Yahoo!

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Posted by bender 03/31/2009 @ 23:09

Tags : yahoo!, search engines, internet, technology

News headlines
Building a case to take down Tony Soprano, I mean USC - Seattle Times
By Jerry Brewer DEAN HARE / AP A Yahoo report says USC coach Tim Floyd, left, gave at least $1000 to a handler for OJ Mayo, right. To their Pac-10 rivals (and haters), the USC Trojans have been unremorseful renegades the past few years, roaming freely...
Yahoo Makes A Twitter Clone?In Portuguese - Washington Post
We've heard that Yahoo may be unveiling a Twitter clone called Yahoo Meme. According to our tipster David Ruiz's blog (it's in Portuguese, here's the translated version), Yahoo is inviting users to test out the alpha version of a competitor to Twitter....
Google Makes It Easier To Migrate To Gmail - InformationWeek
In keeping with Perry's breakup metaphor, Google plays the role of the home-wrecker, seducing frustrated users of Microsoft Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL, and other services to give fresh-faced Gmail a go. On Wednesday, Google introduced a new migration...
paidContent.org - How Yahoo Got To Be So Bloated - Washington Post
Since she took over as CEO at the beginning of the year, Carol Bartz has been pruning the product lines at Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO). She has laid off 700 employees and killed a handful of products, including the fairly successful GeoCities, which reaches...
Is Google Insurmountable? - Wall Street Journal
In January he penned an open letter to then-new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, recommending she buy a news company such as the New York Times or Gawker. She jokingly expressed interest in an NYT deal later that month, during her first Yahoo earnings call....
Yahoo wins round in Oregon nude photo court battle - The Associated Press
(AP) — Yahoo has won a legal battle over removing nude photos that an Oregon woman claimed her boyfriend posted on its Web site without her knowledge or permission. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirms that Internet service providers such as...
Yahoo: Tops in display ads; AT&T, Verizon Wireless in ad war - ZDNet
Yahoo is the top dog in display ads in terms of display advertising and it's clear that Verizon Wireless and AT&T consider the Web a key battleground for customers, according to comScore data. In a statement, comScore ranked the biggest display ad...
Microsoft to issue bonds: Will it go shopping? - ZDNet
Microsoft could buy Yahoo's search business (highly likely) or maybe take a run at SAP (less likely). Activist shareholder Eric Jackson urges Microsoft to go shopping and notes that the software giant can easily ramp up its debt....
Cramer Totally Changes His Stance On Yahoo! (YHOO, GOOG, ADSK, MSFT) - 24/7 Wall St.
If you can believe it, Jim Cramer came on cnbc's nightly MAD MONEY and he actually changed his tune entirely on Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO). Cramer has been negative and anti-Yahoo! for longer than memory serves. He is now a Yahooligan it sounds like....
Yahoo Answers wins: Microsoft to kill QnA on May 21 - Ars Technica
It looks like Yahoo has won this round. By Emil Protalinski | Last updated May 12, 2009 4:27 PM CT Microsoft's QnA website has had a very shaky development, never quite becoming good enough to lose the beta tag, and never quite becoming popular enough...

Yahoo!

Yahoo! co-founders Jerry Yang (left) and David Filo (right)

Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) is an American public corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, (in Silicon Valley), that provides Internet services worldwide. The company is perhaps best known for its web portal, search engine, Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Mail, news, and social media websites and services. Yahoo! was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994 and was incorporated on March 1, 1995.

On January 13, 2009, Yahoo appointed Carol Bartz, former executive chairman of Autodesk, as its new chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors.

According to Web traffic analysis companies (including Compete.com, comScore, Alexa Internet, Netcraft, and Nielsen Ratings), the domain yahoo.com attracted at least 1.575 billion visitors annually by 2008. The global network of Yahoo! websites receives 3.4 billion page views per day on average as of October 2007. It is the second most visited website in the U.S., and in the world.

In January 1994, Jerry Yang and David Filo were Electrical Engineering graduate students at Stanford University. In April 1994, "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web" was renamed "Yahoo!", for which the official expansion is "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle". Filo and Yang said they selected the name because they liked the word's general definition, which comes from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift: "rude, unsophisticated and uncouth". Its URL was akebono.stanford.edu/yahoo.

By the end of 1994, Yahoo! had already received one million hits. The Yahoo! domain was created on January 18, 1995. Yang and Filo realized their website had massive business potential, and on March 1, 1995, Yahoo! was incorporated. On April 5, 1995, Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital provided Yahoo! with two rounds of venture capital, raising approximately $3 million. On April 12, 1996, Yahoo! had its initial public offering, raising $33.8 million, by selling 2.6 million shares at $13 each.

Like many search engines and web directories, Yahoo! diversified into a Web portal. In the late 1990s, Yahoo!, MSN, Lycos, Excite and other Web portals were growing rapidly. Web portal providers rushed to acquire companies to expand their range of services, in the hope of increasing the time a user stays at the portal.

