If Google is one of the most prominent Linux stalwarts around, Android is undoubtedly the public face of its love affair with the open source operating system. But its Linux affection runs deeper than that as the Internet behemoth uses the OS on everything from back-end servers to employee machines. Now, that deep-rooted love is beginning to cost Google, for a jury has fined it $5 million for infringing on a patent (U.S. Patent No. 5,893,120) held by Texas-bases patent troll Bedrock Computer Technologies.
If you can't beat 'em, you might as well emulate 'em, right? That's the approach Yahoo is taking, which at a press event in San Francisco announced a service called 'Search Direct.' It's basically Yahoo's take on Google Instant; as you type search queries into Yahoo Search, you'll start to see results with each press of a key, and you don't have to hit the return key. So why is Yahoo refuting that Search Direct is comparable to Google Instant?
All is again well for Mirco Wilhelm, who earlier this week lost 4,000 images uploaded to Flickr over the course of five years when a Flickr employee inadvertently deleted his account, the LA Times reports. During an email exchange, Wilhelm was told that the staff member "mixed up the accounts and accidentally deleted" his. The staffer offered to restore his account, but said his photos were unrecoverable.
Three hours later, a followup email let Wilhelm know Flickr's IT team was working to bring his photos back from the digital grave, but Wilhelm's bigger concern was losing "5 years of community membership, contact, comments, internal and external links to my photos," all of which are hard to backup locally.
In the end, the Yahoo-owned photo sharing site managed to fully restore Wilhelm's account as it was before the accidental deletion and promised to "soon roll out functionality that will allow [Flickr] to restore deleted accounts more easily in the future."
There have been rumors that Yahoo's latest round of layoffs nixed the entire Del.icio.us team, and now it appears the social bookmarking site is not long for this world, TechCrunch reports.
Former Yahoo employee Andy Baio posted an internal Yahoo team meeting slide showing various business ventures listed under three categories: Sunset, Merge, and Make Feature. Del.icio.us falls under the Sunset heading, as does Altavista, MyBlogLog, Yahoo Bookmarks, and a handful of others.
"Part of our organization streamlining involves cutting our investment in underperforming or off-strategy products to put better focus on our core strengths and fund new innovation in the next year and beyond," Yahoo said in a statement. "We continuously evaluate and prioritize our portfolio of products and services, and do plan to shut down some products in the coming months such as Yahoo Buzz, our Traffic APIs, and others. We will communicate specific plans when appropriate."
Yahoo recently handed out pink slips to 4 percent of its staff (around 600 employees) in what the company described as "a tough call, but a necessary one."
Clark Griswold went off the deep end when he received a "Jelly of the Month" membership in place of a holiday bonus check, but at least he wasn't laid off. The same can't be said for some 650 to 700 Yahoo employees expected to lose their jobs today, AllThingsD.com reports.
Yahoo's product division will bear the brunt of this round of layoffs, and mostly here in the U.S. If all this weren't crummy enough, those laid off will be asked to leave immediately.
If there's a bright side to all this, it's that the number of pink slips is about half of what was initially reported. Back in November, TechCrunch said Yahoo was planning on severing about 20 percent of its 6,500 workforce, which Yahoo said was "misleading and inaccurate."
Citing "sources close to the plans," Reuters is reporting that AOL is seriously considering merging with Yahoo, which will first require a "complicated series of transactions."
Nothing is yet imminent, but according to Reuters, the plans are in the exploratory stage. A bunch of obstacles also stand in the way of this happening, not the least of which includes a breakup of AOL's two main businesses, it's legacy dial-up service (which would be sold to EarthLink) and it's display advertising business, which would merge with Yahoo.
This is essentially the same thing AOL hoped to accomplish back in 2008 and again in 2009 before Time Warner decided to spin off AOL rather than deal with the tax headaches what would accompany a breakup.
It's already a new week, and time for another fun-filled dose of the Maximum PC No BS Podcast. This week, the guys talk about Windows Phone 7, Google TV, and a possible Aol/Yahoo merger. A brand new catch phrase is invented and subsequently run into the ground faster than the Exxon Valdez. That's a little environmental disaster humor for all of you.
Also, we're giving away some more sweet loot from Asus. Listen in to find out how you can win. Hit the jump for full contest rules.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are not standing by.
For those of you who use Yahoo Search, you may have noticed some changes lately. That's because Yahoo has begun kicking out the first in a series of search enhancements, such as search categories laid out in vertical tabs.
"With these shortcuts, you can watch movie trailers, listen to songs from an album, see the latest photos, and read the latest tweets about certain topics," Yahoo said in a blog post. "We're creating a search experience that, instead of merely presenting you with a simple list of results, lets you discover important, relevant information and get things done right after you search."
Not just for the PC, Yahoo says it also enhanced Web search for iPhones and Android devices with better organized results that tap into HTML5 technology. To see this in action, Yahoo suggests visiting m.yahoo.com on your mobile Web browser and searching for a stock quote.
Let's face it, no one's going to topple Google in the search game, at least not any time soon. That means the real race is for second place, and it's there that Microsoft's Bing and Yahoo's Yahoo Search run neck in neck.
Which search engine leads the pack from second place depends on who you ask, and if you put your faith in Nielsen's numbers, then Bing just inched ahead of Yahoo in the international search game.
"Nielsen's search data only counts genuine intentional searches that people type into a search box," Nielsen explains. "It does not include non-intended or 'contextual' searches that are automatically generated by search engines based on a person's browsing behavior."
With Nielsen's formula in place, the research firm says says Bing controlled 13.9 percent of the search market in August, up just barely from July. Yahoo, meanwhile, slid backwards 1.5 percentage points from 14.6 percent in July to 13.1 percent in August.
Yahoo plans to revamp its Yahoo Mail service, in part to improve the speed of the service in overseas markets where connections are typically slower than here in the U.S., The Wall Street Journal reports.
It's part of a project codenamed "Minty," and in addition to a faster underlying architecture, Yahoo will also be giving its email service a bit of a facelift, one that will make the service better resemble the simple design of the downloadable email app.
"We continue to innovate our product experiences, and specific to Yahoo Mail, we have been previewing our next version of email that provides higher performance, sleeker design, and great integration" with social-networking services, a Yahoo spokesman said.
The makeover comes at a time when Yahoo Mail still ranks as the No. 1 Web-based email service in the U.S. with 97 million unique visitors in August. Not only is that more than Gmail, but it's more than Gmail and Hotmail combined. At the same time, that number is down from about 107 million visitors Yahoo Mail recorded in August, 2009.