Yahoo has launched a new software update for its email app. Among other features like link and video previews and in-app account 

It uses Android’s native fingerprint authentication, meaning that it’s supported on any Android devices featuring fingerprint sensors. Users who decide to take advantage of the feature will be able to access their email accounts with a tap of their fingers, with the system helping to ensure others are locked out.

The embrace of mobile biometric security follows a broader trend, with other major email services like Microsoft Outlook also taking advantage of smartphone fingerprint sensors to offer enhanced security.

The move comes at an awkward time for Yahoo, which recently confirmed that half a billion users’ account credentials had been exposed in a security breach in 2014. The addition of biometric security may offer some relief to users anxious about their account safety, but of course with respect to the just-announced security breach, it comes a couple of years too late.

Source : http://findbiometrics.com/


Categorized in Science & Tech

The deal is aimed at boosting mobile search volume and share for the Bing network.

Microsoft has struck a syndication deal with CBS Interactive for the Bing search network.

The partnership makes Bing Ads the exclusive search provider for some CBS Interactive sites, including Findarticles.com, Searchnow.com, Store.com, and ZDsearch.com. Bing will also provide search solutions for properties like CNET.com, MySimon.com and Search.com. The deal includes traffic from all devices in Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and United States.

With 70 percent of search volume on the CBS Interactive portfolio coming from mobile devices, syndication could give Bing a bit of a stronger mobile story. Bing currently has less than 3 percent mobile market share in the US — well below Google’s more than 91 percent and behind Yahoo’s 5 percent share — according to Statista. CBS Interactive claims more than 300 monthly visitors across its sites.

“CBS Interactive will help us bring additional scale and opportunity to advertisers and marketers as we continue our mission to connect customers with publishers and audiences in ways that will maximize ROI for their marketing campaigns,” said Steve Sirich, General Manager of Bing Ads Marketing at Microsoft, in a statement.

“Partnering with Bing allows us to provide an enhanced search experience to deliver quality results and incremental value to both users and marketers alike,” said Shane McGilloway, Senior Vice President of Strategy & Development at CBS Interactive. “The Bing Network team delivers valuable insights, business intelligence and an enhanced platform for paid search advertising.”

Over the past two years, syndication deals have been a key focus for growing Bing market share. Bing has entered into deals with AOL, Yahoo, The Wall Street Journal, Apple’s Siri and Spotlight search, and Amazon Fire, among others.

Source : http://searchengineland.com/

Categorized in Search Engine

A new method for searching the web is needed to allow IoT devices to independently and securely discover other “things” in the connected world of the future.

We are all intimately familiar with the experience of “googling” a keyword(s) on a Web browser search engine to find related websites. For example, searching for “best French restaurant” in Google or Yahoo will return a list of many websites that are related to this topic. However, this key feature of the current Web will have to be fundamentally reworked for the new types of devices that are expected to join the Web as part of the Internet of Things (IoT). I mean, just how is it going to work when your fridge needs to do a search for something - and it will before too long?

Traditional web search engines

When thinking about any technology evolution, it is useful to first understand how the current generation of technology works before we try to predict what will happen in the future. So let’s briefly review how search engines work today.

Search engines primarily utilize automated programs called Web crawlers to discover and visit every possible website in the Internet. At each visited website, the Web crawler makes a copy of the website content and records it back in a large database at the search engine. This database is then analyzed off line, and a fast lookup index is created so that a rapid search can be performed every time a human user sends a keyword search request. The result of the lookup will be a ranked list of website addresses (i.e. Uniform Resource Indicators - URIs) that corresponds to the keyword that was searched for. In the current Web all the information transferred between the Web browser, website and the search engine server uses the ubiquitous and well known HTTP protocol.

The search engine problem in IoT

The existing Pull model of information exchange where the search engines sends out web crawlers to discover webserver information will unfortunately not work for most IoT cases. There are several reasons for this.

First, many IoT devices will be battery or solar powered and thus will often be “sleeping” in a low power mode when not performing their intended function. For example, a high temperature sensor in a remote industrial application may only be physically activated when its hardware gets heated above a certain temperature. When this happens, the sensor will get activated and send an HTTP message to a central controller to report an alarm. Below this temperature the sensor will be inactive and in sleep mode. So in general this temperature sensor will not be discoverable by web crawlers sent out by a traditional search engine as it will be sleeping most of the time and will not respond.