On March 8, 1997, Yahoo! acquired online communications company Four11. Four11's webmail service, Rocketmail, became Yahoo! Mail. Yahoo! also acquired ClassicGames.com and turned it into Yahoo! Games. Yahoo! then acquired direct marketing company Yoyodyne Entertainment, Inc. on October 12. On March 8, 1998, Yahoo! launched Yahoo! Pager, an instant messaging service that was renamed Yahoo! Messenger a year later. On January 28, 1999, Yahoo! acquired web hosting provider GeoCities. Another company Yahoo! acquired was eGroups, which became Yahoo! Groups after the acquisition on June 28, 2000.

When acquiring companies, Yahoo! often changed the relevant terms of service. For example, they claimed intellectual property rights for content on their servers, unlike the companies they acquired. As a result, many of the acquisitions were controversial and unpopular with users of the existing services.

Yahoo! stock doubled in price in the last month of 1999. On January 3, 2000, at the height of the Dot-com boom, Yahoo! stocks closed at an all-time high of $118.75 a share. Sixteen days later, shares in Yahoo! Japan became the first stocks in Japanese history to trade at over ¥100,000,000, reaching a price of ¥101.4 million ($94,780 at that time).

On February 7, 2000, the Yahoo! domain was brought to a halt for a few hours as it was the victim of a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). On the next day, its shares rose about $16, or 4.5 percent as the failure was blamed on hackers rather than on an internal glitch, unlike a fault with eBay earlier that year.

During the dot-com boom, the cable news station CNBC also reported that Yahoo! and eBay were discussing a 50/50 merger. Although the merger never materialized the two companies decided to form a marketing/advertising alliance six years later in 2006.

On June 26, 2000, Yahoo! and Google signed an agreement which retained Google as the default world-wide-web search engine for Yahoo! following a beta trial in 1999.

Yahoo! was one of the few surviving large Internet companies after the dot-com bubble burst. Nevertheless, on September 26, 2001, Yahoo! stocks closed at a five-year low of $4.06 (split-adjusted).

Yahoo! formed partnerships with telecommunications and Internet providers to create content-rich broadband services to compete with AOL. On June 3, 2002, SBC and Yahoo! launched a national co-branded dial service. In July 2003, BT Openworld announced an alliance with Yahoo!. On August 23, 2005, Yahoo! and Verizon launched an integrated DSL service.

In late 2002, Yahoo! began to bolster its search services by acquiring other search engines. In December 2002, Yahoo! acquired Inktomi. In February 2005, Yahoo! acquired Konfabulator and rebranded it Yahoo! Widgets, a desktop application and in July 2003, it acquired Overture Services, Inc. and its subsidiaries AltaVista and AlltheWeb. On February 18, 2004, Yahoo! dropped Google-powered results and returned to using its own technology to provide search results.

In 2004, in response to Google's release of Gmail, Yahoo! upgraded the storage of all free Yahoo! Mail accounts from 4 MB to 1 GB, and all Yahoo! Mail Plus accounts to 2 GB. On July 9, 2004, Yahoo! acquired e-mail provider Oddpost to add an Ajax interface to Yahoo! Mail. On October 13, 2005, Yahoo! and Microsoft announced that Yahoo! Messenger and MSN Messenger would become interoperable. In 2007, Yahoo! took out the storage meters, thus allowing users unlimited storage.

Yahoo! continued acquiring companies to expand its range of services, particularly Web 2.0 services. Yahoo! Launchcast became Yahoo! Music on February 9, 2005. On March 20, 2005, Yahoo! purchased photo sharing service Flickr. On March 29, 2005, the company launched its blogging and social networking service Yahoo! 360°. In June 2005, Yahoo! acquired blo.gs, a service based on RSS feed aggregation. Yahoo! then bought online social event calendar Upcoming.org on October 4, 2005. Yahoo! acquired social bookmark site del.icio.us on December 9, 2005 and then playlist sharing community webjay on January 9, 2006.

On August 27, 2007, Yahoo! released a new version of Yahoo! Mail. It adds Yahoo! Messenger integration. (which includes Windows Live Messenger due to the networks' federation) and free text messages (not necessarily free to the receiver) to mobile phones in the U.S., Canada, India and the Philippines.

On January 29, 2008, Yahoo! announced that the company was laying off 1,000 employees as the company had suffered severely in its inability to effectively compete with industry search leader Google. The cuts represent 7 percent of the company's workforce of 14,300. Employees are being invited to apply for an unknown number of new positions that are expected to open as the company expands areas that promise faster growth.

In February, 2008, Yahoo! acquired Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Maven Networks, a supplier of internet video players and video advertising tools, for approx. $160 million.

Yahoo! announced on November 17, 2008 that Yang would be stepping down as CEO.

On December 10, 2008, Yahoo! began laying off 1,520 employees around the world as the company tries to deal with its financial difficulties.

Microsoft and Yahoo! pursued merger discussions in 2005, 2006, and 2007, that were all ultimately unsuccessful. At the time, analysts were skeptical about the wisdom of a business combination.

