Monthly Archives: January 2011

YAHOO! INC. (YHOO.O)

picked this up this evening, from reuters.com company profile of Yahoo!

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Yahoo! Inc. (Yahoo!), incorporated in 1995, together with its subsidiaries, is an online media company. The Company attracts users every month through its technology and engaging content and services. To users, it provides online properties and services (Yahoo! Properties or its Owned and Operated sites). To advertisers, it provides a range of marketing services designed to reach and connect with users of its Owned and Operated sites, as well as with Internet users beyond Yahoo! Properties, through a distribution network of third-party entities (its Affiliates) that have integrated the Company’s advertising offerings into their Websites, referred to as Affiliate sites, or their other offerings. The Company generates revenues by providing marketing services to advertisers across a majority of Yahoo! Properties and Affiliate sites. Its offerings to users on Yahoo! Properties fall into four categories: Integrated Consumer Experiences, Applications (Communications and Communities), Search, and Media Products and Solutions. In November 11, 2009, it acquired Maktoob.com, an online portal in the Middle East with users from the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Dubai. In May 2010, the Company acquired Koprol.

The Company’s marketing services offerings include the display of graphical advertisements (display advertising), the display of text-based links to an advertiser’s Website (search advertising), listing-based services, and commerce-based transactions. The majority of its offerings are available in more than 25 languages. Yahoo!’s mobile services are available across the Company’s network of properties and through partnerships. Yahoo! has distribution partnerships with more than 80 carriers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) around the world for distributing its mobile services.

Integrated Consumer Experiences

The Company’s Integrated Consumer Experiences offerings include the Yahoo! Home Page, My Yahoo!, Yahoo! Toolbar, Yahoo! Local, and Connected TV. These offerings are generally provided to users free of charge. The Company generates revenues from these offerings primarily from search and display advertising. Yahoo! Home Page (www.yahoo.com) is a navigation hub and starting point into Yahoo! Properties and the Internet, through a personal computer (PC) or mobile device. My Yahoo! is a personalized start page that delivers registered users information of personal interest to registered users through a user-customized interface.

Yahoo! Toolbar is a Web browser add-on that enables users to access Yahoo! Properties and third-party content through applications from anywhere on the Web. Yahoo! Local is a stand-alone local search offering, which helps users find local business listings and related content, such as recommendations, user reviews, merchant photos, and maps. Connected TV seamlessly integrates the Internet into the television experience in an open platform.

Applications

The Company’s Communications offerings, including Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger, provide a range of communication services to users and small businesses across a variety of devices and through its broadband Internet access partners. The Company offers some services free of charge to its users and also provides some services on a fee or subscription basis. It generates display advertising and fees revenues from these offerings. Yahoo! Mail provides users with e-mail functionality. In addition to its free e-mail service, for a subscription fee, it offers Yahoo! Mail Plus, an e-mail service that provides features, such as a display-ad-free interface. Yahoo! Messenger instant messaging service provides an interactive and personalized way for people to connect and share experiences on a real-time basis. Yahoo! offers mobile applications for Yahoo! Messenger.

The Company’s Communities offerings, including Yahoo! Groups, Yahoo! Answers, and Flickr, enable users to organize into groups and share knowledge, common interests, and photos. Yahoo! Groups provides members with shared access to information, such as message archives, photo albums, event calendars, and polls. Yahoo! Answers is a service where anyone can ask and answer questions on any topic. Flickr is an online photo management and sharing service that makes it easy for users to upload, store, organize, and share their photos. In addition to the basic service, Flickr offers a fee-based service with unlimited storage, uploads, and an advertising-free browsing and sharing interface. Yahoo! offers mobile applications for Flickr.

Search

The Company’s Search offering is available free to users. It generates revenues through its Search offerings on Yahoo! and affiliate sites. Yahoo! Search, its search technology, provides users with a free search capability with search results ranked and sorted based on relevance to the users’ search query.

Media Products and Solutions

The Company’s Media Products and Solutions offerings are designed to engage users with online content and services on the Web organized into Media, and other offerings and services. Its online Media properties include news and entertainment destinations on the Internet. It generates revenue on its Media properties from display and search advertising and fee-based services. The Company’s Media properties include Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Sports and Yahoo! Entertainment & Lifestyles.

