Daily Archives: October 22, 2012

Marissa Mayer Pledges to Take Yahoo Back to Its Roots

Marissa Mayer Pledges to Take Yahoo Back to Its Roots.

Marissa Mayer outlined her plans for Yahoo’s future in her first earnings call as CEO of the beleaguered digital media enterprise. The company’s third-quarter earnings were better than expected: Earnings-per-share were 35 cents on revenue of $1.09 billion, compared to analysts’ estimates of 26 cents per share on revenue of $1.08 billion.

Mayer began the call by talking about recent changes to Yahoo’s culture, which has a new commitment to “open dialogue” and “transparency.” Employees’ quarterly individual goals have been mapped to company goals. They have also been given free phones and free food in an effort to make Yahoo “the absolute best place to work.”

Mayer identified Yahoo’s “core products” as search, mail, ads, mobile, news and the homepage — in that order. She emphasized that Yahoo would not change direction dramatically; rather, “[we’re] going back to our roots as a consumer Internet company focused on consumer experience,” she said.

“I don’t think there’s a giant pivot… I think this is about improved execution,” she added.

Mobile came up repeatedly during the call. “Some point in the future Yahoo will have to be a predominantly mobile company,” Mayer acknowledged, adding that Yahoo needed more mobile engineers. She noted that the company recently deployed a redesigned mobile search page across 23 pages, “resulting in increased usage,” and that an update to Flickr for Android received “rave reviews.”

One analyst asked Mayer whether Yahoo would go after more of the local ad market. “Local … is very hard to do well,” she said, and as the former head of local services at Google, she would know. “I think our local offerings are good at the moment [and] I think it’s hard to take that next step to provide even deeper functionality … [It’s] probably not an area where we’re going to invest moving forward,” she said.

Mayer and new CFO Ken Goldman both suggested that Yahoo’s search partnership with Microsoft has been less than satisfactory, but did not elaborate on their plans to address it.

Goldman did not issue fourth-quarter guidance, saying he had not been with the company long enough. (His first day was today.)

Many had expected Mayer to announce some acquisitions — namely, that of restaurant reservation service OpenTable, and possibly advertising tool PubMatic and mobile ad company Millennial Media. Mayer said Yahoo does not “have particular acquisitions in mind today” and that any future acquisitions would be “less than $100 million.”

Image courtesy of Flickr, jolieodell

Source: Mashable.com

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Are You Caught Up in Apple’s Reality Distortion Field? – Infographic

Are You Caught Up in Apple’s Reality Distortion Field? [INFOGRAPHIC].

Do Apple lovers really “think different?” What makes those who don’t buy Apple products turn away from them? This infographic gets to the bottom of why people buy Apple products, and what keeps them from buying them. And it shows how they feel about those products once they’ve bought them.

You’ll probably agree, there’s something about buying an Apple product that makes people act differently. It could be part of that famous “reality distortion field” associated with Steve Jobs, or maybe it’s just because Apple products are actually superb. The survey behind this artwork aims to quantify that thinking, measuring the differences of opinion between Apple lovers and Apple haters.

Some of you might say there’s no reality being distorted at all, and Apple products are just far superior to its competition. At the same time, many of the 48% of U.S. adults who’ve never owned an Apple device probably don’t think Apple products are insanely great, but point to Apple aficionados as simply insane. Others in that group just plain can’t afford Apple’s expensive baubles.

What’s the truth? It wasn’t the mission of market research firm Ask Your Target Market (AYTM) to find out whether subjective opinions and feelings about Apple products were true or not. The goal was to measure the difference in thinking between those who embrace Apple products and those who don’t.

SEE ALSO: Is Apple Mapping an Alternative Universe? [SUNDAY COMICS]

Using its Ask Your Target Market research platform, AYTM Research tapped into its huge hoard of 4.5 million consumers to come up with the data behind this lovely infographic. Take a look at the full data set here.

If you’re having trouble understanding this unusual infographic, here’s a quick guide: On the left side are those who haven’t bought Apple products, and on the right are those who have been enveloped in Apple’s alleged reality distortion field.

What do you think? Are you trapped in Apple’s reality distortion field? Is there even such a thing?

Source: Mashable.com

Soccer, That Beautiful Game, Eases Hypertension | Playbook | Wired.com

Soccer is more than a beautiful game — it’s good for your heart, too. A European study found three out of four hypertensive men who played the game two hours a week saw their blood pressure fall to healthy levels in six months. Photo: toksuede/Flickr

Soccer, That Beautiful Game, Eases Hypertension | Playbook | Wired.com.

The beautiful game just got a bit prettier.

A study out of Europe has shown that playing soccer might be the best way for men with hypertension to improve their blood pressure and decrease the risk of stroke while keeping fit. The study adds to our understanding of the game’s health benefits.

We’ve long known exercise brings all kinds of medical benefits, and Peter Krustrup of the lab of Sport and Health Sciences has long studied the effect of soccer on cardiorespiratory capacity, metabolic fitness and muscle and bone strength. He and his team have compared the sport to running and weight training because it is estimated that some 400 million people play it worldwide.

Their work has provided insight into the benefits of different exercises. Jogging was effective for losing fat and improving cardiovascular health, while strength training promotes musculoskeletal adaptations like posture, balance, strength and bone mineralization. Soccer, on the other hand, provides all of those benefits.

“Soccer is very effective both in terms of cardiovascular and musculoskeletal adaptations,” said Krustrup. “Soccer is an intense, variable, all-in-one training.”

Building upon that, the latest research by Krustup and researchers in England — where almost one in three men has hypertension — and Denmark found the game helps prevent cardiovascular disease in middle-aged men with hypertension. Three out of four hypertensive men in the study saw their blood pressure fall to healthy levels after six months of soccer.

“Playing soccer scores a hat trick for men with hypertension,” Krustup said. “It reduces blood pressure, improves fitness and burns fat.”

Although everyone knows exercise can reduce blood pressure, there’s been little exploration of the best activity to prescribe. Krustup was interested in determining whether soccer, the world’s most popular sport, might be especially effective.

It should be noted that his study was financed by the Danish Soccer Federation, along with the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Center and the Danish Heart Foundation. So it’s no surprise that it would focus on soccer. But it’s also worth noting that soccer is far more popular than, say, basketball or American football, and Krustup says he wants to investigate these “intermittent team sports” in the future.

In his study, published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Krustrup and his team gathered 33 men aged 33 to 54 with mild to moderate hypertension and divided them randomly into two groups. One participated in two one-hour sessions of soccer training each week, while the other followed the advice — get active, eat well — typically offered by a general practitioner.

The groups were tested at three months and six months to determine their blood pressure, body fat, oxygen intake and other factors. The soccer players saw their average mean blood pressure reduced by 10 mmHg, twice that of the control group. Their maximum oxygen uptake and exercise capacity rose 10 percent, and their resting heart rates was lowered by eight beats per minute. Body fat dropped by an average of two kilograms, and they were found to be less tired during exercise than those in the control group, though it isn’t surprising that the people who enjoyed intense workouts for six months were fitter.

“The magnitude of response was impressive,” Krustrup said, “with reductions of 13/8 mmHg which is somewhat more than the average effects seen after endurance training for hypertensive men, like running (7/5 mmHg) and much more than what has been reported after strength training.”

Those in the control group also saw lower blood pressure, but the improvement was not nearly so pronounced, nor did they enjoy any of the other benefits the soccer players did. The next step calls for studying how soccer affects the heart’s structure and function.

Source: WiredNews