On February 1, 2008, after its friendly takeover offer was rebuffed by Yahoo!, Microsoft made an unsolicited takeover bid to buy Yahoo! for US$44.6 billion in cash and stock. Days later, Yahoo! considered alternatives to the merger with Microsoft, including a merger with internet giant Google or a potential transaction with News Corp. However, on February 11, 2008, Yahoo! decided to reject Microsoft's offer as "substantially undervaluing" Yahoo!'s brand, audience, investments, and growth prospects. As of February 22, two Detroit based pension companies have sued Yahoo! and their board of directors for breaching their duty to shareholders by opposing Microsoft's takeover bid and pursuing "value destructive" third-party deals. In early March, Google CEO Eric Schmidt went on record saying that he was concerned that a potential Microsoft-Yahoo! merger might hurt the Internet by compromising its openness. The value of Microsoft's cash and stock offer declined with Microsoft's stock price, falling to $42.2 billion by April 4. On April 5, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sent a letter to Yahoo!'s board of directors stating that if within three weeks they had not accepted the deal, Microsoft would approach shareholders directly in hopes of a electing a new board and moving forward with merger talks; this is known as a hostile takeover. In response, Yahoo! stated on April 7 that they were not against a merger, but that they wanted a better offer. In addition, they stated that Microsoft's "aggressive" approach was worsening their relationship and the chances of a "friendly" merger. Later the same day, Yahoo! stated that the original $45 billion offer was not acceptable. Following this, there has been considerable discussion of having Time Warner's AOL and Yahoo! merge, instead of the originally proposed Microsoft deal.

Analysts say that Yahoo!'s shares, which closed at $28.67 on May 2, are likely to drop below $25 and perhaps as low as $20 on May 5, which would put significant pressure on Yang to engineer a turnaround of the company. Some suggest that institutional investors would file lawsuits against Yahoo!'s board of directors for not acting in shareholder interest by refusing Microsoft's offer.

On May 5, 2008, following Microsoft's withdrawal Yahoo!'s stock plunged some 13% lower to $23.02 in Monday trading and trimmed about $6 billion off of its market capitalization.

After Microsoft's failed bid to acquire Yahoo!, Microsoft is rumored to be looking at acquiring LiveDoor, a leading Japanese portal and the leading blogging service in Japan, to strengthen its position against Yahoo! Japan.

On June 12, 2008, Yahoo announced that it had ended all talks with Microsoft about purchasing either part of the business (the search advertising business) or all of the company. Talks had taken place the previous weekend (June 8), during which Microsoft allegedly told Yahoo that it was no longer interested in a purchase of the entire company at the price offered earlier -- $33/share. Also on June 12, Yahoo announced a non-exclusive search advertising alliance with Google. Upon this announcement, many executives and senior employees have announced their plans to leave the company as it appears that they have lost confidence in Yahoo's strategies. According to market analysts, these pending departures are also impacting Wall Street's perception of the company.

On July 7, 2008, Microsoft said it would reconsider proposing another bid for Yahoo if the company's nine directors were ousted at the annual meeting scheduled to be held on August 1, 2008. Microsoft believes it would be able to better negotiate with a new board.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, calling the current board irrational in its approach to talks with Microsoft, launched a proxy fight to replace Yahoo's board. On July 21, 2008 Yahoo settled with Carl Icahn, agreeing to appoint him and two allies to an expanded board.

On November 20, 2008, almost 10 months after Microsoft's initial offer of $33 per share, Yahoo's stock (YHOO) dropped to a 52-week low, trading at only $8.94 per share.

On November 30, 2008, Microsoft offered to buy Yahoo's Search business for $20 billion.

As of December 11, 2007, Google and the Microsoft's Live Search "store personal information for 18 months" and Yahoo! and AOL (Time Warner) "retain search requests for 13 months".

Yahoo! provides internet communication services such as Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Mail is the largest e-mail service in the world with almost half the market share. In March, 2007, Yahoo! announced that their email service will offer unlimited storage beginning May 2007.

Yahoo! Mail premium service MailPlus provides additional functionality including POP/SMTP access to Yahoo! Mail accounts, although such functionality is already provided for free by Yahoo! competitor Gmail. Some MailPlus subscribers have reported difficulties in successfully cancelling their Mailplus (automatically renewed and paid by credit card) subscriptions. Although other areas of the Mailplus web interface appear to function correctly, a blank page appears when users select "cancel service" from the list of options to manage the service. It is unknown whether this error has been an accidental oversight by Yahoo! programmers, or a deliberate attempt to retain Mailplus subscription cash flows as long as possible.

Yahoo! also offers social networking services and user-generated content in products such as My Web, Yahoo! Personals, Yahoo! 360°, Flickr and Yahoo! Buzz.

Yahoo! Photos was shut down on September 20, 2007 in favor of Flickr. On October 16, 2007, Yahoo! announced that they will no longer provide support or perform bug fixes on Yahoo! 360° as they intend to abandon it in early 2008 in favor of a "universal profile" that will be similar to their Mash experimental system.