Secondly, many IoT devices will be located in semi-closed networks that will block traditional search engine web crawlers from discovering them. For example, a fitness center may freely allow web crawlers to discover their treadmills and other exercise equipment. However, the fitness center will definitely block discovery, using a security firewall, of IoT devices like electronic door locks and video cameras for security and privacy reasons.

Emerging solutions

A key solution for the IoT search problem is currently being standardized in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Specifically, a new type of search engine called a Resource Directory (RD) is being defined. This will be a very distributed search engine, with multiple RDs expected for a given geographical area like a city. IoT devices are expected to register their web addresses (URIs) to their local RD in Push model. This will typically be done when the IoT device is first installed and powered up.

Then when a search request is sent to the RD, the RD will first do access control and other security checks to make sure that only authorized parties are allowed to discover the relevant information. For example, suppose the fridge in my house wants to discover my home electricity meter to check the current time-of-use charge rate. The fridge wants to use this information to adjust its internal temperature up or down, within a certain bound, to reduce my electricity costs. In this case, the RD that serves my neighborhood will allow my fridge to discover the electricity meter URI because it knows that they are both part of my home network and are trusted devices. However, if an IoT device from my neighbor’s house made a similar request, the neighborhood RD would return an error message as that foreign device is not authorized to make that search query.

In addition to the IETF, another important body contributing to solving the challenges of IoT web searches is the Hypercat consortium. They are developing specifications that will allow inter-exchange of data between data hubs in different domains. This will allow, for example, exchange of data between a neighborhood RD and Google’s global search engine.

A bright future

A major reason for the success of the Web over the last 20 years has been the use of search engines to organize and make a huge amount of web information easily accessible to human users. If we wish to continue this success with the billions of IoT devices that are expected to join the Web over the coming years, then we will have to keep innovating. Fortunately, with next generation solutions like the IETF’s Resource Directory concept, and the Hypercat meta-data specification under development, and very much more on the horizon, it looks like search engine evolution is definitely keeping good pace with all the other parallel innovation going on in the worlds of 5G and IoT.

Source : http://www.networkworld.com/article/3111984/internet-of-things/web-search-engines-for-iot-the-new-frontier.html

Categorized in Internet of Things

Most people completely ignore their spam folders. But I scour mine to find the latest scam, which acts like cyber-flypaper for all sorts of swindles.

Recently I got a message congratulating me on winning something from “Yahoo YHOO +% Inc.” The subject line simply read “Yahoo Promotion.”

Of course, it was some kind of fraud designed me to open an attached file and download a virus, malware or some other malicious software. Or they simply wanted to steal personal information for the purposes of identity theft.

So I didn’t open it.

Most likely, the scam was a ruse to get me to provide personal information like a bank account or Social Security number. Needless to say, I didn’t take this any further and jettisoned the email from my spam folder.

According to Yahoo! Answers, this is how the swindle works:

“You can not win something you did not enter or play. Besides, Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, Microsoft MSFT +%, MSN and Aol do not have lotteries, reward programs, promotions, or contests.

It is a scam to get your personal information and/or money.

  • Do not respond to it.
  • Report it, forward it to the FTC here.
  • For Yahoo, report them here. Choose “fraud” as the reason for the violation you’re reporting on.
  • If the E-mail appears to be impersonating a bank or other company or organization, forward the message to the actual organization.”

Sadly though, I can imagine some naive person opening that file and sending personal identification and getting fleeced through an identity theft scam. Although no one knows for sure how many get deceived by this fraud, it’s probably more than what authorities are saying.

What kinds of red flags should you look for? Here are some more tips from the FTC:

Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.

Check Them Out. Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.

Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up.

Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, mortgage assistance, or a job. They might even say you’ve won a prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear.

Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Wiring money through services like Western Union WU +% or MoneyGram is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. That’s also true for reloadable cards like MoneyPak, Reloadit or Vanilla.

Talk to someone. Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, consult an expert — or just tell a friend.

John Wasik is the author of "The Debt-Free Degree," "Keynes's Way to Wealth"and 13 other books. He writes and speaks about money across the globe. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Source : http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2016/08/28/scam-alert-yahoo-promotion/#5b1641743542

Categorized in Internet Privacy

For years, Yahoo has been criticized for failing to understand what it really is.

Is it a search engine? A web portal? A news site? An advertising tech company? All of the above?

Well, based on how Yahoo describes its competition in itslatest quarterly filing, it looks like Yahoo still has no clue what it really wants to be.

