Yahoo has been holding Hack Days since December, 2005 and is steadily increasing the frequency of such events besides taking them to different countries. If last year London and Bangalore played host to the event, it will be Taiwan’s turn in September, 2008. Hack Day participants have to make web apps within 24 hrs using Yahoo’s own homegrown API. Hackers don’t walk away empty-handed as there are various prizes for them. A splendid way of scouring for talent!
Developers concerned about indexing have thus far been hesitant to incorporate Flash into websites because of the challenge involved in making the content searchable. This despite the fact that more than 98 percent of internet-connected computers have Adobe's Flash Player installed. Search engines are able to index static text and lnks within Flash SWF files, but as Adobe points out, "rich internet applications and dynamic Web content have been generally difficult to fully expose to search engines because of their changing states," a problem which also exists in other RIA technologies.
To help get over that hurdle, Adobe announced a new initiative with Google and Yahoo to make Flash files more indexable-friendly by search engines. For its part, Google says it developed an algorithm that explores Flash files in the same way a surfer does, "by clicking buttons, entering input, and so on." Any text visible to a website visitor while interacting with a Flash file is also visible to Google's algorithm. And while Yahoo isn't quite as far along as Google, the collaboration with Adobe means it's now a matter of when, not if, SWF applications become more searchable.
Missing from this latest announcement is any mention of Microsoft and its MSN Search. It remains unclear whether Adobe purposely excluded the Redmond company, which owns Silverlight (a competitng format to Adobe's Flash), or if Microsoft chose not to participate. But regardless of Microsoft's level of involvement, expect to see more Flash content, whether you want it or not.
Microsoft, still flush with search-tool cash after being scorned by Yahoo, has purchased natural-language search provider Powerset in a deal announced July 1st. Powerset will join Microsoft's core Search Relevance team and remain intact in its current San Francisco office.
To find out why Microsoft needs Powerset's technology, and to catch up on other ways that Microsoft is fighting against Google's dominance, catch me after the break.
Ars Technica reports on a case coming up in Connecticut, in which a fired CEO is taking his former employer to court for accessing his personal Yahoo account. The CEO’s former employee's access to his Yahoo account netted them over 10,000 e-mails which included privileged communications between him and his attorneys regarding his plans to sue regarding his firing. Given the recent ruling from the 9th Circuit Court that indicated personal messages sent via work equipment were off limits to search unless the employer had a policy of regularly accessing the equipment. It might seem a slam dunk for the fired CEO.
The New York Times seems to think otherwise saying that because he accessed it from a computer that wasn’t his own, and he left it open in plain sight to transmit company documents (a violation of terms of his employment contract) the company may have been justified in investigating further.
The turn out of this case may have an effect on the previous ruling, and might want to give you pause about accessing your personal email from work!
Bill Gates, who gave up his executive responsibilities at the helm of Microsoft today, forthrightly told NBC that he doesn’t think a deal with Yahoo is likely. Coming from Bill Gates – retired or not, this comment sums up the mood at Microsoft.
Yahoo’s brazen snub has sunk in and there seem to be no delusions of even the slightest possibility of a deal now, although Icahn is still interested in the deal. Someone will soon have to don Bill Gates’ mantle and devise strategies to stymie Google’s upsurge.
Google recently shut the door on Microsoft with a major online ads deal with Yahoo. Having warded off any possible threats to its throne in the immediate future, Google can look to consolidate its gains. And consolidate it will. Mark Mahney, financial analyst at Citibank Investment Research, expects Google to earn $1 billion from display ads alone in 2009.
Currently Yahoo is the leading player in the global online display ads industry – not to be confused with search ads - worth $22 billion annually. Google will be able to trim Yahoo’s lead in 2009 by auctioning display ads space across its bouquet of prime internet properties that includes Youtube, Google Videos, Images, Maps and Finance, and DoubleClick.
The internet juggernaut has finally solved its Youtube conundrum and will start feeding video ads to the website’s legion of video buffs. Mahney anticipates $500 million in Youtube display ads sales alone in 2009.
Ace corporate raider Carl Icahn - who has been vigorously pressing upon Yahoo’s board for a deal with Microsoft - has launched his blog The Icahn Report. He might use his blog to announce his course of action in the Microsoft-Yahoo takeover saga.
Although his blog doesn't currently feature anything regarding his on-going proxy battle with Yahoo, it does have fervid posts like "Corporate Democracy is a Myth" with Carl Icahn stamped all over them. Only time - and perhaps his blog - will tell whether he still favors a deal with Microsoft or is statisfied with the recent deal between Yahoo and Google.
This week, Dave, Will, Gordon, and Jeremy listen to Will's horrid attempts at wookie noises,
send off their favorite podcast producer with a sad series of goodbyes
and tears, and talk about the ramifications of Microsoft's potential
Yahoo acquisition. All this, and a report from the Lab, answers for a
ton of reader mail questions, a shout-out to our fourth and fifth
female listeners (hi!), and Gordon's extra-saucy rant of the week!