Yahoo! News provides stories from news agencies that are aggregated by its editorial team and augmented by in-house generated content focused on up-to-the-minute news coverage with video, text, photos, and audio. Yahoo! Finance provides a set of financial data, information, and tools that helps users make informed financial decisions. The content is primarily provided through relationships with a number of third-party providers. Yahoo! Sports offers free and fee-based fantasy games, up-to-the-minute sports news, real-time statistics, scores and game updates, broadcast programming, integrated shopping, and an online sports community. Yahoo! Entertainment & Lifestyles represents a collection of properties that provides users with information, and other engaging content centered around culture-related themes and activities with sites, such as Yahoo! Movies, Yahoo! Music, Yahoo! TV, including Prime Time in No Time, which provides recaps of the previous evening’s prime time television shows, celebrity news (omg!), Yahoo! Games, and women’s lifestyles (Shine). In addition, its Media properties also include Websites devoted to specialty topics, such as Yahoo! Health, Yahoo! Tech, Yahoo! Education, and Yahoo! Weather.

The Company’s other offerings and services include Yahoo! Shopping, Yahoo! Travel, Yahoo! Real Estate, Yahoo! HotJobs, Yahoo! Personals, Yahoo! Autos, and Yahoo! Small Business. On these properties, users can research specific topics, products, services or areas of interest by reviewing and exchanging information, obtaining contact details or considering offers from providers of goods, services, or parties with similar interests. It generates revenue from listing fees, transaction fees, and display and search advertising on many of these properties, as well as from subscription fees for hosting, registering domains, and other services to small businesses seeking to maintain a Website. It also has properties tailored to users in specific international markets, which include commerce (auctions), blogging, and social networking Websites. Commerce properties, primarily based in its Asian markets, allow prospective buyers and sellers to enter into an online auction for goods, for which the Company earns a posting and transaction fee. These properties include Wretch and Monday in Taiwan.

The Company competes with Google, Inc., Microsoft, AOL, Inc., Facebook, Inc., and MySpace.com.

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Guard yourself against scams

I’VE BEEN ROBBED!
You’re browsing Facebook and suddenly one of your friends instant messages you to tell you they’re stuck in another country, they’ve been robbed, don’t have a wallet, and need money to get home.

IDENTITY THEFT
Criminals target a middle-class, middle-aged person with a steady job and a good credit history. They use details from the person’s Facebook account to find out where they live, work and go on holiday. The hacker steals their mail to get enough information to get a bank loan.

PHISHING
A hacker accesses an account and uses it to post links on each of that user’s friends’ walls. Friends will receive messages such as “Check out this funny video of you!” with a link that redirects to a fake Facebook login page.

KOOBFACE WORM
A user receives a message purporting to be from a friend, including a link to a YouTube video. If you click on the video, you will be prompted to “upgrade your Flash player now” and asked to download a file which contains the Koobface worm.


Spoted this on SMH.com.au, January 23, 2011

‘Facebook hackers stalk the network’ by Mark Russell


Indonesia! Indonesia! Indonesia!

I had pre-booked my flights to Indonesia (for end-Nov 2010) once I found out I am not able to carry-forward my annual leave from 2010, and I had disagreed to taking every Friday off for the rest of the year – I had 8 days.

I was really looking forward to the trip as I had never been to the country before. The months and weeks leading up to the trip, I did loads of reading (the Internet is really something) on Wikipedia, Trip Advisor and forums. All the reading made me feel like I already know Bandung, Bali and Jakarta very well. It was a different story when I was there… While the directions / places I had identified were correct, the journey between the hotel and these places were not what I had expected. It was looking ‘dangerous’ and crowded with small residences (read: huts, wooden houses) filling up the streets or any available space in between the tall commercial buildings. Oh, not forgetting the stalls-on-wheels too and the constant vehicle honks! One can go mad in the midst of the chaos if one is not prepared.

I did enjoy Indonesia as my Bahasa Malaysia helped me to socialise and my open-mindedness allowed me to embrace the charm and warmth of Indonesia. The use of technology had allowed me to track my paths in Indonesia and made a few new friends! Brilliant, isn’t it?