Here's what it says:

"We face significant competition from online search engines, sites offering integrated internet products and services, social media and networking sites, e-commerce sites, companies providing analytics, monetization and marketing tools for mobile and desktop developers, and digital, broadcast and print media.

In a number of international markets, especially those in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, we face substantial competition from local Internet service providers and other entities that offer search, communications, and other commercial services."

What does that mean? It means Yahoo's competing in all of these areas one way or another:

- Online search

- Internet services, like email

- Social media

- E-commerce

- Data analytics

- Marketing and advertising technology

- Messaging

- Media

For a company that generates about $5 billion a year, that's a lot of different areas to be in. Yahoo's scattershot approach is also pretty interesting when you compare the language to how other companies describe their competition.

Here's what Google says:

"We have many competitors in different industries, including general purpose search engines and information services, vertical search engines and e-commerce websites, social networks, providers of online products and services, other forms of advertising and online advertising platforms and networks, other operating systems, and wireless mobile device companies...Our competitors are constantly developing innovations in search, online advertising, wireless mobile devices, operating systems, and many other web-based products and services."

Here's Facebook:

"We face significant competition in every aspect of our business, including from companies that provide tools to facilitate communication and the sharing of information, companies that enable marketers to display advertising and companies that provide development platforms for applications developers."

Here's Twitter:

"Although we have developed a global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time, we face strong competition in our business. We compete against many companies to attract and engage users, including companies which have greater financial resources and substantially larger user bases, such as Facebook (including Instagram and WhatsApp), Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Yahoo, which offer a variety of Internet and mobile device-based products, services and content."

And Amazon:

"Our businesses are rapidly evolving and intensely competitive, and we have many competitors in different industries, including retail, e-commerce services, digital content and electronic devices, and web and infrastructure computing services."

At least Yahoo is now under a restructuring plan that will narrow its focus to three platforms (search, email, Tumblr) and four content verticals (news, finance, sports, and lifestyle), as well as its Gemini and Brightroll ad offerings. And with its sale to Verizon, it's likely Yahoo will be a much more focused company. Still, it's an interesting reminder that spreading a company's resources too thinly across many different areas often don't work.

Source : http://www.businessinsider.com/yahoo-still-has-no-idea-what-it-is-2016-8

Categorized in Search Engine

ISLAMABAD: In 2013, after Yahoo acquired Tumblr, a micro blogging website, many financial analysts thought that Yahoo would move away from troubled waters and join ranks with the likes of Facebook and Twitter, if not Google.

Marissa Mayer indeed made a good bet by acquiring the blogging platform for $1.1 billion but unfortunately the acquisition failed to turn things around for Yahoo. Revenues fell, though Yahoo snatched back some market share from Google in 2015 after a deal to replace Google as the default search engine on Firefox browsers in the US.

Despite several acquisitions and organisational changes, profits continued to tumble and eventually the company was put up for sale in 2016. Now in hindsight, we can identify four reasons why a company valued at more than $100 billion in year 2000 ended up getting acquired for less than $4 billion in 2016.

Do you Yahoo!?

After 21 years, board of directors at Yahoo still has no idea if Yahoo is an internet technology company or is it a media powerhouse. For most users, Yahoo is an obsolete search engine; for some, Yahoo is synonymous to Yahoo Mail and for many, it is a finance news portal.

The organisational identity crisis resulted in an unbridged gap between its internal self-image and its market positioning. Yahoo was the ‘go-to destination’ to find good content on internet but it failed to develop a new niche after the dot-com bubble burst.

Yahoo is a buzzkill when it comes to acquisitions.

It acquired more than 110 companies since its inception but only a few had a strategic fit with its core business. Yahoo has shown a poor track record in general when it comes to managing million dollar acquisitions. Yahoo failed to monetise the $5.7 billion Broadcast.com, an internet radio company and had to close operations of GeoCities – a web hosting company that it acquired for over $3.6 billion. Yahoo did the same with Delicious and Flickr.

A hands-off approach to product development

Unlike Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook and Larry at Google, co-founders of Yahoo essentially disconnected themselves with decisions related to the product design. Product managers called the shots who would prepare extensive requirements elicitation documents for engineers to execute – with little room for feedback.

Creativity was not a priority and there was no culture of process improvement. Things never changed even when underdogs started to steal Yahoo’s thunder and grab its market share.

Missed opportunities

In 2002, Yahoo failed to close a deal with Google co-founders when they asked for $1 billion. Eventually when Yahoo’s CEO went to them with the reluctant offer, Google raised their valuation to $3 billion.

