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Yahoo signs ad pact with Google; earnings and revenue miss
October 20th, 2015

Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) said on Tuesday it had signed a search advertising deal with Google Inc, providing a potential boost to Marissa Mayer's efforts to turn around the company, which also reported revenue and profit that fell short of market estimates.

The deal with Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), builds on an existing search partnership Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) under which Yahoo gets a percentage of revenue from ads displayed on its sites.

Drupal Security Flaws Leave Websites Vulnerable to MySQL Sequel Injection Hack Attacks
October 31st, 2014

Word broke yesterday of a major-league security issue involving Drupal, the open source content management system (CMS) used widely in enterprises and government.

Come to think of it, "major league" doesn't begin to cover it: Drupal developers have admitted that if your installation wasn't patched before Oct. 15, 11 p.m. UTC, it's best to consider the entire site compromised.

Authenticity of Web pages under attack by hackers
September 28th, 2011

The keepers of the Internet have become acutely concerned about their ability to protect the most sensitive personal information such as account logons and credit card numbers.

Hackers cracked three companies that work with the most popular Web browsers to ensure the authenticity of Web pages where consumers type in sensitive information.

Amazon to Challenge iPad
September 28th, 2011 Inc. is expected to unveil Wednesday the latest—and possibly biggest—challenger to Apple Inc.'s dominant iPad tablet.

Few specifics are known about the tablet, and Amazon hasn't publicly acknowledged its existence, even in the invitation for an event to be held Wednesday. However, a tablet from the Seattle-based company is seen posing a threat to the iPad's dominance due to Amazon's strong media offerings, history of aggressive pricing and its ability to market the device on its popular website.

Tablets: Ultimate Buying Machines
September 28th, 2011

Retailers have found an interesting characteristic of consumers who browse their websites using tablets: They're much more likely to pull the trigger on purchases than other online shoppers.

That discovery is making retailers focus on tablets ahead of the all-important holiday season, as the tough economic backdrop puts a premium on what the industry calls "conversion" - making sure the shoppers who show up actually buy something.

Target's blunder with designer continues
September 22nd, 2011

NEW YORK — Target is a victim of its own success.

The discounter drummed up so much hype around its exclusive, limited-time line by upscale Italian designer Missoni that its website crashed and was down most of the day on Sept. 13 when the collection was launched, angering customers. More than a week later, some shoppers who bought the Missoni for Target line are posting on social media websites Facebook and Twitter that they won't shop at Target again because their online orders are being delayed — or worse, canceled — by the retailer.

Brielle deMartino, 23, from Del Ray Beach, Fla., was so excited that she woke up at 6 a.m. on the launch day and spent $700 on Missoni clothes, a bike and plates. The next day, she got an email from Target that her online order was cancelled. Then, she spent hours on the phone with Target customer service representatives she describes as unapologetic.

Facebook changes irk some of its friends
September 22nd, 2011

Facebook's latest move is testing the patience of its friends.

The world's most popular social-media site, which is making a habit of making changes and tweaks with little or no advance warning to its 750 million users, set off tons of dislikes Wednesday, angering many with a redesign that alters the look and feel of its popular profile pages.

News stories under Facebook's News Feed now top the pages instead of fresh posts from friends. Event reminders such as birthdays and friend requests are squished under a ticker-like function, part of a broader effort to give more of a real-time feel à la Twitter and upstart rival Google+, which opened its invitation-only social network to the public Tuesday. There also are newly designated categories for "close" friends, family, co-workers and others.

Google Wallet's tap-and-pay system is simple
September 22nd, 2011

The other day while buying Tic Tacs at my neighborhood CVS Pharmacy, I didn't pull cash or a credit card out of my wallet. Instead, I paid with a Nexus S smartphone from Sprint. Moments after the clerk rang up the purchase, I placed the back of an Android handset against the point of sale terminal and heard a friendly beep signifying that I had successfully used the phone to pay. The transaction took just seconds.

I've been checking out Google Wallet, the mobile payment app that can transform your cellphone into a digital wallet. On Monday, the search giant began rolling out the app to customers who own the Nexus S through an over-the-air software update. Google had been running Wallet field trials in New York and San Francisco, after first unveiling the pay-by-cellphone venture last spring. I conducted my own tests in Silicon Valley, Manhattan and northern New Jersey.

