Verizon Closed the Yahoo Acquisition, Meyer Ousted

News about Verizon acquiring Yahoo, a popular search engine, news, and email hosting site, have populated headlines in recent months. Today, Verizon closed out its acquisition of Yahoo. The popular does-it-all Internet site sold for $4.48 billion, with the deal closing right on schedule.

 

Acquisitions and mergers are often associated with closings of departments, divisions, and firing of employees. Now-former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was paid a $23 million severance package — now that’s a great way to get fired!

 

Verizon plans to bring together Yahoo with AOL, another one of its many subsidiaries, and form Oath. Tim Armstrong is slated to head Oath, which includes more than 50 other media brands, such as Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Verizon Digital Media Services. Armstrong was most recently the CEO of AOL before Verizon acquired it, as well.

 

Yahoo used to be the number-one search engine until now-giant Google came into play. Yahoo has had its fair share of struggles, dealing with a large-scale security crisis earlier this year. Two breaches of personal, private email accounts Yahoo hosted occurred, affecting approximately 1.5 billion — with a B, not an M — accounts.

 

The upcoming merger of Yahoo and AOL will keep approximately 85% of current employees, cutting roughly 2,100 positions. Retaining 85% of employees is considered good for a large-scale merger such as the upcoming Oath conglomerate.

 

Yahoo is slated to transform into an investment firm with a new name of Altaba Inc., although the new company is not fully formed yet. This new company will hold a 15% stake in Asia-based Internet giant Alibaba, along with a 35.5% stake in Yahoo Japan.

 

Verizon negotiated a $550 million chunk from its $4.48 billion sale price earlier this year because of its two massive data security failures.

 

What’s New With Apple: ARKit, iMac Pro, and watchOS 3

Apple is known for innovation in technology, releasing new products several times each year. The largest technology company in the world is known for releasing new versions of smartphones, computers, and other similar gadgets. Apple is expanding its already-prospective horizons and venturing into the car business, as CEO Tim Cook recently confirmed their plans to develop and produce an “Apple car.”

 

Rather than creating a sporty, fuel-efficient, trendy vehicle, Apple is hopping onboard the self-driving, autonomous car trend. The tech giant is not focused on creating eye-popping vehicles, instead opting for fully autonomous vehicles as their objective.

 

Apple hopes to advance artificial intelligence in coming years with the advent of an autonomous, Apple-brand vehicle, although no definite plans for release or mass production are set in stone at this time. While autonomous cars are very interesting, arguably more interesting than anything else Apple offers, the company has informed consumers of upcoming releases and upgraded technologies.

 

The Apple Watch will be getting a new update, watchOS 3, that should be released this fall. The touchscreen watch will also be the future home of Toy Story backgrounds and watch faces, coming around the time watchOS 3 is due.

 

Apple’s computer operating systems is getting another regular reboot, upgrading macOS Sierra to macOS High Sierra. Presenters made clear that invasive cookies will be thoroughly blocked, virtual reality devices will be easier to use, and Safari browser will be quicker.

 

The iMac Pro was mentioned, pricing starting at $4,999 — yeah, that’s a lot for a computer — featuring 6 Thunderbolt 3 ports, fast Ethernet, and more. The new, beefed-up computer is not likely to be released soon, with a release date as early as 2018.

 

Developers will be getting more help with ARKit, an upcoming, developer-friendly API. Depths of objects will be automatically gauged, along with the streamlining of placing objects on concrete surfaces, rather than playing guessing games of where they look natural.

 

 

 

Major Changes for Yahoo

After more than two decades, Yahoo will cease to be an independent company, CNN Tech reports. Verizon has completed its acquisition of the company for almost $4.5 billion. As the deal get wrapped up, Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer will step down with a golden parachute of $23 million.

 

Under her leadership, Yahoo acquired multiple start-ups hoping to be able to compete in the mobile area. But, these bets haven’t paid off as well as expected.

 

Yahoo and AOL, which is also a part of Verizon, will form a new digital media business called Oath. Verizon hopes that this will make it easier to compete for advertising dollars against such giants as Google and Facebook. There will also be reductions in the workforce. As many as 2,100 employees are likely to be laid off. This represents 15 percent of the workers. The rest of Yahoo will be named Altaba. Essentially, this will be a holding company for shares of Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant.

