before signing on with Yahoo.

The news comes following the NFL’s March decision to loosen its decades-old rules about blacking out local game broadcasts due to poor ticket sales, noting at the time that the league didn’t black out a single 2014-15 game.”

Yahoo has also posted:

“For the first time in NFL history, anyone with an internet connection can tune in, exclusively on Yahoo, from anywhere to watch a live football game for free. Whether you’re on your phone, tablet, laptop, console or connected device — we’ve got you covered.”

Could this be the return of free sports streaming? I certainly hope so!

Thank you to CNN for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Askmen.com

Yahoo Labs Finds Filtered Photos Are More Popular

A new paper from Yahoo Labs “Why We Filter Our Photos and How It Impacts Engagement” delves into its findings after analyzing 7.6million photos on Flickr. They found that filters boost engagement on Flickr.

Thanks to social photo sharing apps the majority of the photos we seem to see these days on the internet have been filtered. Filtered photos sure have their haters, but love them or hate them they are here to stay. Yahoo Labs found that photos that are filtered are 21% more likely to be viewed than their original and 45% more likely to be commented on.

Yahoo Labs even found that warmer filters boost engagement more than cooler filters. So now you know if you want your photos to be a bit more popular always go for warm filters. They even were able to nail down that casual shooters tend to use heavy filtering while more experienced photographers generally use filters that have a light effect. So the takeaway is if you don’t want to look like a casual photographer you need to use filters that lightly enhance the photos, not change them drastically. It sure is an interesting point, as it wouldn’t have occurred to me that choosing a filter made that much difference to how others give it their attention.

Hulu Buys Streaming Rights to the Entire Seinfeld Series for up to $180 Million

Hulu just got done striking a deal with Sony Pictures Television for the streaming rights of the beloved show Seinfeld. The deal was for the entire 180 episode series, with Hulu paying up to $180 million. There are varying reports of what the total what the claims are stating are between $700,000 to $1 million per episode.

Hulu has beaten out Amazon, Netflix, and Yahoo for the digital streaming rights to the ’90s classic American sitcom “about nothing”. This no doubt will be worth it in the long run for Hulu as the show is still extremely popular in syndication. There have been varying reports about the actual amount that the deal is for since it hasn’t been made public yet. Though some of the first reporting media outlets are saying figures of between $700,000 to $1 million per episode.

Unfortunately for Hulu customers that want to watch the show they will still have to sit through a few commercials even if they are paying customers of Hulu Plus. The commercials certainly make a lot of money for the streaming service, but also hurts its potential customer base as many users refuse to upgrade to Hulu Plus because they still play commercials.

Thank you, Wall Street Journal for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of tumblr.

How to Delete All Information Google Knows About You

Does the fact google knows more about you than you do yourself worry you?

Many members of the global community are irritated by the vast amount of information that Google collects about their searches.

Yahoo News have released an article with a guide on how to remove the information the internet giant collects:

First, here’s how to download your history:

1. Navigate to Google’s Web and App Activity page.

2. Next, click the gear icon in the top-right corner of the screen.

3. Then select Download from the drop-down menu.

You’ll then receive a pop-up window warning you not to download your search history to a public computer, as it contains a large amount of sensitive information.

4. If you want to continue, click CreateArchive.

Once your history is downloaded, you’ll receive a link in a few seconds that lets you view your data.

If you don’t want to download your data, and would rather get rid of it, you can do that as well. Of course, there are some reasons to let Google keep your search data. For one thing, it guarantees faster search results. It also ensures that Google Now has all of the latest relevant information about you. If you delete your data, your searches won’t be as tailored to your habits.

Still want to get rid of your search history? Here’s how!

Before we get started, it’s worth pointing out that if you want to keep your information hidden, you can use your browser’s privacy option, which keeps Google from saving your data — though it can still be seen by your service provider or employer.

Simply deleting you browser history won’t clear the data saved by Google, as you’re only deleting the information stored by your browser and not what’s on Google’s servers. To do that, you’ll have to:

1. Navigate to the Web and App Activity Page and click the gear iconin the top-right corner.

2. Select Remove Items and choose the beginning of time from the drop-down menu.

3.Click Remove and kiss your data goodbye.

That’s it. All of your search history will be deleted, and you’ll never have to worry about Google knowing about the time you looked for tickets to a Justin Bieber concert.

Thank you to Yahoo News and Venturebeat for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Yahoo News

Largest Ever Email Study Reveals That We All Are Very Predictable

Researchers from Yahoo labs are said to have examined more than two million users exchanging about 16 billion messages in search of patterns. In order to conduct the study, they are said to have tracked the identities of senders and recipients, the time of day emails were sent, email length, the number of attachments, the type of device used, as well as demographic factors, including age and gender.

The study concluded that younger people tend to send shorter and faster replies compared to older people and that men send shorter and faster replies than women. This might not seem as something unfamiliar to us all, but the study has been performed on an extremely wide range of users and with actual proof, meaning it gives a lot more credibility to it.

Researchers also have proved that we respond more promptly during weekdays and working hours and that we respond to only a small fraction of messages, with short replies, when our inboxes get filled with new items.

The information gathered here is not only valuable to us as, but it is also valuable to computer algorithms. Developers can then use this data to create better email management applications to help and stop us from experiencing “overload”, a scientific term used when we would rather do anything else than open our inbox.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information

Microsoft Update Takes Down Bing and Yahoo

The outages of search engines Bing and Yahoo! Search on Friday night has been attributed to a flawed piece of code uploaded to servers by Microsoft. The bad code also took down live.com, Microsoft’s Hotmail redirect, and Office 365 for a short period.

