Tag: Yahoo!

Around the world in nine links flat – 03/05/09

World MapTechnology

  • Surprise – cyber-crooks are targeting Facebook. This is like shooting fish in a barrel, but Facebook participants won’t understand that until it’s too late. They are busy throwing up pages in a vain attempt to garner attention, and have to figure out that the barrel is already too big first.
  • Speaking of social networks, you only have five core friends anyway. The rest are, I guess, ‘fake friends’.
  • But if you still think you have more friends than that, Yahoo! is on their way to helping you stay caught up with them. It’s a collaboration with JS-Kit for access everywhere.


  • Everyone who disagrees with the present administration’s economic policies is now evil, at least in the eyes of Paul Krugman. Greg Mankiw is willing to bet hard money that the GDP forecasts being floated to justify the massive spending are, for the most part, bunk. Will Vegas take side bets?
  • The Fed is not only bailing out ‘unfortunate’ homeowners – now that third mortgages for widescreen TVs are passe, they are going to start funding credit card balances instead.
  • And just in case anyone is still wondering where the financial world is headed, let’s ask the world’s presently most popular prognosticator, Nouriel Roubini: Mr. Roubini, what say ye? The U.S. financial system is effectively insolvent. Ok, got it.

Fly Fishing

  • Science folks speculate that hunting trophies leads to smaller fish. There’s a lot of killing mentioned, which leads me to believe the studies may be funded by PETA. Meanwhile, down in the Keys, it’s long been known that the biggest bonefish reside in Islamorada specifically because so many trophy fish are released there during tournaments.
  • Speaking of Florida, high-income earners aren’t the only one’s who may be seeing tax hikes. Guides have long had an exemption from sales tax, but the state legislature is discussing a change to that. Ron Brooks notes (correctly) that not only will guide/charter fishing rates go up, but the bookkeeping will add additional burden to an already very hard working group of folks.
  • And finally…

  • The Roughfisher is ready for spring – it’s just that spring isn’t ready for him. Spring has been in and out of Colorado for weeks – we’d weep for the rough dude, but we’re too busy fishing. I’m not being spiteful, really I’m not.


Links for the Lazy – 1/15/09

Mixed bag


  • Google starts axing services, but Google Reader is safe for now. There might be something to all that attention data value, but it isn’t going to benefit you anyway. I’d be looking for a substitute reader (preferably desktop) just in case.
  • New Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz on the [first] dotcom bubble“I’d go to investor conferences—with standing room only at presentations by Used-Fucking-Golfballs.com—and I’d get four shareholders listening to me.” I love it.
  • XRDS-Simple at home – I’ve added Will Norris & Company’s WordPress plug-in to the previous OpenID install. Now I do my OpenID logins here instead of at a third party. As expected, works nicely.
  • Finance

  • Ready to play The Bailout Game? Personally, no. Like Hasbro with Scrabble, Parker Brothers will probably sue the makers for the likeness to Monopoly, and when that doesn’t work out they’ll join the RIAA in suing the players.
  • TED spread shrinks, so the TARP is working – Greg Mankiw concludes as such, although Citigroup and B of A equity investors might want to hold on doubling down right now.
  • Do you know what the multiplier for government spending means for you? You might want to brush up, as with the amount of public cash being dumped into failing institutions to compensate for idiocy, Zimbabwe-style currency destruction could be in your future.
  • Fly Fishing

  • Cuba Releases Hemingway Archives – Fishing Jones has more.
  • Strike indicators find love – Call it a bobber if you like, but I always laugh when high-profile guides talk about how they always see the fish eat the nymph. While using indicators.
  • Winter sucks – But the Frying Pan makes it more than tolerable.


How to resign from Yahoo!

This nifty resignation letter generator makes it easy.

(h/t to P. Kedrosky)

Jerry Yang Speaks


Getting darker.

Fed opens Yahoo Lending Facility

They’re bailing everyone else out, so why not?

