By samoore (1251644868|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)
There are three main news items related to Yahoo in the past week:
- Yahoo! oneConnect for iPhone
- Open Hack Day
- Recent Controversy over the Yahoo-Google Ad Deal
Yahoo! oneConnect for iPhone
On September 10, Yahoo released a preview of Yahoo! oneConnect, a free mobile application for the iPhone. It brings together your circle of friends and your social networks into a single easy-to-use application. Features include:
- Provides full-featured phone book that can integrate contacts from your Yahoo! Address Book, iPhone, and social networks
- Allows you to contact friends via Yahoo! Messenger or SMS
- "Pulse" view provides at-a-glance view of status updates, photo uploads, and more on different communities, social, and professional networks (—> See Photo to Right)
- Supports Bebo, Flikr, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Friendster, Twitter, Dopplr, and Last.fm, with the intention to support more networks in the future
- Email notification that alerts you when a new email arrives
- Currently compatible with Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, Gmail, and AOL Mail
My initial thoughts on the oneConnect are that it seems to be a cool application. I do not own the iPhone, but if I did I would be intrigued enough to download the preview and at least check it out. However, Yahoo does have future plans to expand the application capabilities to other phones, so possibly they will make a version for my blackberry.
One of my only concerns is that some of the features would be totally useless to me, considering I'm only in one social network, Facebook. My question then would be how this application is different from the Facebook application because it seems to mimic the features of that but add other networks as well? Also, in my email address books as well as Facebook I have contacts that I would not want integrated into my address book on my phone. I feel that this would be the case for many users, as people are members of many networks with hundreds of other users.
Open Hack Day
This year's Open Hack Day took place on Friday, September 12. For 24 hours, the public was invited to the Yahoo! campus where Yahoo opened up its interface and then the guests were encouraged to hack into their system. Before the hack, over 20 different workshops were given by Yahoos where hackers learned about the Yahoo APIs. Then the guest hackers worked throughout the night, with Yahoo hackers on hand to help if they had questions or ran into any problems. On Saturday, after the hack, 90 second demos were given from the hackers to the audience and a panel of judges. Winners for the best acts were announced with prizes awarded.
Examples of Hacks from the Competition
- Ganzbot was a feed-reading robot hacked together by Jeremy Gillick that gave stock and weather information.
- Weather Sets was a version of FireEagle that instead of saying where you were located at a certain time it did the opposite by urging you to go somewhere else. It did this by setting up a location-based game in which one had to collect sets of colored cards based on local weather and Flickr photos.
- You can find a complete Demo List on the Hack Day Website.
Wow. I didn't know something like this existed. It sounds really interesting and, from some of the blogs that I read about it, the demos sound very comical to watch. I recommend reading more about them if you are at all interested in the technological/programming aspect of computers. Even without having any background in it, I found it very entriguing. My only question that I could not find an answer to is what the purpose of these days is? Is it just to give insight to Yahoo on new programs and applications or does it help them find bugs in their system or…?
Yahoo-Google Ad Deal Controversy
In June of this year, Yahoo and Google signed an agreement that Google will provide Yahoo with ads that will run on Yahoo's search site. This partnership could potentially control more than 80% of the online advertising market. However, according to an article in the LA times, "growing scrutiny and opposition could cause problems for both Internet Companies."
On Monday, September 15, the European Union announced that it was reviewing the deal for antitrust implications. The U.S. Justice Department is also considering a formal challenge to the partnership. If the deal does not go through, Yahoo has the most to lose financially. The deal with Google could help Yahoo stay independent while also increasing its cash flow. We will have to stayed tuned to find out more information on the outcomes of these reviews and other updates on the controversy.
Additional News at Yahoo
- Yahoo expanded the capabilities of Blueprint, their mobile development platform. This includes the ability to create standalone mobile applications and mobile web sites. More info on this can be found here.