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  Internet Nutballs Explained by Jay Leno

The internet naturally gives rise to nutballs - people who are so obsessed with some random hobby. This article sums up the personalities behind internet nutball-ism, even though it's about cars. And it's by Jay Leno.

Car Guys and Auto Fans:

You expect people to collect Duesenberg and Ferrari parts, because there's a lot of money in them. But the guys who fascinate me are the ones who collect parts for Cushman Scooters, Nash Metropolitans and Ford Model Ts. No matter what you're into, there's someone out there who's into it so much more than you are it's not even close.

Reminds of a great Homer Simpson quote which I've used twice in relationship to internet nutballs.

  Yahoo and Kafka: Separated at Birth?

Another insane Kafka-esque email from the Yahoo Search Marketing API team. I get about two of these a week (another example), and they remind me of Orwell or Kafka in their impenetrable bureacrat-ese.

Dear Valued Client,

We have encountered unforeseen circumstances from the maintenance on end-point Currently, we do not have an estimated time of resolution for the residual system slowness and delay in books closed time for Keyword/Ad reports. However, our technical teams are working around the clock to resolve this as soon as possible and we will continue to update you on the status of this delay constantly. We greatly apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

[emphasis mine - on the stuff that's just pure obfuscation].

Yes, Yahoo search marketing (i.e. Panama), does have an API. But with Yahoo giving up in search, it's probably not worth your time to use it, and have to parse these maintenance emails.

At this point, what Yahoo search marketing needs most is a copy of Strunk & White.

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  How Many Pooches Can Yahoo Screw?

Ugh. Sometimes the end does come with a bang and whimper at the same time.

Yahoo is giving up in search.

The stock lost 10% today, and will continue to descend to it's proper level of about $15 / sh. Until someone picks up the pieces for about half of what Yang was holding out for.

It's not just the shareholders - the search customers and Yahoo's regular users are all losers here. Not to mention the employees. It's not that fun watching a CFIT (controlled flight into terrain), which is what Yahoo! has been on ever since they hired Terry Semel.

Meanwhile, Google is up, and feeling good about the monopoly it has!

As Ash writes:

Microsoft offered $44.6B to acquire all of Yahoo! in early February.

Yahoo! Chief Yahoo spent 4 months trying to make that go away… today he settled for $800M in top line incremental revenue.

That means in some 50+ years (44.6B/$800M), investors will be indifferent. So net-net, “Jer”gets what he wants today, investors can go pound sand and come back in 2024.

Way to go, Jer.

I dumped my YHOO at $24.68 after MSFT pulled out. And I rolled it into GOOG. So I guess I can be thankful for that.

This is sad on so many levels. Back in 1995, I was the first employee of an ad serving company whose first customer was Yahoo!. It's sad to see Yahoo capitulate and march towards nothingness.

Oh, and did I mention that Jeremy Zawodny is leaving too. Need any more proof?

Maybe Yang and Decker can treat the remaining team to a premiere of "The Happening". Cause that seems depressingly similar to the nightmare Yahoo has committed against itself.

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  Sad Proof that Vista is a Failure

Windows Vista was officially released (after over 11months of delay) on Jan 30, 2007.

It was critically panned (by me for example). Now that I've seen it and tried it, the main result has been for me to switch to Mac and Linux machines for my daily use.

You Can Still Get an XP Laptop from Dell

But here's what's so sad about this. Dell, one of Microsoft's biggest distribution partners is still promoting the fact that you can STILL GET XP. Yes, even though Dell "recommends Windows Vista® Business", you have until June 18 to buy a Dell laptop with XP on it.

This is the back page from a Dell catalog I just received. Man that's some cheap laptop!

dell promoting windows XP over a year after Vista release

And then there's this: Microsoft's Ballmer Touts Vista-To-XP Downgrade Program

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  Google's Downfall: Building a New Campus

Uh-oh. The surest sign that the decline of a tech-power is nigh:

Google is going to build a new HQ.

Or at least they are going to do a massive expansion at NASA in Mountain View, on land next to their current HQ.

Land around Google's HQ
The land near Google HQ in Mt. View, CA.

This is an old Silicon Valley saw - when companies build giant new facilities, they tend to go downhill soon thereafter. It's a classic "market-top" signal. The litany of examples includes: Apple, Cisco, Intel, 3Com, BEA, Sun, SGI and many others.

And it makes sense - the companies that do this are generally getting too big and prospering in their mid-life. They plan a massive expansion and something happens - maybe the economy slows down, or maybe they lose focus. In any case, building the new HQ is usually done at the peak, and often portends bad times ahead.

Now I'm still bullish on Google, but planning for expansion like this worries more a lot more than anything Microsoft would do.


  Yahoo's Main Problem: It's a Bureaucracy

After the saga of Yahoo is over, many people will find reasons as to why Yahoo failed. I know the real reason: it's a boring, impersonal, faceless bureaucracy. Although Yang and Filo try to keep it culturally cool (free soda and coffee for all employees!), they have utterly failed.

The Yahoo brand has no identifiable or consistent "voice".

The amazing thing to me is that someone hasn't renamed Yahoo to:

Yahoo! Internet Service End-Points!

Here's all the proof you'll ever need - an email from the people that run Panama (aka "Yahoo! Search Marketing".)

YSM-Tier2Support to me
Dear Valued Client,
We will be performing a routine system maintenance during the following time frames on Friday, June 6, 2008:
6:00AM PST to 11:00AM PST
7:00PM PST to Saturday June 7 2:00AM PST
The following end-points will be unavailable during maintenance:
Should you have any questions regarding this matter, 
please contact your account manager directly or technical services at Thank you for choosing Yahoo! Search Marketing! Sincerely, Technical Services Yahoo! Search Marketing

Note how there's not a real person's name in the whole email - including mine. FYI, my actual name is not "Valued Client".

Look at the 4 deep subdomains that Yahoo forces on it's services. There's two ews's in there! No wonder I can never remember that URL to login to my account. Compare to say:, or even

And WTF is a "end-point"?!?

Even the email addresses they use are robotic. Apparently, it's not a real Yahoo email unless there is a dash in it somewhere:

But luckily, they recover from this unbranded, un-personal, techno blather form-letter email with the friendly closing:

Thank you for choosing Yahoo! Search Marketing!




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Recent Posts

Internet Nutballs Explained by Jay Leno
Yahoo and Kafka: Separated at Birth?
How Many Pooches Can Yahoo Screw?
Sad Proof that Vista is a Failure
Google's Downfall: Building a New Campus
Yahoo's Main Problem: It's a Bureaucracy


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Internet Nutballs Explained by Jay Leno
Yahoo and Kafka: Separated at Birth?
How Many Pooches Can Yahoo Screw?
Sad Proof that Vista is a Failure
Google's Downfall: Building a New Campus
Yahoo's Main Problem: It's a Bureaucracy