The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Bungling, Inc.: Yahoo Sold to Verizon

Posted on | July 26, 2016 | 78 Comments

Yahoo is arguably the worst-run major company in the history of high tech. In 1998, Yahoo could have bought Google for a mere $1 million. Four years later, after Google was already crushing Yahoo’s search-engine business, Yahoo offered $3 billion for Google, and was turned down. Google wanted $5 billion, but Yahoo wouldn’t pay that much. Google is now worth more than $350 billion. In 2008, Microsoft offered $44 billion for Yahoo, an offer Yahoo rejected. And then on Monday, it was announced Yahoo would be sold to Verizon for a mere $4.8 billion:

Yahoo was once the king of the Internet, a $125 billion behemoth as big in its time as Facebook or Google are today. Now it’s being sold to Verizon for comparative chump change.
On Monday morning, Yahoo announced the end of the long process to extricate itself from a mess of its own making with a sale of its core operating business to Verizon for $4.8 billion in cash. The transaction ends the independence of one of Silicon Valley’s most iconic pioneering companies. Yahoo’s seventh and final CEO, Marissa Mayer, will reportedly depart upon the deal’s conclusion with severence pay worth more than $50 million.
The sale will unite Yahoo with another fallen star, AOL, the first web portal Verizon bought last year for $4.4 billion. The United States’ largest wireless provider is betting nearly $10 billion that combining the two formerly dominant websites will give it an edge in mobile content and advertising technology it can leverage across its more than 140 million subscribers.

Yahoo’s record of disastrous decisions is arguably the worst business bungling since Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a mess of pottage.



78 Responses to “Bungling, Inc.: Yahoo Sold to Verizon”

  1. Finrod Felagund
    July 26th, 2016 @ 7:29 pm

    At least the OS has gotten better since MacOS went Unix with OS X.

  2. Finrod Felagund
    July 26th, 2016 @ 7:32 pm

    Ew. Opera was a good browser from what I hear.

  3. Steve Skubinna
    July 26th, 2016 @ 7:48 pm

    Well, nothing personal. I used to support Macs, back in my ill-advised attempt to have a life away from the sea.

    The computers were fine, but the whole image thing that Apple encouraged sat poorly with me. It was like Snap-On users trash talking those losers who used Craftsman tools. Because everybody knew Snap-On users were cooler and more hip.

    The section with Macs that I supported (at the same time I had several hundred Windows users as well) were the corporate PR folks, who had this pretend Internet start-up thing going on. You’d never guess that they worked for the largest corporation in the business. Company dress code? They were way too cool for that.

    They even put up posters once for some “Don’t Buy Anything Today” anti-capitalist protest thing that was chic at the time. I never said anything, but secretly hoped the division VP would stop by when they were up.

  4. Steve Skubinna
    July 26th, 2016 @ 7:53 pm

    Plus they run on Intel CPUs now. Which still cracks me up.

  5. Steve Skubinna
    July 26th, 2016 @ 7:56 pm

    Yeah, used to be a Norton fan until it got worse having it on your system than getting infected.

    Anyway, got into Spybot’s AV when investigating their Anti-Beacon software. Also running GlassWire for a firewall on a couple machines, which is fun to play with.

  6. Steve Skubinna
    July 26th, 2016 @ 8:00 pm

    Yeah, I played with it and liked it.

    Saw a YouTube tutorial on creating a basic browser in C# .NET… and am seriously considering trying it.

  7. Steve Skubinna
    July 26th, 2016 @ 8:01 pm

    If you haven’t heard it yet, “If somebody’s offering you something for free online, you’re the product.”

  8. NeoWayland
    July 26th, 2016 @ 8:19 pm

    The image thing bothers me too.

    I’ve never been in an Apple Store.

    Apple has done some pretty amazing things, but so have other computer companies. And let’s face it, it’s the internet “backend” that makes computers so freaking amazing. The fact that I can check weather in Hanoi, headlines in Chicago, and a webcam in Chicago all within seconds on the same machine, well, that everyday experience makes me a wizard by the standards of any other age.

    I’m not into the lifestyle and I’m not into cosplay.

    ?What I carry is what I use.?
    — engraving from the back of my iPod Touch

  9. NeoWayland
    July 26th, 2016 @ 8:26 pm

    Yeah, mostly.

    They keep messing with the UI though. I miss the old Save command. And I want the option to enter a birthday or anniversary in Contacts without it popping up in the calendar. And…

    I’d better shut up before this turns into a gripe list.

    I agree, the OS is better with the Apple-flavored Unix.

  10. NeoWayland
    July 26th, 2016 @ 8:33 pm

    Beat me to it.

  11. Dana
    July 27th, 2016 @ 5:37 am

    The Snap-On Tools truck visited where the trucking company that was put out of business by Obama Administration regulations used to be, yesterday. I wondered just how many guys who had been paying for their tools a week at a time wound up owing him money.

  12. DeadMessenger
    July 27th, 2016 @ 6:48 am

    Yeah…if only kids today had to jump through those kinds of hoops! Then they wouldn’t have time to surf porn or feel microaggressed.

    I built my very first computer from a Heathkit. My friends asked, “What does it do?” I said, “Be a computer.”

  13. Bill in Tennessee
    July 27th, 2016 @ 6:55 am

    Hmm, Amber sounds HOT, care to share her phone number, girl?

