Weekend tech reading: What is Yahoo?

By on July 29, 2012, 2:38 PM

Question for a C.E.O.: What Is Yahoo? That straightforward question has so far baffled the people who run the company. I got a taste of the fuzziness when I visited Carol Bartz, then the chief executive, back in 2010. She was funny, profane and articulate, except on the question of what the company is. After five minutes of listening to her I still had no idea. Seventeen years after the company was founded, you still have to wonder whether the frothy trademark Yahoo! should be replaced with Yahoo? to convey the uncertainty of purpose. The NY Times

The story of Steve Jobs: An inspiration or a cautionary taleSoon after Steve Jobs returned to Apple as CEO in 1997, he decided that a shipping company wasn’t delivering spare parts fast enough. The shipper said it couldn’t do better, and it didn’t have to: Apple had signed a contract granting it the business at the current pace. As Walter Isaacson describes in his best-selling biography, Steve Jobs, the recently recrowned chief executive had a simple response: Break the contract. When an Apple manager warned him that this decision would probably mean a lawsuit, Jobs responded, "Just tell them if they fuck with us, they’ll never get another fucking dime from this company, ever." Wired

Raising the dead: Can a regular person repair a damaged hard drive? If you do need your data back to the point that you’re considering paying someone to retrieve it, do not freeze the drive, even as a Hail Mary. You may very well make the problem worse and end up costing yourself money. On June 22, 2012, my primary hard drive, a Samsung HD103SI, quietly passed away. There was no warning -- no grinding, no clicks, clacks, or sudden bang. One moment, I was working on a story, the next, I wasn’t. ExtremeTech

Making the switch to Internet TV You may have pondered the notion of dropping your cable TV service in favor of obtaining all of your TV through Internet-based services. It seems pretty attractive, particularly when you see subscription fees for some services running around $8 to $10 a month, and your cable TV bill is at $60 to 80 a month -- more if you like premium services. But what exactly is involved in cutting the cable? Is it really going to deliver the same TV experience you want with a real savings in your pocketbook? ITworld

Are we addicted to gadgets or indentured to work? Another day, another New York Times story about technology addiction. It's almost like they are trying to win a Pulitzer Prize or something by pandering to the preformed opinions of journalists like themselves about the evils of modern communication. Anyway, this time, the Times' Matt Richtel talked with a bunch of people in Silicon Valley who recommended "step[ping] away from the device." The basic argument is this... The Atlantic

NSA director shows up at hacker conference to recruit talent US spy master Keith Alexander courted hackers at an infamous Def Con gathering rife with software tricksters wary of police and ferociously protective of privacy. National Security Agency (NSA) director Alexander was the latest, and perhaps the most controversial, federal official to attend the annual hacker conference in Las Vegas to recruit warriors for battles being fought on the Internet. The Raw Story

Zuckerberg: Phone 'wouldn't make much sense' for Facebook Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said building an entire phone doesn't make sense for the social networking company. Despite a report Wednesday that Facebook could launch its own device manufactured by HTC as early as mid-2013, Zuckerberg said a Facebook phone is not currently in the cards. At least not one built entirely by the Menlo Park, Calif., company. LA Times

End game Curt Schilling set out to build the greatest video-game company the world had ever seen, and to get rich -- Bill Gates rich -- doing it. Instead, the whole thing exploded in his face. Drawing on exclusive interviews with the Red Sox legend and his former employees, Jason Schwartz takes us inside the chaos, arrogance, and mistakes that led to the destruction of 38 Studios and the loss of $75 million in taxpayer money. Boston Magazine

The ugly Paulistano Max Payne has always communicated through bullets. In Max Payne 3, the only difference is that he is now restrained from relying on any other means. As an ignorant foreigner, unwilling to learn the local language and expecting the impoverish locals to know his, Max forces us to play the role of the ignorant foreigner. I’ve been living in São Paulo, or Sampa for short, for almost a decade now... Nightmare Mode

Why Half-Life 2 City 17 creator Viktor Antonov left Valve Valve's one of the greatest video games companies there is. Rich and revered, invested in staff -- it's a dream place for any game developer to work at. That's why people don't leave Valve. Well, most people. Viktor Antonov left Valve, and he was art director for Half-Life 2. He conceptualised City 17, its suburbs and the alien Combine architecture and technology. Eurogamer

Bill Nye teases the return of 'Bill Nye the Science Guy' In an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit, scientist and 90s television host Bill Nye hinted that a return of his popular PBS Kids show, Bill Nye the Science Guy, may be on the horizon. Nye says that he is considering creating new episodes of the show, but that "it would have to be with the right producers, and it would have to be a less unfavorable contract." The Verge

What does Skype's architecture do? In the last few days we have seen reports in the media we believe are inaccurate and could mislead the Skype community about our approach to user security and privacy. I want to clear this up. At Skype, we continue to be humbled and grateful for the commitment to our product that we see from our truly global user community. Skype

Facebook widens ‘bug bounty’ program to combat internal breaches Facebook’s computer-security team faced a quandary after getting an unexpected tip in May. An outside researcher unearthed a weakness in the company’s network that left internal communications vulnerable to eavesdropping. Facebook engineers quickly fixed the bug. Bloomberg

Samsung's Galaxy beats iPhone, IDC report says Korean-based Samsung saw a big jump in smart phone sales in the second quarter of 2012 thanks to its release of the Galaxy S III, surpassing Apple‘s iPhone sales by more than half, Framingham, Mass. based tech research and analysis firm IDC said. Forbes

 



User Comments: 9

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cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What is Yahoo?
Something I want to forget.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Considering what China is doing, the US needs hackers in its employ to protect us. Simple as that. I just hope that the NSA can understand that they probably need the hackers more than the hackers need the NSA, and tailor their treatment of them accordingly. Hopefully both sides can meet in the middle for a fruitful partnership.

ikesmasher said:

yahoo is a joke now. They have awful news writers, their email system is worse since they changed it from the old version, and its just a mess to use. I mean, look at Chris chase articles. for the last few years yahoo has quickly gone downhill. and I only use my email accounts with them for spam and surveys.

Jillxz said:

I wanted on , but too many user reviews that said it had bad reception . So that is definitely a deal breaker for me.

ramonsterns said:

"Yeah, Valve is a big company and I'm not into that, so I'm gonna go on this other big company instead."

Antonov most likely left because he was offered a bigger paycheck.

Also, I'd watch Bill Nye the Science Guy show again.

Tanstar said:

I wanted on , but too many user reviews that said it had bad reception . So that is definitely a deal breaker for me.

No idea which of the dozen + stories above this refers to?

Zoltan Head said:

Considering what China is doing, the US needs hackers in its employ to protect us. Simple as that. I just hope that the NSA can understand that they probably need the hackers more than the hackers need the NSA, and tailor their treatment of them accordingly. Hopefully both sides can meet in the middle for a fruitful partnership.

Interesting, but I am struggling to connect it with the OP?

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"Yeah, Valve is a big company and I'm not into that, so I'm gonna go on this other big company instead."

Antonov most likely left because he was offered a bigger paycheck.

I tend to believe him. I think that most people who want to work on games won't be happy working at Valve. Valve's main business is Steam. It still produces an occasional game, but nothing high concept or that an artist would feel a real satisfaction to work on.

Jillxz said:

No idea which of the dozen + stories above this refers to?

The Samsung Galaxy 3 Bad reception .

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