Yahoo! partners with hundreds of premier content providers in products such as Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Music, Yahoo! Movies, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Answers and Yahoo! Games to provide media contents and news. Yahoo! also provides a personalization service, My Yahoo!, which enables users to collect their favorite Yahoo! features, content feeds, and information into a single page.

On March 31, 2008 Yahoo! launched web portal shine.yahoo.com another Yahoo! property dedicated to women between the ages of 25 and 54. Yahoo! called this demographic underserved by current Yahoo! properties. With Shine Yahoo! will expand its offerings in parenting, sex and love, healthy living, food, career, money, entertainment, fashion, beauty home life and astrology.

Yahoo! has developed partnerships with different broadband providers such as AT&T (via BellSouth & SBC), Verizon Communications, Rogers Communications and British Telecom, offering a range of free and premium Yahoo! content and services to subscribers.

Yahoo! Mobile includes services for on-the-go messaging, such as email, instant messaging, and moblogging; information, such as search and alerts; and fun and games, including ring tones, mobile games, and Yahoo! Photos for camera phones. These require software to be installed on the user's device.

Yahoo! introduced its Internet search system, called oneSearch, developed for mobile phones on March 20, 2007. The company's officials stated that in distinction from ordinary Web searches, Yahoo!'s new service presents a list of actual information, which may include: news headlines, images from Yahoo!'s Flickr photos site, business listings, local weather and links to other sites. Instead of showing only, for example, popular movies or some critical reviews, oneSearch lists local theaters that at the moment are playing a certain movie, user ratings and news headlines regarding the movie. A zip code or city name is required for Yahoo! oneSearch to start delivering local search results.

The results of a Web search are listed on a single page and are prioritized into categories. The list of results is based on calculations that Yahoo! computers make on certain information the user is seeking.

Yahoo! has announced they also plan to adopt Novarra's mobile content transcoding service for the oneSearch platform.

Yahoo! offers commerce services such as Yahoo! Shopping, Yahoo! Autos, Yahoo! Real Estate and Yahoo! Travel, which enables users to gather relevant information and make commercial transactions and purchases online. In addition, Yahoo! offers an e-commerce platform called Yahoo! Merchant Solutions (also known as Yahoo! Store) and hosts more Top 500 internet retailers than any other hosted e-commerce solution. Yahoo! Auctions were discontinued in 2007 except for Asia.

Yahoo! provides services such as Yahoo! Domains, Yahoo! Web Hosting, Yahoo! Merchant Solutions, Yahoo! Business Email, and Yahoo! Store to small business owners and professionals allowing them to build their own online stores using Yahoo!'s tools.

Yahoo! also offers HotJobs to help recruiters find the talent they seek.

Yahoo! Search Marketing provides services such as Sponsored Search, Local Advertising, and Product/Travel/Directory Submit that let different businesses advertise their products and services on the Yahoo! network. Yahoo! Publisher Network is an advertising tool for online publishers to place advertisements relevant to their content to monetize their websites.

Yahoo! launched its new Internet advertisement sales system on February 5, 2007 called Panama. It allows advertisers to bid for search terms based on their popularity to display their ads on search results pages. The system takes bids, ad quality, click-through rates and other factors into consideration in determining how ads are ranked on search results pages. Through Panama, Yahoo! aims to provide more relevant search results to users, a better overall experience, as well as increase monetization -- to earn more from the ads it shows.

On April 7, 2008, Yahoo! announced Yahoo! AMP!, an online advertising management platform. The platform seeks to simplify advertising sales by unifying buyer and seller markets. The service is scheduled for release in quarter 3 of 2008.

Yahoo! Next is an incubation ground for future Yahoo! technologies currently in their beta testing phase. It contains forums for Yahoo! users to give feedback to assist in the development of these future Yahoo! technologies.

Yahoo! Search BOSS is a new service that allows developers to build search applications based on Yahoo!'s search technology. Early Partners in the program include Hakia, Me.dium, Delver and Daylife.

About 88% of total revenues for the fiscal year 2006 came from marketing services. The largest segment of it comes from search advertising, where advertisers bid for search terms to display their ads on the search results, on average Yahoo! makes 2.5 cents to 3 cents from each search. With the new search advertising system "Panama" Yahoo! aims to increase revenue generated from search.

Other forms of advertising which bring in revenue for Yahoo! include display and contextual advertising.

Working with comScore, The New York Times found that Yahoo! is able to collect far more data about Web users than its competitors from its Web sites and its advertising network. By one measure, on average Yahoo! had the potential in December 2007 to build a profile of 2,500 records per month about each of its visitors.

In March 2004, Yahoo! launched a paid inclusion program whereby commercial websites are guaranteed listings on the Yahoo! search engine after payment. This scheme is lucrative, but has proved unpopular both with website marketers (who are reluctant to pay), and the public (who are unhappy about the paid-for listings being indistinguishable from other search results). As of October 2006, Paid Inclusion doesn't guarantee any commercial listing, it only helps the paid inclusion customers, by crawling their site more often and by providing some statistics on the searches that led to the page and some additional smart links (provided by customers as feeds) below the actual url.