Bandung (3d 2n):

Stay – at Holiday Inn, in Dago area and surrounded by factory outlets (not the busy Cihampelas ones). The hotel was under-going renovation and the staff is very friendly. I had good chats with the receptionist, front-desk, bar tenders (one of them put a weird twang to his English but nevertheless it was pleasant), security and concierge. I definitely will stay there again (and get my rewards points along the way). And I heard over the local TV channel news that Ariel (Peter Porn fame) was having his trial at the local court nearby…

Leisure – I finally made my first trip to the volcano (Mt Tangkuban Perahu – means ‘overturned boat’), believe it or not it is an active volcano! Booked a private tour from the hotel and the 1-hour drive (30km north of Bandung) up to the mountain was a pleasant one. I got to see the rural Indonesia – paddy fields, tea plantations, sloppy roads, bullock carts, taxi horses, motorcycles everywhere. The initial reaction upon sighting the crater for the very first time is priceless. Yes, there were plenty of tourist guides trying to make a few thousands off you – you just need to be wary. I got one of the guides to bring me to the other crater where I can witness it up-close. The hike was 30-mins downwards, so it was a pleasant walk with the cool mountain air. And, you guessed it – we had 4 other “salesmen” who followed us down the track. Every tourist must really look like an easy target for them. But seriously, after chatting with them – they are the nicest people in the world – even after you tell them you do not want to buy anything post-multiple persuasions from them, they still will chat with you. They do not expect a lot from you (monetary-wise) but if you tip them well, they are very grateful. They are after all just trying to earn a living – and most of them live in the villages within the vicinity. My volcano guide does not have electricity in his home… and I must be blessed with what I have in Singapore and KL.

Shopping – I got that really-needed pair of jeans – two pairs, in fact. As advised by my driver, I went to Toko Tiga instead (popular with locals and Malaysians) rather than the Cihampelas area (which is too commercialised).

Toko Tiga paperbag

Clubbing – I even had a chance to go clubbing at ‘Embassy’ and enjoyed local rock band talent show at ‘Score!’ Both are within the same complex in CiWalk. The rock band show was great and really made my trip felt worthy. I even managed to be friends with the bouncer there – so maybe next time I go back, I will get free entry! 🙂

Coffee – Managed to also get a cappuccino at Starbucks on my last day (at Plaza Dago, just 5 mins walk away from the hotel). One of my lunches during my stay was Sundanese food (which my driver took me to) – it was really spicy but really tasty and way better than those you find back home. And of one my dinners, I went to a local food court-like area and had ‘sio mai’ (dumpling) and ‘batagor’ (another form of dumpling).

Sio Mai

Batagor

I did not manage to go around Bandung city during the day as it was really a short stay. So, that will happen in my next trip there. Any takers?

Photos – Indonesia Trip 1 (Facebook)

Bali (4d 3n):

Stay – I stayed at Ida Hotel in Kuta area (10-min drive from airport, and 3-min walk to the beach and nightclubs). A very simple hotel, next to a primary school and I had the luxury of living in a bungalow with an open bathroom. The main door lock was a wooden latch – how about that?

Leisure – Bali had loads of to-do’s but one needs to be focused. I was more the scenery person and I had wanted to see those amazing temples by the water… So, I had a personal driver for two days – recommended by the concierge from Holiday Inn Bandung, and the guide in Bali turned out to be owner of a tour agency there. So, he (and his wife) took me around Bali in his C-Class. Haha. Talk about luxury for a good price… So, I managed to squeeze in visits to temples – in-land to those in a lake and on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean. The scenery was just breath-taking. The country-side was also great with the cool air – lunch on first day was overlooking Mt Batur while the second day I had the view of a vast paddy field. It was really blissful!

Nightlife – I walked around the Kuta beach and the streets in the evening and ended up in 2 clubs – M-Bar-Go (one of the hottest around, where I got a free-drink pass for between 11pm-12am) and Sky Garden. Both are in the middle of the busy Kuta streets. The only club (which is widely talked about) that I missed is Double Six at the Seminyak area…

Massage – did 3 massage sessions throughout my stay (one per evening) and it was really relaxing for me, after a hard, long-year at work. Who can complain!