 

The deal took a year to complete and was almost called off after more than a billion users were affected by massive security breaches. To complete the deal after these incidents, Yahoo agreed to decrease its acquisition price by $350 million, and also has consented to split potential liabilities resulting from these breaches.

 

Yahoo is one of the Internet pioneers. The company was among the first and most recognized directories, and later portals and search engines. During the speculative mania of late 1990s, Yahoo was valued more than $100 billion. But, later it couldn’t compete with the likes of Google and Facebook. Another Verizon’s purchase, AOL, is a fallen angel as well.

 

Currently, Yahoo has a market cap around $50 billion dollars. Its buyer, Verizon, is valued at $190 billion.

 

 

Figure 1 (a.k.a. Instagram for Doctors) Receives $10 Million in Investment

For years, software developers and tech companies have attempted to create applications and social media platforms that could benefit the health industry. After all, the health industry accumulates billions per year. There is of course an ethical component as well as software and emerging technologies can add a lot of benefit to various health fields. Figure 1, also known as the Instagram for doctors, is a software developed purely for doctors and other medical professionals. In short, Figure 1 helps members share unique treatments, see rare conditions and elaborate on different cases. Figure 1 is essentially a social media developed primarily for health care professionals.

 

Founded by Gregory Levey, Figure 1 has attracted international attention and significant investment. Recently, the software has received another $10 million worth of investments from multiple companies and private firms. Kensington Capital Partners made the first round of investment. Samsung NEXT and John Hancock insurance group were among other notable investors. This latest round of investments raises Figure 1’s worth to $20 million in total. This is an impressive amount for a small startup that is only four years in the making. Based in Toronto, Figure 1 only has 50 employees as of 2017.

 

While only medical professionals such as doctors can make posts and changes to the apps contents, anybody can sign up to use the service. Figure 1 intends to keep the service under strict monitoring to ensure that it can be continued to use for purely scientific and professional use. Two-thirds of the user base is located in the United States with Latin America being the second largest demographic. However, there are users around the world attracted to Figure 1 for its unique combination of professional content and social media functioning. These latest investments totaling $10 million will help Figure 1 continue development and production for the future. These forms of professional applications could bring a new wave of technology into the medical field.

 

Apple Joins a Quest for the Perfect Car

Until now, self driving car technology has been reserved for car dealerships and high profile tech companies. Today, Apple has confirmed work on these products, which are deviations from their usual line of phones and handheld gadgets. Nevertheless, Apple has a great deal of knowledge to add to the discussion. Their global positioning systems will be revolutionary in this day and age of guidance. Self driving cars need to navigate the road, and with Apple’s contributions, this might be closer than experts previously imagined. Google has openly welcomed them to the industry, claiming that their experience with digital media will go a long way in programming these vehicles. A small coalition of Apple’s designers will abandon phones and laptops for now and focus on this extensive project. The team will still operate at Apple headquarters, but they will have a large amount of resources at their disposal. The company will be funding this endeavor just like any other project within their corporation. If success ensues within a few years, they will construct entirely new facilities for these workers.

 

This is Apple’s first entrance into the automobile market. They are ready to partner with Toyota and Nissan for the first part of the fiscal year. If things go well, we should see technological process within a few years at the very maximum. In the quest for the perfect car, self driving cars are highly lauded as examples of flawless engineering. However, imperfections are bound to occur along the way. The executive board of Apple has recognized these setbacks, stating that the road to an ideal car is often oversimplified by the public and pundits. Using adaptations from handheld gadgets, Apple plans to take a unique approach to this problem. An integrated system of cars and navigation hubs will avoid confusion and reduce the possibility of a crash.

 

Android Creator Tackles Samsung and Apple

Andy Rubin, creator of the Android operating system, is now the CEO of the startup “Essential”. The goal of Essential is create innovative and tech forward gadgets. Their first offering is the Essential PH-1, a cell phone which he hopes will rival Samsung and iPhone in popularity. Recently, Rubin conducted an interview with Steve Covich, of Business Insider-Tech Insider, in which he discussed his future plans in full (http://www.businessinsider.com/qa-with-andy-rubin-essential-ceo-2017-6).