Yahoo! has also been criticized for funding spyware and adware — advertising from Yahoo!'s clients often appears on-screen in pop-ups generated from adware that a user may have installed on their computer without realizing it by accepting online offers to download software to fix computer clocks or improve computer security, add browser enhancements, etc. The frequency of advertising pop-ups for spyware, generated from a partnership with advertising distributor Walnut Ventures, who had a direct partnership with Direct Revenue, could be increased or decreased based on Yahoo!'s immediate revenue needs, according to some former employees in Yahoo!'s sales department.

Yahoo!, along with Google China, Microsoft, Cisco, AOL, Skype, Nortel and others, has cooperated with the Chinese government in implementing a system of internet censorship in mainland China.

Unlike Google or Microsoft, which keep confidential records of its users outside mainland China, Yahoo! stated that the company will not protect the privacy and confidentiality of its Chinese customers from the authorities.

In September 2005, Reporters Without Borders reported the following story. In April 2005, Shi Tao, a journalist working for a Chinese newspaper, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Changsha Intermediate People's Court of Hunan Province, China (First trial case no. 29), for "providing state secrets to foreign entities". The "secrets" were a brief list of censorship orders he sent from a Yahoo! Mail account to the Asia Democracy Forum before the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Incident.

The verdict as published by the Chinese government stated the following. Shi Tao had sent the email through an anonymous Yahoo! account. Yahoo! Holdings (the Hong Kong subsidiary of Yahoo) told the Chinese government that the IP address used to send the email was registered by the Hunan newspaper that Shi Tao worked for. Police went straight to his offices and picked him up.

In February 2006, Yahoo! General Counsel submitted a statement to the U.S. Congress in which Yahoo! denied knowing the true nature of the case against Shi Tao. In April 2006, Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong) was investigated by Hong Kong's Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data.

On 2 June 2006, the union representing journalists in the UK and Ireland (NUJ) called on its 40,000 members to boycott all Yahoo! Inc. products and services to protest the Internet company's reported actions in China.

In July 2007, evidence surfaced detailing the warrant which the Chinese authorities sent to Yahoo! officials, highlighting "State Secrets" as the charge against Shi Tao. The warrant requests "Email account registration information for huoyan1989@yahoo.com.cn, all login times, corresponding IP addresses, and relevant email content from February 22, 2004 to present." Analyst reports and human rights organizations have said that this evidence directly contradicts Yahoo!'s testimony before the U.S. Congress in February 2006.

Yahoo! contends it must respect the laws of governments in jurisdictions where it is operating.

Criticism of Yahoo! intensified in February 2006 when Reporters Without Borders released Chinese court documents stating that Yahoo! aided Chinese authorities in the case of dissident Li Zhi. In December 2003 Li Zhi was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for "inciting subversion".

Wang Xiaoning is a Chinese dissident from Shenyang who was arrested by authorities of the People's Republic of China for publishing controversial material online.

In 2000 and 2001, Wang, who was an engineer by profession, posted electronic journals in a Yahoo! group calling for democratic reform and an end to single-party rule. He was arrested in September 2002 after Yahoo! assisted Chinese authorities by providing information. In September 2003, Wang was convicted of charges of "incitement to subvert state power" and sentenced to ten years in prison.

On August 28, 2007, the World Organization for Human Rights sued Yahoo! for allegedly passing information (email and IP address) with the Chinese government that caused the arrests of writers and dissidents. The suit was filed in San Francisco for journalists, Shi Tao, and Wang Xiaoning. Yahoo! stated that it supported privacy and free expression for it worked with other technology companies to solve human rights concerns.

On November 6, 2007, the US congressional panel criticized Yahoo! for not giving full details to the House Foreign Affairs Committee the previous year, stating it had been "at best inexcusably negligent" and at worst "deceptive".

As a result of media scrutiny relating to Internet child predators and a lack of significant ad revenues, Yahoo!'s "user created" chatrooms were closed down in June 2005. Yahoo! News' message board section was closed December 19, 2006, due to the trolling phenomenon.

On May 25, 2006, Yahoo!'s image search was criticized for bringing up sexually explicit images even when SafeSearch was on. This was discovered by a teacher who was intending to use the service with a class to search for "www". Yahoo!'s response to this was, "Yahoo! is aware of this issue and is working to resolve it as quickly as possible".

Yahoo! is a 40% owner of Alibaba, which facilitates the sale of shark-derived products. After investing in Alibaba, Yahoo! executives were asked about this issue, and responded: "We know the sale of shark products is both legal in Asia and a centuries-old tradition. This issue is largely a cultural-practices one." However, the "cultural" claim (which is pushed by the trade) has been contested.

Yahoo! is known across the world with its multi-lingual interface. The site is available in over 20 languages, including English. The official directory for all of the Yahoo! International sites is world.yahoo.com.

Each of the international sites are wholly-owned by Yahoo!, with the exception of Yahoo! Japan1, in which it holds a 33% minority stake. Historically, Yahoo! entered into joint venture agreements with Softbank for the major European sites2 (UK, France, Germany) and well as Korea and Japan. In November 2005, Yahoo! purchased the minority interests that Softbank owned in Europe and Korea.