Google defends business practices before Senate
September 22nd, 2011

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt was on the hot seat Wednesday at a Senate antitrust hearing as CEOs and senators accused Google of abusing its dominance in Internet search to the detriment of smaller rivals.

Schmidt defended Google's business practices, asserting that his company "does nothing to block access to any of the competitors and other sources of information in Web searches." He opened his remarks with a reference to the Microsoft antitrust case, which nearly broke up that software company. "Many of us in Silicon Valley have absorbed the lessons of that era," he said.

Bill Gates tops 'Forbes' list of richest Americans
September 22nd, 2011

LOS ANGELES – America's economic woes don't appear to be hurting philanthropist Bill Gates, who tops Forbes' list of the 400 richest Americans for the 18th year in a row.

The magazine said Wednesday that the Microsoft co-founder's wealth amounts to $59 billion, ranking him ahead of all the other billionaires who make up this year's list.

Buildings house secret servers that keep Net humming
September 9th, 2011

CHICAGO – From the outside, the Gothic brick and limestone building a few blocks south of downtown almost looks abandoned.

Plaques identify it as a landmark completed in 1929, a former printing plant that once produced magazines, catalogs and phone books. The sign over the main door says "Chicago Manufacturing Division Plant 1."

AOL talking merger with Yahoo?
September 9th, 2011

AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong has reportedly approached private equity firms to gauge interest in a deal with Yahoo that would place Armstrong as the head of the combined company, according to a Bloomberg report.

CNBC later reported that a source close to Yahoo said the company had no interest in a deal with AOL.

Google+ opens up, takes fight to Facebook
September 21st, 2011

(Reuters) - Google Inc (GOOG.O) and Facebook trotted out a variety of new social networking features in back-to-back announcements on Tuesday, underscoring their intensifying competition for Web surfers.

Google integrated its flagship search engine into its 3-month old social network -- with membership now open to the Internet public -- and expanded its "Hangouts" video-chat feature to allow mobile use and broadcasting.

EA wants Facebook's users, $3 billion in digital sales
September 21st, 2011

(Reuters) - Electronic Arts Inc may never recover its Silicon Valley swagger. But maybe it doesn't have to, its top executive says.

Three years after EA went from being one of the hottest kids on the video games block to industry also-ran, the leaner, more focused company now hopes to take on Zynga and make $3 billion in revenue from digital game sales in the next few years.

Schmidt says Google has not cooked search results
September 21st, 2011

(Reuters) - Google Inc has not cooked its search results to favour its own products and listings, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told a U.S. Senate hearing looking into whether the search giant abuses its power.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel said on Wednesday that Google had grown into a dominant and potentially anti-competitive force on the Internet.

Google spurns Oracle $2.2 billion Android damage claim
September 21st, 2011

(Reuters) - Google Inc urged a federal judge to reject an Oracle Corp expert's recommendation that it pay more than $2.2 billion for infringing patents for Java technology used in the Android operating system.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco had on July 22 rejected Oracle's request for as much as $6.1 billion of damages, but gave the company a chance to revise its claim. A trial is scheduled to begin next month.

Google's Larry Page and Oracle's Larry Ellison Square Off in San Francisco Court
September 19th, 2011

Google Inc. and Oracle Corp. (ORCL) chief executive officers will square off in court today to resolve a dispute that may pose the biggest threat to Google's Android mobile software, now running on more than 150 million devices.

Google's Larry Page and Oracle's Larry Ellison were ordered to appear before a federal court magistrate in San Jose, California, after tussling over patents for more than a year. Oracle accused Google of infringing patents related to its Java software, and a settlement means the companies avoid the risk of having a jury decide whether Google owes royalties.

EBay vs. Craigslist Lawsuit Heats Up
September 16th, 2011

EBay Inc. (EBAY)'s lawyer said Craigslist Inc. may have "lobbied" for a criminal subpoena issued in a federal probe into allegations the online auctioneer stole confidential information from Craigslist.

The criminal subpoena issued last week and served on EBay means the exchange of documents and information in Craigslist's lawsuit against EBay should be put on hold, EBay lawyer Mark Lambert said at a hearing yesterday in state court in San Francisco.