Similarly in 2006, Yahoo approached Facebook with an offer of $1 billion. Though Mark Zuckerberg declined, it was widely known that an offer of $1.1 billion would have got the deal approved by Facebook’s board.

In 2008, Microsoft approached Yahoo with a takeover bid of over $44 billion. Yang resisted the offer and made up a “stockholder rights plan” as a poison pill to make the company unattractive for takeover. Eventually in 2012, Yang stepped down from the board leaving the company in dire straits.

Final word

An internal memo written by a Yahoo employee in 2006 (called Peanut Butter Manifesto) highlighted that the company wants to do everything and be everything – to everyone. The “fear of missing out” and the inability to focus on a core business contributed to the downfall of an internet pioneer.


Categorized in Search Engine

Days after Verizon announces it will acquire Yahoo, Yahoo is testing a new search bar at the top with a missing logo at the left.

Less than a week after Verizon announced it will buy Yahoo, Yahoo is testing a new search interface.

The new interface removes the Yahoo logo from the top left of the screen, makes it a bit smaller and moves it to the right side of the screen. This leaves an open white space at the top left, maybe potentially for the Verizon logo? Probably not. It would be too soon for Yahoo to test Verizon branding on their properties, I would think.

With this user interface change, you will also see a new box at the top right that opens up a Yahoo services navigator. Also, the search button is blue, instead of the Yahoo purple.

Here is a screen shot from all google testing blog.

Yahoo tests a new SERP interface


Categorized in Search Engine

“POETIC” is how Marissa Mayer, the boss of Yahoo (pictured), described the sale. Others, remembering better times at Yahoo, see little that is artful about the decline and fall of the 22-year-old internet company. On July 25th, Verizon, a telecoms giant that is also America’s biggest mobile operator, announced it would buy Yahoo’s main internet business for $4.8 billion (a price that does not include the firm’s properties in Asia or its portfolio of patents). The sum is paltry compared with Microsoft’s offer of $45 billion in 2008, which Yahoo’s management turned down, arguing that the firm was worth far more.

Four years ago, when Ms Mayer, an early Google executive and an engineer, arrived to try to reverse the fortunes of Yahoo, the firm’s Silicon Valley headquarters brimmed with optimism. For more than two decades, Yahoo had been torn between its identity as a media company that made content and a technology company that provided tools for people to use online. It seemed that Ms Mayer could be the leader to settle on a single identity and direction (see timeline).

Instead, she spent on everything and hoped something would work. Early on came the purchase in 2013 of Tumblr, a social network and blogging platform, for $1.1 billion, even though, according to an insider, it was about to run out of cash. Yahoo has since written down most of the purchase price. To beat out Google she inked a pricey, five-year deal with Mozilla, owner of Firefox, a browser; Yahoo became Firefox’s default search engine at an annual cost of more than $375m. As for Yahoo’s own core business, revenues are falling by a tenth each year as consumers and advertisers migrate from desktop computers and the internet firm’s products. Its gross profits fell by 44% between 2012 and 2015 and its costs, including those of an overstaffed headquarters, rose sharply.

Verizon’s shareholders must hope that the firm absorbs the lessons of Yahoo’s decline alongside its assets. But investors who know it well are near unanimous that this week’s deal may not fare all that much better than some of its target’s past ones, says Jonathan Chaplin of New Street Research in New York. Certainly, Verizon makes no claim to be able to restore Yahoo to its former glory. Rather, it reckons Yahoo could help buttress its main business of selling mobile-phone

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subscriptions. This has slowed now that most people have smartphones, which are falling in price.

“Yahoo brings viewers; viewers bring advertising; advertising brings top-line growth,” is how Fran Shammo, Verizon’s chief financial officer, sums up the firm’s thinking. Last year it spent $4.4 billion on AOL, another former dotcom darling. With both Yahoo and AOL it will achieve much-needed scale: in America it will command the second-most visited set of web properties. Only Google beats it now (see chart).

Scale makes sense because buyers of digital ads want to spend money where they can find large audiences. Every last percentage point of growth in global online advertising last year (outside China) went to Google and Facebook, notes Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research, which tracks digital ads, among other things. The two giants together control over half of the US mobile-advertising market, compared with Yahoo’s 2.4% and Twitter’s 3.4%.