Beach – the evening walk along the Kuta beach was difficult with such a huge crowd there. I had prefer the beach at Seminyak… quieter and more quaint. The sunset was nice (as good as the one at Feringghi in Penang). My next trip to Bali must include Ubud and will stay out of busy Kuta area…

Photos – Indonesia Trip 2a (Facebook) and Indonesia Trip 2b (Facebook)

Jakarta (4d 3n):

Hotel – On way to the hotel from the airport, I had gotten stuck in the famous Jakarta traffic jam – and yes, Friday evenings can be mental! I stayed at Crowne Plaza, just outside of the CBD. Really nice hotel and I would stay again. My room overlooked the sunset, so it was a nice view – besides the heavy traffic gridlock on the highway below me. There is the Plaza Semanggi next to me, a busy mall with everything you can ask for – including a very busy Giant. Across the road is the Police Complex and Pacific Plaza mall.

Shopping Malls – I managed to see a different variety in what the local shopping malls have to offer. From the quaint and busy Plaza Semanggi to Pacific Plaza (super up-scale) to Grand Indonesia & Plaza Indonesia and EX!. I liked Pacific Plaza – especially the food variety and the cinema. I caught 2 movies at different cinemas and the seats are super posh. Plush sofa-like seats with ample space for people to walk in front when you are seated and no excuse for kicking your chair from behind… Boo to you TGV and GSC (and GV/Cathay in SG)! Other observations I made were that the well-to-do families have maids following them in the malls, and they are together during any activities and sit together with the families during meals – only difference is they have to wear the “uniform” – not the french maid type but it is very distinctive. See the example I found on Flickr:

And there still were heaps of beautiful people out there! I just love the atmosphere – you can really feel the warmth in the air – and you know everyone is equal out there, no matter how rich or poor you are.

Nightlife – The scene in Jakarta is really amazing. I would have never imagined it but due to the open-mindedness of the people here (no, not the ‘tidak apa’ attitude type), everyone just knows how to have a good, great time. Nobody wants to get hurt and nobody likes to be intimidated – so party safe is the motto of the party folks here, or at least to the clubs that I had visited.

> The Rock Cafe (Kemang, south Jakarta) – the local band performing was great. This place was recommended by my hotel concierge. The Kemang area is a great strip of nightlife – including a 24-hour Starbucks and McDonald’s. 🙂

> Nu China (one of the hottest dance club in Kemang area) – loads of college and young executives, esp of Chinese ethnicity. Everyone was friendly and having a good time – I was even included as part of one group as they knew I was alone and not from around here… 🙂

> Club 36 (Kota, north Jakarta) – again, this was recommended by the concierge and radio-friendly music was the order of the night. As it is near Chinatown, you see more Chinese crowd here. Various dancers took positions on stage until a trio of girls started the night, around 1am by doing exotic dances and finally stripping to nothing! Umm, they were also joined by 2 male dancers. Well, the crowd (both guys and gals) were not affected by it – probably because it has been a weekly affair for them… Haha.

> Golden Crown (Kota) – one of the darkest discotechques I have seen, and it was justified by the existence of a Light Jockey (LJ) alongside the DJ. I could hardly see anything except the light show, the lights on stage and the toilet lights. Haha, and guess what – I was approached many times with requests for the ‘pill’… Maybe standing alone with a drink is the protocol of a pusher. 🙂 I stayed there till 6am when the sky was already bright!

There were other clubs like Blowfish, Bats, Stadium and those in the Blok M area which I didn’t go but there’s always next time. Well, the ‘next time’ is approaching as I will be back in Jakarta for the Iron Maiden gig in mid February…

Photos – Indonesia Trip 3 (Facebook)

Overall, my trip was in fact an eye-opener on how unity can be bonded together within a country of various ethnicities, foreign influences and cultural backgrounds in the post-Suharto era. I am impressed by the fact that no matter who you are, Bahasa Indonesia brings everyone together and is the one language that is used – no such thing as Malays speak Bahasa, Chinese speak Mandarin or dialects, or Indians speak Tamil/Hindu. This is truly a ONE NATION. The path to economic recovery is coming along well and I am sure one day, Indonesia will be a powerhouse in the region.