Anti-virus firms push security software for mobile devices
September 18th, 2011

The prospect of consumers and employees physically losing information-packed mobile devices, or getting them hacked, is driving a red-hot sector of the tech industry: supplying mobile security.

Research firm IDC says global spending on mobile security is on track to balloon to $1.9 billion by 2015, up from $407 million in 2010.

Heidi Klum 'most dangerous' celeb to search on Web
September 16th, 2011

Internet surfers might want to use caution before conducting a Google search for Heidi Klum.

The Project Runway host and former model has been ranked the "most dangerous celebrity" to seek out on the Web, according to a report from McAfee.

Yahoo Hears From Potential Bidders
September 16th, 2011

Yahoo Inc. has been contacted by potential bidders for some or all of the Internet company, even as it focuses on stabilizing its executive ranks and bolstering its online-ad business, people familiar with the matter said.

Executives at private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners are among the potential bidders that have called Yahoo directors about a possible deal, but Yahoo hasn't met with the firm, one of the people familiar with the matter said. It wasn't clear precisely what Silver Lake proposed.

Customers Angry Over Revamped Pricing Are Deserting Netflix
September 15th, 2011

Some of Netflix's popularity lies in its simplicity - in its ability to serve up films and TV shows and renew subscriptions automatically, without any thinking on the part of the customer.

Until now, that is.

A new pricing scheme is forcing Netflix's 25 million customers to think about which service they want - access to online streams, access to DVDs by mail or both - and some have decided to rethink the monthly splurge entirely.

Potential Buyers Renew Their Interest in Yahoo
September 15th, 2011

With potential buyers circling above, Yahoo, the once-mighty online empire, is preparing to sell.

The technology giant, which is weighing a sale of all or parts of its business, has attracted the attention of several buyout shops and strategic investors, including the private equity firm Silver Lake, which has already approached Yahoo about a potential bid, two people close to Yahoo said.

Judge Sets Schedule in Case Over Google's Digital Library
September 15th, 2011

Google's plan to build a huge digital library remained stalled on Thursday when a federal judge set a proposed schedule for a lawsuit against the giant search company that could take the case to trial next year.

But Google and the publisher and author groups who are suing it all said they would continue to negotiate on an agreement.

IPO pipeline backs up as companies wait to dive in
September 15th, 2011

The pipeline is clogged with companies waiting to go public - and there's no sign of the blockage being removed.

There are more than 200 IPO hopefuls in the deal pipeline, the first time in a decade that so many companies have been waiting for their turn to tap the public markets, Renaissance Capital says.

AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft Reportedly in Ad Deal
September 14th, 2011

Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft, three major technology companies that have traditionally competed for digital advertising revenue, have created an unusual partnership in which they will sell ads for one another.

The move represents an effort to challenge Google, which dominates the search advertising market and has increased its efforts in display advertising.

EBay targets mobile users, hoping to seem hip
September 14th, 2011

SAN JOSE, Calif. – EBay's name is synonymous with auctions, but that's created an image problem for the online marketplace.

These days, most of the things people purchase on the site aren't sold through auctions; they have fixed prices. And, the majority of items for sale are new - not musty antiques or old collectibles.

Facebook unveils 'subscribe' option
September 14th, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) – In a nod to rival social networks, Facebook is letting its users "subscribe" to news from other members - even those they are not friends with.

Facebook said in a blog post Wednesday that it is rolling out the "subscribe" button to users in the next few days. This will let people hear from Facebook users they don't know personally - such as celebrities or political figures.

Ballmer sees Windows as key to growth plan
September 14th, 2011

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer assured analysts on Wednesday that Windows remains the software maker's financial foundation, even though slowing personal computer sales are raising worries about the operating system's ability to adapt to the new ways people and business are using technology.

"Windows is at the center of our 'go-forward' strategy," Ballmer said during a presentation held in Anaheim, near Disneyland. "We feel very comfortable that this is a smart thing to do for our customers and the smart thing to do for our shareholders."

Microsoft's Windows 8 makes a strong first impression
September 14th, 2011

ANAHEIM, Calif. – You won't typically read about a product in this column many months ahead of its presumed launch. But when that product, however early, is the next version of Windows - and so radically different from the familiar operating system software used by a billion people each day - it's never too soon to take an inside look.