Humor abounds:

In response to recent events Federal Reserve Board voted unanimously to authorize the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to create Yahoo Lending Facility (YLF) to avoid significant stock market distruption and to support Yahoo! Inc shares. Yahoo! Inc and its authorized agents will be able to borrow from the facility to support stock price.

This facility will be available for business on Monday, May 5. It will be in place for at least six months and may be extended as conditions warrant. The interest rate charged on the credit will be the same as the primary credit rate, or discount rate, at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

In addition, Yahoo! Inc shareholders who are unable to sell their shares at or above Friday, May 2 closing price, will be able to swap Yahoo! shares for the US Treasuries at the set price of $29.70 per share.

Via the Yahoo! message boards (with h/t to The Big Picture)

I figured Yahoo! would just issue some upper DECS equity units, but maybe the Fed found out there were already puts on the negative equity certificates, or something like that.

A Pyrrhic Victory for OpenID

The blogosphere is abuzz this morning about the great news for OpenID – Yahoo! is now supporting the single user sign-on process. Kinda.

While you can read the grand headlines at CNet, Mashable, or TechCrunch, cutting to the chase is what’s happening here.

This is a pyrrhic victory for OpenID. Yahoo! is now allowing you to use your Yahoo! ID as an OpenID, but they aren’t ACCEPTING OpenID to log in to their site. Acceptance as a relaying party is where the bottleneck is – something Yahoo! themselves mistakenly aluded to on their own OpenID page:

OpenID is an open technology standard that solves all of these problems. The OpenID technology will allow you to use your Yahoo! account to sign in to hundreds of web sites! And this list is growing every day…

Nice. There were at least 120,000,000 million OpenIDs in existence, including those served up by AOL, MyOpenID, ClaimID etc., and now there are something like 370,000,000 with the inclusion of Yahoo! IDs. And there are hundreds of websites you can use it on? I’d hardly call this “finally reaching critical mass.”

Technical reasoning

I’ve heard a number of reasons why OpenID has had such a difficult time, but the biggest has surely been technical. It’s justified (coming from experience), and then not.

Getting your website to accept OpenID can be a bit of a chore. If you’re a blogger, your primarily reliant on the work of smart developers in the open source community. They produce the plug-in for, say WordPress, and you download and install. If you are running a platform that isn’t getting much attention, you have to pull source from the libraries and try implementing it yourself – the same goes for any website you are running not using some “preferred platform.” And there are always associated problems to deal with – even though I prodded one outstanding developer to update a plug-in so I could accept OpenID comments on this blog, I’ve got database problems which I’m too busy (aka lazy) to fix so I can.

Conversely, putting up a simple OpenID provider is not too difficult a task. You can install a copy of WordPress MU and add the OpenID plugin. You can grab a copy of Drupal which has most of the components built into the core. Or you can just pick up some free standalone server code and spend a few more hours tweaking it yourself. You don’t yet have a critical mass of users, but you do have a functioning system.

Boiling down misaligned incentives

  • If I take the time to fix some issues and accept OpenID here, I’ve now got an additional way for people to comment. Unfortunately, they can comment right now and just as easily – I’ve therefore decided to do it next time I break a collarbone while snowboarding – I’ll have plenty of free time to fix my database since I won’t be able to ride (or cast a fly rod).
  • If I build a nifty new service and accept unmitigated OpenID-based sign-up/sign-in, I could potential gather many techno-elites as clients. This isn’t a bad proposition, but I’ll have to maintain the awareness that I’m also giving up valuable data on my users to whomever their OpenID provider is – if the providers are few and large, I run the risk that one of them is going to replicate my service and inform my new-found user base of said fact.
  • If I launch an OpenID server to provide IDs and gain significant traction, I can then gather a plethora of data on my users. I’ll know their site visitation habits, who’s blogs they comment on, and what times of the day they are active on the internet. If I’m creative, while maintaining their trust, that data could become quite valuable. If I’m already a 10,000 pound gorilla and I integrate a provider, I may not even bother with the “trust” bit.
  • It seems there is little or no incentive to accept OpenID, or I’m going to have to weigh some risks – and it is difficult to execute. Meanwhile, there are plenty of reasons to hand out IDs, and I can have a server up within hours.