  14. DeadMessenger
    July 27th, 2016 @ 6:57 am

    Just last week, I had an app I really needed quit on me because when CCleaner cleaned the registry, it “cleaned” something necessary for my app. Took me a few hours to locate and fix the problem, and I was plenty steamed.

    Also, the friend whose laptop I reloaded with 7, I figured he was surfing porn sites on account of when I checked, his history was all cleaned out, and the problem that he was having in the first place was the result of malware. With my male friends, “regularly ‘broken’ computers” + “wiped history” = “porn” in my experience, so I put Avast & Spybot on there before I gave it back. If this guy didn’t mow my lawn for me, I’d quit doing this computer stuff. I’ve had to fix enough porn damaged computers (which the perp always denies, like I’m too retarded to know it), that I’m starting to think that internet pornographers deserve the death penalty.

  15. Steve Skubinna
    July 27th, 2016 @ 9:39 am

    That’s what they get for their predatory practices.

    If they were honest citizens they’d be on the government teat.

  16. Steve Skubinna
    July 27th, 2016 @ 9:43 am

    Douglas Adams, in one of his Dirk Gently books, has one of the characters describing an early computer he built. He said it was really not much more than a large expensive electronic abacus.

    Another character remarked that an abacus was very useful and efficient, and the first asked, then why build a large expensive electronic one?

  17. Dana
    July 27th, 2016 @ 1:16 pm

    Because Verizon was willing to pay $4.8 billion for it; there’s really no other reason.

  18. DeadMessenger
    July 27th, 2016 @ 3:29 pm

    Check the wall inside the john at the local strip club. Bet you find it there.

  19. Quartermaster
    July 27th, 2016 @ 6:52 pm

    Sounds like CCleaner encountered something off the wall. I’ve never had any problems with it. It’s an excellent registry repair utility.

    At one time it was easy to encounter porn without actually looking for it. For example, I was cleaning book marks back in early 2004 and tried Pat Buchanan’s campaign website for 2000 just to see if it was still there. About half the splash page loaded. Then, suddenly it stopped, then after a short delay it loaded a porn page. When that happened I also picked up some malware that nothing could find and delete. And I tried everything.

    I finally gave up and stripped the system and went back to an earlier system. When I got to NC I bought an IDE/USB interface. I installed the drive then scanned it again and, lo and behold, found the bug hiding in the boot sectors. As long as it was being used as the boot drive, I could never find it.

    Porn sites are the most dangerous sites one can go to. Of course, as we both know, pornographers, and not just internet pornographers, are under a sentence of death. God is the one that will execute it.

  20. Quartermaster
    July 27th, 2016 @ 6:55 pm

    I remember those Heathkit systems. Donelly Printing printed their catalogs while I worked for Donelly. I thought it strange that they used the 8080 instead of the Z-80 which was “The” processor to have at the time. The 8080 was still being used, along with the 8085, as a video controller.

  21. Quartermaster
    July 27th, 2016 @ 6:57 pm

    In one of Jerry Pournelle’s anthologies he had a short story in which a Chinese trader who had offices in both China and the US noted that his Chinese offices were still run with Abaci rather than computers. I can’t remember if that was in “There Will Be War” or “Republican Stars.”

  22. Quartermaster
    July 27th, 2016 @ 7:01 pm

    So, how is life away from the sea treating you now?

  23. Steve Skubinna
    July 28th, 2016 @ 9:16 am

    It’s nice being retired. Walk the dogs, mess around on my boat, do projects around the house, build ship models, read…

    And hang out with all my pretend internet friends!

  24. Steve Skubinna
    July 28th, 2016 @ 12:20 pm

    Hey, my oldest friend used to work for Donelly! He sold printing, usually catalogs and flyers and direct mail stuff. He also worked for Lehigh and Banta and several other companies in that line.

    Now he’s a more or less free lance web developer. I say “more or less” because at present he has one client that is paying all his bills and both mortgages.

  25. Steve Skubinna
    July 28th, 2016 @ 12:24 pm

    Back when MP3s were the New Hotness I tried searching for a few online. Every search sent me to myriad porn sites with windows popping up faster than I could close them.

    After two or three evenings getting burned that way I gave up on them. A week later I discovered WinAmp and started ripping all of my CDs into MP3. Screw downloading them, just rip the ones I already own.

    Then Napster came out. I thought it was a great idea, and simultaneously stupid. No way are they going to get away facilitating piracy like that… and what was their business model anyway? “We’re all going to get filthy rich by giving away stuff free that we don’t even own!”

  26. Steve Skubinna
    July 28th, 2016 @ 12:26 pm

    Same mechanism behind the Beanie baby boom.

    Remember those? At least in the Seventies nobody was suggesting that mood rings and Pet Rocks were a surefire investment.

  27. Quartermaster
    July 28th, 2016 @ 6:08 pm

    My grandson was searching for something and ended up on a porn site that opened multiple windows like that. It took me 3 days at 4 hours a nite trying to fix the problems it caused. It ended up being easier to simply recover what I could from the HDD and reload the system.

  28. Quartermaster
    July 28th, 2016 @ 6:11 pm

    I worked at the Gallatin, TN plant. I drove by the place a few months ago and it’s still going. I don’t know what their Corporate structure is anymore. Donelly was a subsidiary of Lakeside Press at the time, which was in Chicago. It was a good company to work at. They tried to recruit me for of their skilled trades, which would have been a good deal as they promoted inside, so I could have ended up in management eventually. But, it still didn’t pay like Engineering and I was too cerebral for skilled labor.