Yahoo’s search facility is now powered by Microsoft Bing, hence why both services were rendered inactive. Microsoft was forced to shut down its online servers while it corrected the error. The Bing search engine is back online, but Yahoo users are still reporting faults.

Source: The Register

EU Pushes for “Right to Be Forgotten” Online to be Applied Wordwide

The European Union is wants internet search engines, like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft’s Bing, to commit to a global scrub of search results when a person invokes their “right to be forgotten”. At present, if an EU court rules in favour of “right to be forgotten”, only search results from Europe are excised.

At a news conference, Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, head of France’s privacy watchdog and the Article 29 Working Party of EU national data protection authorities, said, “From the legal and technical analysis we are doing, they should include the ‘.com’.”

A new set of guidelines were agreed by EU watchdogs on Wednesday. The guidelines will be published on Thursday or Friday, according to Falgue-Pierrotin.

Source: Reuters

Yahoo and Microsoft Compete to Become Apple’s Default Search Engine

As Google Search’s contract with Apple nears its end, Yahoo and Microsoft are both vying to replace it as Safari’s default search engine. Yahoo have already stepped into the vacant spot Google left at Firefox, becoming their search engine of choice, and now another lucrative partnership is due for negotiation when Google’s agreement with apple expires next year.

Safari is the core browser on Apple’s Mac and iOS devices, so as such has a sizeable market penetration, making this a potentially lucrative contract. Both Microsoft and Yahoo have ongoing relationships with Apple, the former providing search results via Bing within the iPhone’s Siri, and the latter providing stock data for iOS.

Source: electronista

Yahoo Buys Photo Aggregator Cooliris

In the latest purchase by the ambitious internet corporation, mobile photo aggregation app Cooliris has been bought up by Yahoo. The Cooliris mobile app allows users to browse, share, and view photos grabbed from multiple sources, such as Flickr and Facebook.

In a statement on their website, Cooliris said of the move, “Yahoo has a clear vision and unwavering commitment to making mobile an intuitive and effortless experience. This makes Yahoo the perfect partner for Cooliris, and we are excited to come together to bring indispensable products to a worldwide audience.”

Yahoo issued a statement to TechCrunch regarding their purchase strategy, saying, “In order to build inspiring products, grow engagement, and ultimately revenue, everything starts with having the best people to help us accelerate our transformation in our growth areas,” read the statement. “As such, we are focusing on acquisitions that align with our key growth areas: search, communications, digital magazines and video.”

Source: electronista

Firefox Drops Google in Favour of Yahoo

Mozilla’s Firefox browser has abandoned Google as its search engine of choice and signed a five-year partnership deal with Yahoo. As of next month, both mobile and desktop versions Firefox will default to Yahoo Search, promising “a new search experience,” according to the Mozilla blog.

In a statement, Chris Beard, CEO of Mozilla, said, “We are excited to partner with Yahoo to bring a new, re-imagined Yahoo search experience to Firefox users in the U.S. featuring the best of the Web, and to explore new innovative search and content experiences together.” Firefox have had a similar agreement in place with Google – which provided 88% of Mozilla’s income in 2012 – since 2004, but the deal came to an end this year. Google will remain an optional search engine in Firefox, should users wish to change the default settings.

Source: TechCrunch

USA Freedom Act, the NSA Reform Bill, Blocked by US Senate

The USA Freedom Act, designed to restrict NSA powers to collect user data, has been blocked by US Senate Republicans in a vote on Tuesday. The bill, supported by tech business coalition Reform Government Surveillance, did not achieve the 60 votes required to become legislation, losing out by two votes, 58 to 42 for consideration. Only four Republicans voted for the bill to be considered.

The group Reform Government Surveillance – comprised of Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Aol, Evernote, Dropbox, Linkedin, and Twitter – strongly supported the bill and implored the US Senate to make it law earlier this week. One of the bill’s more outspoken opponents was Senator Mitch McConnell, who argued that the move would hamper the NSA’s capacity to fight terrorism. Before the vote, he said “This is the worst possible time to be tying our hands behind our backs.”

The Vermont Democrat who drafted the bill, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, accused opponents of fearmongering to defeat the bill, saying, “Fomenting fear stifles serious debate and constructive solutions. This nation deserves more than that.”

Source: New York Times

Facebook, Google, and Apple Support USA Freedom Act

A coalition of nine tech groups – comprised of Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Aol, Evernote, Dropbox, Linkedin, and Twitter – under the banner Reform Government Surveillance, have petitioned the US Senate to adopt the USA Freedom Act, designed to restrict the NSA’s power to collect user data.

In an open letter to the Senate on their blog, Reform Government Surveillance had this to say about the USA Freedom Act: “The legislation prevents the bulk collection of Internet metadata under various authorities. The bill also allows for transparency about government demands for user information from technology companies and assures that the appropriate oversight and accountability mechanisms are in place.”

A statement from the White House affirms its strong support for the USA Freedom Act. The US Senate could vote on the bill later this week.

Source: TNW

Yahoo Buys Video Advertising Platform Brightroll

Yahoo has made further inroads with its digital media strategy with today’s purchase of Chinese video marketing platform Brightroll for $640 million, making it their second most expensive acquisitions behind Tumblr, which they bought for $1 billion in 2013. Brightroll, however, has an advantage over Tumblr in that it is already profitable, a point Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was keen to stress.

Mayer said, in a statement, “Video, along with mobile, social, and native, is driving a surge in digital advertising. Here at Yahoo, video is one of the largest growth opportunities, and BrightRoll is a terrific, strategic and financially compelling fit for our video advertising business.” The purchase follows Yahoo’s recent move into producing more original video content, with Yahoo Screen rescuing TV show Community from cancellation earlier this year.

Source: Mashable