Microsoft unveiled the developer preview version of Windows 8, the code name for its latest operating system, this week at its Build conference here. Though it is way too premature for Microsoft to announce specifics on pricing or availability for Windows 8, I was provided a Samsung test tablet computer loaded with Windows 8, and the touch-friendly software got me jazzed. Even as a fan of Windows 7, I can't remember ever saying that I was jazzed by a Microsoft operating system.

'Angry Birds' tops 350 million downloads
September 13th, 2011

The industry's favorite bird-tossing game doesn't appear to be showing any signs of slowing down.

TechCrunch reports Andrew Stalbow, Rovio's general manager in North America, revealed during the Disrupt event that Angry Birds has surpassed 350 million downloads since launching in late 2009.

Facebook to organize friends in 'smart lists'
September 13th, 2011

NEW YORK – It's a modern-day dilemma: You really want your Facebook friends to see that wild party photo of you wearing bunny ears. But you're not so keen on explaining it to your mother-in-law.

Well, Facebook aims to make life easier.

Beginning Wednesday, the social network will make it easier to share photos, posts and links with smaller, isolated groups of people. While the site has allowed users to separate their friends into lists since 2007, this option took quite a bit of work and only a small fraction of Facebook users took advantage of it.

Google to offer tracking opt-out to Wi-Fi owners
September 13th, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Google is making a concession to give owners of residential wireless networks greater privacy.

In a change announced Tuesday, Google will prevent residential wireless systems from being listed in a database that helps the company track people on cell phones.

U.S. in criminal probe of eBay employees
September 13th, 2011

U.S. prosecutors have launched a criminal probe into whether eBay Inc employees took confidential information from classified ad website Craigslist as eBay sought to build a rival service, a copy of a grand jury subpoena obtained by Reuters shows.

The two companies have been feuding for years in civil court over allegations that online giant eBay took a stake in Craigslist and then misappropriated confidential information while it secretly planned its own classifieds site.

Google offers new tool to shop for airline flights
September 13th, 2011

Google introduced a search tool on Tuesday for shopping for flights that pits the popular search engine against sites such as Travelocity and Kayak.

Travelers can search for flights at and filter their flight queries by price, airlines and routes. It also has a bar chart showing which travel dates are more expensive to fly. Google has been offering flight schedules since May.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Hack!
September 13th, 2011

During a "hackathon" last year, GroupMe co-founders Steve Martocci and Jared Hecht built a group text-messaging service in one 24-hour stretch. In August, the co-founders sold GroupMe to Skype for around $80 million.

Hackathons, once an obscure corner of the computer-programming world, are becoming more mainstream. The contests, which bring together computer programmers for a few days to cook up applications on the fly, are being used by entrepreneurs as a launchpad for their start-ups. Companies and other organizations also see them as a fun and cheap tool to spur innovation.

Carol Bartz inherited tough situation as Yahoo CEO
September 8th, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO – Carol Bartz never seemed the right fit at Yahoo, the popular website that fired her late Tuesday after 2 1/2 years as CEO.

Brash and profane, Bartz belied the company's mainstream culture. Of course, persistent layoffs, drooping sales and flagging employee morale didn't help.

Man accused of threatening Google exec via Twitter
September 6th, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO – A federal grand jury in San Francisco has charged a San Antonio man with harassing a high-ranking Google executive with more than 20,000 Twitter posts, some of which were threatening.

According to court records, Gregory Calvin King was arrested in Texas last month and transported to San Francisco to face charges he threatened Google vice president Marissa Mayer, the company's first female engineer.

Yahoo ousts CEO Carol Bartz
September 6th, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO – Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz was ousted late Tuesday by the Internet pioneer's board of directors.

The company says Bartz will be replaced by Chief Financial Officer Timothy Morse on an interim basis.

Bartz, 63, who joined Yahoo in early 2009, has had a rocky tenure marked by layoffs, slumping sales and discord among the company's executive ranks.

Social media connect farmers with local customers
September 4th, 2011

Locally, the only glimpse you might get of farmer Kimberlie Cole comes at markets as she sells her organically raised meats from the back of a truck, hair tucked back in a kerchief.

But when she's back at West Wind Farms in Morgan County, she likes to give her customers a glimpse into life there from her smartphone. And it might be as close as any of us get.

"We're rural. We're kind of remote," she said. "But they can see pictures and basically get a live report of what's going on."

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