 

Rubin’s plan is to create a platform upon which products will be compatible across all operating systems. With his platform, these products will be able to “speak” across the board to all existing devices. And in doing so, companies will be able to support the efforts other companies and the products that they offer.

 

Rubin states that his Essential Home product is not only a touch interface, but it also has an array of microphones that support far-field speech recognition. With his operating system, Rubin plans to extend developer capability to the mass-market consumer. He plans for the consumer to have a drag-and-drop capability when creating programs.

 

Rubin feels that consumers become complacent with two companies owning 40% of the market and are not inspired to come up with new innovations. With his Essential Phone, Rubin invites consumers to participate in the development of future cell phone technology. Rubin feels that the era of cell phone innovations has passed and the market is now saturated with lack-luster phone upgrades. Rubin’s goal is to “continuously produce innovation and show it to the consumer happening in real time.”

 

Rubin’s plan includes products that are completely wireless, including cell phones and laptop. He feels that consumers deserve better than devices that are useless when their connectors become obsolete. Rubin also has plans to keep his products at a reasonable price in order to reach more consumers.

 

 

Verizon Finalizes Deal to Acquire Yahoo

Yahoo, well known in the early years of the internet as a search engine and email platform, has been purchased by Verizon for 4.48 billion dollars. This deal, while substantial, is 350 million dollars less than originally announced. The decreased price is due in part to data breaches that affected more than 1 billion user accounts, as discussed further here:

While the acquisition means the end of Yahoo as an independent company, Verizon is combining the company with AOL assets (which it also purchased in 2015) to create a new company called Oath. Verizon hopes to attract the massive communities of people that used Yahoo and AOL to bolster users and get advertising revenues for Oath to rival those of Facebook and Google. The CEO of Oath will be former AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, further highlighting the combination of the two companies. The remainder of Yahoo’s assets will be renamed as Altaba. These assets include stakes in Yahoo Japan and an E-commerce company called Alibaba. The new CEO of Altaba will be former Yahoo board member Thomas McInerney.

The rest of Yahoo’s assets, including some employees, will merge fairly seamlessly with AOL and Verizon, with a few exceptions. The former CEO of Yahoo, Melissa Mayer, resigned as the deal was announced, and is rumored to be receiving a severance package of around 23 million dollars. She left an open letter to the company and her former employees, expressing gratitude for her time working there. However, some Yahoo employees may not feel as thankful. While Verizon has not officially announced any cuts, around 2,000 jobs are rumored to be on the chopping block during the integration process between AOL, Yahoo, and Verizon.

Apple Unveils DNDWD

The tech world and social media are always flooded with acronyms, but DNDWD is a bit different and you may soon start seeing it more often. The letters stand for: Do Not Disturb While Driving.” The moniker is applied to a new feature on Apple’s iOS 11, which will be released in the fall of 2017. iPhone users who opt-in to the technology will connect their devices to their vehicle’s Bluetooth system. When anyone tries to contact the driver they will receive a Do Not Disturb While Driving notification. The person making contact will also receive the option to mark the message as urgent. An urgent notification will be received by the driver.

 

Safety advocates are pleased that Apple is taking distracted driving seriously and hope that other smartphone makers will include similar features in their products. The question will be whether or not drivers use the option. For those addicted to their phones, the feature might be similar to a nicotine patch. DNDWD can be a good way for distracted drivers to develop good habits but that doesn’t mean they won’t find a way around the system once their cravings kick in.

 

For drivers who find themselves attached to their phones, using the technology will still take a great deal of will power. First, the DNDW function can be avoided entirely by not attaching the phone to Bluetooth. Second, non-drivers are able to opt out of the DNDWD mode with one easy click. Opting out might be something drivers choose to select as well. Plus, the urgent function could very easily be abused. It may be necessary for users to let their friends understand what they consider to be an urgent situation.

 

Drivers who already exercise restraint won’t need the feature much, but it can improve their likability. The option provides the driver with a polite way of declining messages, and for a reason that is increasingly respected as distracted driving accidents continue to increase.