Yahoo! hold a state 40% stake of Alibaba. Which manages their Yahoo! China web portal.

Yahoo! logos come in many different colors and shapes. The first logo was used when the company was founded in 1995; it was red, and it had three icons on each side of it. Even though the official logo is purple, the logo used on the main page yahoo.com is red with a black outline and shadow. Sometimes the logo is abbreviated with Y!.

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Yahoo! Mail

Screenshot of the 'Classic' version of Yahoo! Mail.

Yahoo! Mail is a Web-based email (webmail) service from Yahoo!. Inaugurated in 1997, Yahoo! Mail serves over 260 million users with a 67-petabyte server in the California region. Currently, Yahoo! offers two versions of Yahoo! Mail: an Outlook-like Ajax interface powered by Yahoo!'s Zimbra introduced in 2007, as well as the traditional static-web-page "Yahoo! Mail Classic," which continues the availability of the simpler 1997-2006 interface for the brand's considerable installed base of users. In early 2008, Yahoo! started offering unlimited mail storage even to its non-paying users, in response to heated competition in the free-webmail market segment.

The history of Yahoo! Mail began with JoJo Healy, Yahoo!'s resident investment banker since November 1996, who has dealt with every Yahoo! acquisition since it was created. "No one knows your business like your employees," he said. According to him, the main question was always to consider whether to "build, buy or rent." The answer really depended on the growth of competitors and the current position of the company. The main reason to buy things was to gain speed to market.

The growth in the number of Internet users eventually boosted the e-mail technology, but also created a very competitive environment where the winner was the first company to launch a successful e-mail service and attract potential users. E-mail became one of the most important features of a Web company as it would mean regular visits from e-mail users to the website.

When Hotmail and Mirabilis (the creator of the instant messenger ICQ) were looking to be bought, Yahoo! was the first company to which both made offers. Yahoo!, however, passed on both companies as they were too expensive for Yahoo! at that time. In the end, Microsoft ended up buying Hotmail for $400 million and AOL bought Mirabilis for $288 million.

During the summer of 2002, the Yahoo! network was gradually redesigned. On July 2, Yahoo.com was redesigned and it was announced that other services like Yahoo! Mail would enter the same process. Along with this new design, new features were to be implemented, including new navigation tools, such as drop-down menus in DHTML and different category tabs, and a new user-customizable color scheme.

The launch of Yahoo! Mail Plus is part of Yahoo!'s strategic initiative to offer premium services that deliver innovative, reliable and relevant services to consumers", said Geoff Ralston, senior vice president, Yahoo! Network Services, and creator of the original Yahoo! Mail technology in 1997. "In just five years, Yahoo! Mail has grown from one million to tens of millions of users, illustrating how consumers have made e-mail an essential part of their daily lives. Through Yahoo! Mail Plus, Yahoo! continues to demonstrate leadership and innovation by offering consumers the industry's most complete and powerful e-mail solution.

On April 1, 2004, Google announced a free webmail with 1 gigabyte of storage. Though Gmail, Google's e-mail service, offered a large amount of storage, its invitation-only accounts kept the other webmail services at the forefront. Most of the major webmail providers like Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, and AOL followed Google's lead and increased their mailbox storage considerably. Yahoo! was the first provider to announce 100 MB of storage for basic accounts and 2 GB of storage for premium users. Determined not to lose customers, Yahoo! Mail then countered Hotmail and Google by increasing the storage quota of its free email accounts to 1 GB, and eventually removing a storage limit altogether and allowing unlimited storage.

On July 9, 2004, Yahoo! acquired Oddpost, a strong webmail offering that simulated a desktop email client like Microsoft Outlook. Oddpost had new innovative features such as drag-and-drop support, right-click menus, RSS feeds, and a preview pane, but it also had incredible speed, using e-mail caching to shorten response time, and many of these features were incorporated into an updated Yahoo! Mail service.

On August 30, 2007, Walter Mossberg wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Yahoo! will be releasing the new version over the next few weeks.

The New Yahoo! Mail has a revised interface which contains mostly Ajax (JavaScript and XML). It is very similar to a heavy mail client like Outlook (Drag and drop capabilities, Mail search, tabs). The new Yahoo! Mail comes with an integrated Messenger; as a result, users are able to chat with Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger contacts while reading their email.

As of August 26, 2007, the new Yahoo! Mail came out of Beta period. The development of what has now become the new interface, started since July 2004, although it is possible other prototypes were in development before then. It is currently compatible with Internet Explorer 7, Firefox and Safari as well as Camino and other Gecko based browsers. (As part of Yahoo!'s plan to eventually upgrade all of their sites to be compatible with Firefox). Although it is usable under Opera, there are slight visual problems regarding the layout.

Given that the All-New Yahoo! Mail is based on Oddpost, it features the same underlying code base, including the implementation of this design concept to minimize the amount of data sent during an email session by creating a JavaScript UI engine on the client side and sending "Datapacks" instead of reloading the whole interface on every click like a traditional webmail service (e.g. traditional Yahoo! Mail). This makes the service much faster than its counterparts.