    Bottom line

    Why aren’t the megaliths tripping over themselves to integrate relaying agents? The answer is simple – data. Offering OpenID on a provider-only basis could be a boon for sites – they have all the information associated with your use of their service, and can grab tidbits on your use of other websites. It presents the perfect opportunity for someone like Yahoo! to gather “social graph” information on its users without the cost associated with building (or buying) another Facebook. If you were allowed to use your third-party (or self-managed) OpenID on their site, you’d have no incentive to maintain your Yahoo! ID and Yahoo! would potentially lose two sources of information.

    What’s needed

    Acceptance is still the big issue. If millions of sites allowed OpenID, the authentication process could solve a lot of problems – it isn’t happening because there are few if any incentives to accept it. There has to be a tangible benefit for those allowing OpenIDs in (and please don’t say “but you’ll get more comments” – that’s like saying you’ll get more spam). I’m now beginning to believe that OpenID is also going to need choice, in the form of millions of OpenID providers. A dozen or so significant providers controlling hundreds of millions of accounts isn’t going to cut it. Unless of course it’s renamed OligarchyID.

    UPDATE: Marshall Kirkpatrick says don’t throw a party just yet. Pay attention to the points about extension of provider brands versus extension of the OpenID brand.

    UPDATE 2: Information Week yawns, and a press release confirms what Marshall Kirkpatrick inferred: this is about Yahoo! ID, not OpenID.

    UPDATE 3: Yahoo! could have done much better here for sure. Maybe they should break themselves up before they bring their partners down with them?

    Facebook poised to take out Yahoo!?

    Last week: a colleague asked me if I had been following the whole Facebook API bit. I said no, although I did admit I had a Facebook profile (inactive, and experimental) and he noted he didn’t (an age thing).

    The next suggestion was that Facebook, with all the attention it is getting (including that of developers), would make Yahoo! “irrelevant.”

    I’m not sure I’d stay logged into Facebook all day long to get my information, but a lot of people might. Is the come-from-behind social app a portal-killing platform or just the latest craze in a hyperactive online world?

    UPDATE: Who cares – folks are already handicapping Yahoo! suitors.

    UPDATE 2: A “neighbor” puts out a prescient analysis portending Facebook’s future. My inquiry is…it seems closed. Not index-able. How is someone to develop a persona on Facebook? And how does someone who spends a third of their time coding, a third of their time providing financial advice, and a third of their time fly fishing actually find these new “widgets?”

    Facebook “opened” themselves up. But, in the grand scheme of the internet, did they?

    Yahoo! and Symantec team up to stop bugs

    It’s being called the “joint consumer internet security service”, but it sounds a lot like a distribution agreement to me. No matter.

    Yahoo and Symantec will be co-branding Norton Internet Security tools, and offering them to Yahoo! subscribers at a pretty steep discount. The package will be wrapped around Yahoo! stuff like Mail, Toolbar, and Search.

    Norton already updates subscriptions for a price, so I look at the provided discounts as a good thing. Cheaper protection for people less inclined to buy it on their own. The offering should also have a big impact on bug distribution, as Yahoo! has a ton of customers that may take them up on the offer. The more protected machines the better.

    Click fraud laden spyware points to Yahoo!?

    Fingers are pointing at Yahoo!, who is being accused of cavorting with spyware-like apps that automatically click on site ads. Accomplices are purported to include Nbcsearch and Look2me/Ad-w-a-r-e, as well as our old friends 180Solutions.

    I’d like to hear Yahoo!’s side of this story, as I know there are plenty of other big companies out there to whom spyware paths lead, and I am sure some of them are Yahoo! advertisers too.