 

Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Tested by Uber ATC Director Raffi Krikoviana

Uber ATC Director, Raffi Kirkoviana tested Uber’s self-driving cars on September 13th, 2016 to collect data involving its advanced technologies and riding experience. It took the Robotic Center at Carneige Mellon University 18 months to research and develop Uber’s latest autonomous technology. A small group of spectators were invited to observe the test drive of 14 Ford Fusions cars stimulated by cameras and radar equipment. The test started at Uber’s Advanced Technologies Campus near Downtown Pittsburgh and extended throughout the city and the Strip District. Kirkoviana shared his experience as a passenger and driver to TechCrunch.

 

 

The demostration began by an employee giving Kirkoviana a phone to use to request a ride on the Uber app. When Kirkoviana was positioned in the back seat of the Ford Fusion, he was instructed to select the ready-to-go button on a tablet that displayed a live view surrounding the automobile. He road with an engineer driver and front engineer passenger through Lawrence neighborhood, downtown, Strip District, and over 9th Street Bridge. The drive had good responses and encountered a few struggles when other automobiles were backing up or parked in a lane. The self-driving Ford Fusion also experienced a struggle while positioning on the bridge and approaching a truck.

 

 

The engineer driver had to change lanes manually when a big truck was parked in the same lane of the self-driving car and a city worker unexpectedly darted from in front of the truck. The self-driving cars received positive reviews involving its surroundings of stopped transportation, traffic lights and traffic laws. If there was a bus turning or picking up passengers, the Ford Fusion would automatically stop. The Uber’s advanced technology and intelligent software reads the red, blue and yellow traffic lights.

 

 

Kirkorian shared his experience driving autonomously back to the Uber Advanced Technologies Campus. He pressed a silver button on the console when a blue light turned-on on the dashboard. The front seat driver is able to return the self-driving back to the control of the driver by pressing a red button, the brake pedal, or accelerator pedal. He had to use the function to avoid a stopped van parked on a lane. After the test drive was over, Kirkorian described the ride as gentle with occasional stops.

 

 

 

 

Jason Hope Opens up about the Internet of Things

Successful people will tell you that for you to succeed, you must find a cause and fight for it until you succeed. This is what Jason Hope has done with his life. He has dedicated his life to the Internet of Things. This means that he invests in the field and commentates on the same. For this reason, his opinion is highly regarded in the field of the Internet of Things. Jason Hope says that the Internet of Things is the next big thing in the technology industry. For starters, the Internet of Things is not a monster like the name. Instead, it’s used to refer to the connection of many devices allowing them to synchronize with one another. Some of these devices are devices that we are accustomed to such as electronic devices, cars, street lights as well as kitchen appliances. The interconnection and the synchronization will allow sharing of information hence an increase in efficiency. This, on the other hand, will result in the reduction in waste emitted by companies.

Jason Hope has the belief that the Internet of Things will likely change business operations. This means that it will open a race between corporations as they try to implement the technology. The rush and the competition around these companies will result in a generation where all devices can connect with one another. Jason says there will come a time when a bread toasted by a toaster will communicate with the toaster signaling that the device is not doing its work appropriately. A significant change will be experienced in the way people perceive accessing the Internet.

While many people think that the internet can only be accessed using the computers and mobile phones, this is likely to change in the coming years because of the Internet of Things. In the future, people will connect to the internet using all sorts of devices. We will use our smartphones to turn off lights, make coffee and open gates. Among the big winners of the Internet of Things will be transport industry. Monitoring and maintenance will become easier making it easy to monitor the path routes followed by buses and trains. This will result in public satisfaction when it comes to public transport. With faith and confidence in the public transportation, people will leave their cars at home leading to less traffic congestion on our roads. Road conditions will also increase leading to less pollution and fewer road accidents.

Read More:  https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/26/jason-hopes-hard-line-stance-on-the-internet-of-things/

Jason Hope has lived his entire life in the State of Arizona. He even attended the University of Arizona for his undergraduate degree. Other than just being a businessman, Jason Hope is an active philanthropist donating some of his resources to help fight terminal illnesses. He loves politics, whether national politics or state politics.

Jason Hope is also active on social media. He has accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Jason regularly posts on these platforms and touches the issue of the Internet of Things. He says that the technology will benefit people living the rural and urban areas.

To learn more about Jason Hope and the Internet of Things, see his profile on Tech.co.