However, unlike Oddpost, All-New Yahoo! Mail runs on a variety of OS's and browsers, and runs perfectly under Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox. On February 13, 2008, Yahoo! announced on the Yahoo! Mail blog that it would begin supporting version 3 of the Mac OS X default browser Safari, as well as the Mac versions of Firefox.

The look and feel of the new version is designed to mimic a desktop e-mail client, and it offers unlimited storage space, tabbed emails, RSS feeds, drag-and-drop capabilities, advanced keyboard shortcuts, advanced search, integration with Yahoo! Calendar and Messenger, Domain Keys, address auto-complete and more.

The All-New Yahoo! Mail also has a mascot called Liam, who is basically a little boy, who is shown in the "Help" panel as well as in the loading screen. Liam is "mail" spelled backward.

Wide-scale beta release of the new version was introduced in late 2006. In November 2006, the Mail Beta team announced plans of integrating Yahoo! Messenger functionality with the Mail Beta interface. This service was deployed in March, 2007.

Public and critical reaction to the new product has been positive, although a number of users have encountered speed issues, which can render the client very difficult to use, especially on older hardware. Each update to the Beta has included significant speed improvements, and the Mail Beta team is still focused on improving speed issues. For example, the earlier versions of Mail Beta featured a loading screen every time you access mail. However, with various updates Mail Beta now appears immediately (no loading screen).

On August 26, 2007, Yahoo! Mail left beta and now the two versions which exist are known as Yahoo! Mail (the default interface) and Yahoo! Mail Classic (an updated version of the current interface). The announcement was made on the Yahoo! Mail blog by John Kremer, Vice President, Yahoo! Mail and the major improvements relate to intelligent shortcuts, SMS Messaging, and improved search.

The final version was released on October 9, 2007.

In addition, an Easter egg was added called a Subject-O-Matique. This hidden feature displays a random message in the subject line when the subject button is clicked. The messages range from cultural references ("I AM the walrus") to sarcastic ("If you don't tell lies, at least you don't have to remember what you have said.") to unusual and outlandish ("the art of driving a giant, nuclear powered duck").

On December 15, 2008, Yahoo! Mail introduces features to make it more social.

In late 2006, Yahoo launched an API for Yahoo! Mail Plus.

Mail Classic is, since the launch of the new Yahoo! Mail, an optional secondary User Interface for Yahoo! Mail. Although the AJAX interface is the default one, Classic is available for users who are unable to, or prefer to use the legacy style interface.

Starting in May 2007, Yahoo! started to roll out to its users an "unlimited" amount of email storage.

Users can get around the Web browser access restriction by using software that simulates a POP3 server to which the e-mail application connects. YPOPs! and FreePOPs are examples of free software applications that allow e-mail clients access to webmail (including Yahoo! Mail) services through POP3.

Yahoo! Business E-mail is a combination of all their e-mail services with 10 distinct accounts each with the same features of the plus version and personalized domain name and e-mail address. Accounts can be managed by an administrator. There is $25 set-up fee and $9.99 monthly fee to use this service. Unfortunately yahoo is apparently still working out how to allow their business mail clients to access their email accounts from certain mobile smart phones and PDAs. According to yahoo's website, for now, you can access your Business Email only from a BlackBerry. Yahoo says it plans to make business email compatible with more devices in the future.

Yahoo! Mail Vice President John Kremer on June 19, 2008 announced the tripling of the size of its free online e-mail service with the launching of 2 domains as options for its 266 million users of "@yahoo.com" addresses: the new, simpler e-mail addresses ending in ymail.com and rocketmail.com. Rocketmail has a "hip retro feel" since it is a resurrected email address of a 1997 Yahoo service. E-mail under the ymail and rocketmail domains will offer all the same features as the Yahoo domain, with an unlimited amount of storage capacity, with ability to instant message from within their e-mail inbox and spam and virus protection.

Like most free Webmail providers, Yahoo! Mail is often used by spammers to provide a "remove me" email address. More often than not, these addresses are used for the express purpose of verifying the recipient's address--thus opening the door for more spam. However, Yahoo! does not tolerate this practice. It terminates accounts connected with spam-related activities without warning, and spammers lose access to any other Yahoo! services connected with their ID.

In February 2006, Yahoo! also announced their decision (along with AOL) to give some organizations the option to "certify" mail, by paying up to one cent for each outgoing message, allowing the mail in question to bypass Yahoo's and AOL's inbound spam filters.

In 2002, in order to prevent abuse, Yahoo! Mail had filters that changed certain words (that could trigger unwanted Javascript events) and word fragments into other words. "Mocha" was changed to "espresso", "expression" became "statement", and perhaps most damaging, "eval" (short for "evaluation") became "review". The widespread unintended effects of this can be seen by using search engines to find such nonsensical terms as "prreviewent"(prevalent), "reviewuation"(evaluation) and "medireview"(medieval).