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Google and Facebook have invested heavily in technology that allows them to sell digital ads in an efficient, automated fashion. Verizon is hoping to take them on. Advertising is going through (yet another) digital transformation, meaning that marketers are not only spending more money online but also using technologies to buy ad space more efficiently, targeting their message to the specific people they are interested in. AOL has a smoothly functioning new platform for this, but Yahoo underinvested. Verizon reckons it will be able to use AOL’s technology to sell a lot of Yahoo’s inventory of ads to marketers.

All the same, Verizon will be taking on rivals whose main business is advertising, and in which they each have more than a decade of experience. It will need to move nimbly, not something telecoms firms are known for. Another reason why Verizon may struggle to challenge Facebook’s and Google’s duopoly has to do with new plans from the telecoms regulator. Internet-service providers and mobile carriers like Verizon know more about their customers than do Google and Facebook. They know their billing addresses, their precise location at any moment and all their online habits, says Harold Feld of Public Knowledge, an advocacy group.

So Verizon is now betting it will be able to muster data about all of its 113m retail subscribers and bombard them with targeted ads as they browse apps or websites owned by Yahoo and AOL. Advertisers are much taken with the possibility. For example, McDonald’s, a fast-food chain, could choose not to advertise to people who have visited a store recently and instead go after those who prefer Burger King. This kind of “geo-targeting”, as it is known, has long held promise but eluded advertisers.

But the Federal Communications Commission has proposed rules that could challenge this vision. The regulator may soon require that mobile-phone subscribers opt in to any sort of advertising by outside parties instead of automatically allowing it. Many, of course, would opt out. Investors in telecoms firms have paid insufficient attention to the discussions in Washington, DC, thinking them too wonky to worry about, says Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson, a research firm.

Watching people’s physical whereabouts may already be a step too far for consumers, and could spark an immediate backlash over privacy. Verizon has recently had a run-in with privacy advocates over its use of “zombie cookies”, which allowed it to track its customers’ online browsing even when they opted out; it then shared the data with other firms. The company had to pay a small fine earlier this year.

Verizon’s deal does have one thing on its side: low expectations. Any success it has with its purchase of Yahoo is all upside, says Mr Chaplin. By contrast, during her reign, Ms Mayer was dogged by unreasonably high expectations, along with near-constant scrutiny. Verizon has the freedom to say next to nothing about how its advertising business does in the near term. Such relative invisibility may allow it to press on with the radical surgery, such as slashing headcount, that Yahoo has needed for years but never received.


Categorized in Others

Struggling internet search engine Yahoo is bought out by US telecommunications giant Verizon in a deal worth $6.5 billion.

The deal sees Verizon pay $US4.83 billion ($6.5 billion) for Yahoo's core business, excluding its successful Asian ventures - a 15 per cent stake in the Chinese online marketplace Alibaba and its 35 per cent holding in Yahoo Japan - as well as some patents.

The value of those remaining assets is estimated at around $US40 billion ($55 billion).

Verizon is expected to combine the business with the internet firm AOL, which it bought last year for $US4.4 billion ($5.9 billion).

AOL's chief executive Tim Armstrong told Bloomberg that his company had been considering a tie up with Yahoo for some time.

The logic behind the deal is to build scale to take on the might of Google and Facebook.

"We talked about ways to combine on scale, through content and ad inventory," Mr Armstrong said of his discussions with Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer in 2014.

"We were at about 500 million to 750 million users then. Today we are at about 1 billion users and we want to get to 2 billion in the next four years."

Mr Armstrong also said the focus of the combined business would be building on its base of existing brands, not merging everything under one banner, meaning the key Yahoo brands are likely to stay.

Yahoo 'mercy killing'

Yahoo has been on the market since February.

The company was an early internet pioneer when it was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo as an online directory and web portal 22 years ago, but it has struggled to keep up with younger and more nimble rivals such as Google and Facebook, and the advent of social media.

Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon Analytics LLC, told Bloomberg that Yahoo had run out of options for internal revival.

It's a mercy killing. They need to get some adults in the room to run the show at Yahoo.

"The most logical way to do that is within the AOL structure."

While the core of the business is going to Verizon's AOL, Ms Mayer said she will stay on to manage the still very valuable rump of Yahoo.

Ms Mayer was brought in from Google in July 2012 to turn Yahoo around after several years of turmoil in which it burned through five chief executives in as many years.

The company has been the subject of speculation about its future as far back as 2008, when Microsoft made an unsolicited bid to buy the firm for around $US44.6 billion ($60 billion), which was rejected at the time for undervaluing the company.


Categorized in Search Engine
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