When asked about these changes, Yahoo! explained that the changed words were common terms used in Web scripting, and were blacklisted to prevent hackers from sending damaging commands via the program's HTML function.

As of February 7, 2006, the Yahoo! Mail filters no longer substitute certain words for others. Although the change may have occurred prior to this date, Yahoo! Mail now prefixes an "_" (underscore) to certain suspicious words and word fragments.

Sending a test email from a non-Yahoo! Mail account to a Yahoo! Mail account with the words "Mocha", "eval", "Javascript", and "expression" in a sentence resulted in the Yahoo! Mail filters prefixing an "_" (underscore) to those words, resulting in "_Mocha", "_eval", "_Javascript" and "_expression". This prefixing removes the threat of the words acting as commands via the program's HTML function by rendering them as non-commands or unrecognizable commands. As of June 9, 2006, only the terms "expression" and "javascript" were prefixed with an underscore ("_").

There is also offered a spam filter called SpamGuard and an ability to set up custom filters. One problem that can be encountered is that the spam filter is applied before any custom filters you create. This results in some emails which you may wish to have directed to your Inbox or some other folder to be sent to your Bulk folder instead.

Incoming mail to Yahoo! addresses can be subjected to deferred delivery as part of Yahoo!'s incoming spam controls. This can delay delivery of mail sent to Yahoo! addresses without the sender or recipients being aware of it. The deferral is typically of short duration, but may extend to several hours. Yahoo! does not specifically document this policy in detail, although some information is available.

Messages replied or forwarded from local Yahoo! Mail accounts split up conversations in Gmail, because their subjects contain parameters in the local language, instead of "Re" or "Fwd:".

We continuously evaluate abuse patterns in registration usernames to help prevent spam, fraud and other inappropriate behavior. A small number of people registered for IDs using specific terms with the sole purpose of promoting hate, and then used those IDs to post content that was harmful or threatening to others, thus violating Yahoo!'s Terms of Service.

Since the beginning of 2008, many users have experienced a failure of the search function in which it either fails to retrieve any messages, or (occasionally) just a small subset. In most cases, it is due to a corrupt index associated with the specific account. A request to the Yahoo! Mail support team for asking for a "rebuilt index" usually suffices to fix that error.

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Yahoo! Groups

Yahoo! Groups operate as both electronic mailing lists and Internet forums. Group messages can be posted and read by e-mail or on the Group homepage, like a web forum. Members can choose whether to receive individual e-mails or daily digest e-mails, or to read the posts at the web site. Some Groups are simply announcement lists, to which only the Group moderators can post, while others are discussion lists.

As well as providing e-mail relaying and archiving facilities for the many lists it hosts, the Yahoo! Groups service provides additional functions on the web site, such as voting and calendar systems and file uploading. The basic mailing list functionality is available to any e-mail address, but a Yahoo! ID is required for access to other features.

Yahoo! Groups competitor is Google Groups.

Yahoo! Groups was launched in 1998 as a logical extension of services that had already been developed by Yahoo - message boards, calendars, profiles. Yahoo! Groups were first known as Yahoo! Clubs. Unlike previous Yahoo products, this product was designed to allow much deeper levels of user control over creation, membership and overall direction of communities. Development was led by Doug Hirsch (product management) and Matt Jackson (lead engineer), both of whom have since left the company.

Yahoo! Groups quickly grew to be one of the largest traffic-generating products within the Yahoo! network of services; even today the site is typically one of the Top 5 page-view generating sites across the Yahoo network.

In 1999, Yahoo acquired eGroups.com, one of the most popular mailing list products at the time. About 8 months later, Yahoo merged the eGroups.com functionality with Yahoo Groups, resulting in some complaints from users of both adult services.

Yahoo Groups languished between 2000 and 2005. In 2001 Yahoo! deleted adult groups from its search directory, making it very difficult to locate Yahoo! groups with adult content. A Yahoo! user who wishes to find a group with adult content must therefore either know the exact name of the group, or attempt to find it by using a search engine or one of several online adult group directories. This has created what some view as an "underground" atmosphere for Yahoo! adult groups. While it is unclear whether the intention of Yahoo! was to diminish the number or merely the easy availability of these groups, adult groups on Yahoo! have continued to increase. In 2005, a revived ability to generate revenue through targeted search-related advertising resulted in renewed interest, which has slowly received new features since then.

As of Spring 2006, Yahoo! has discontinued the chat feature in Yahoo! Groups.

As of February 20th, 2009 the search feature for messages has stopped working. The official Yahoo! Groups blog has stated that Yahoo! is working to fix this problem, but as of March 12th, 2009 the search feature is still not working.

Yahoo Groups are also plagued by poor customer service, often a complete lack of it. They are particularly difficutl to contact. Yahoo also arbitrarily designating groups as “adult”, often for material which has been posted by spammers.

New members can join groups by themselves, or may be invited by a moderator to join. A Group receives a web address and an e-mail address when it is created, and can be listed in one of the Yahoo! Group directory categories if desired. It is also possible to switch on an "adult content" warning, which must be agreed to each time a member visits the Group. .

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Source : Wikipedia