ZDNet: Verizon introduces open-source, big data coronavirus search engine. “As we struggle to get a grip on exactly how COVID-19 makes us ill and what we can do about it, researchers have created over 50,000 articles. That’s a lot of information! So, how do you make sense of it all? Verizon Media is doing it by using Vespa. This is an open-source, big data processing program to create a coronavirus academic research search engine: CORD-19 Search.”
BGR: Verizon to give subscribers 15GB of free data during the coronavirus outbreak. “In a press release published a short while ago, Verizon said that its waiving overage charges for residential and small business wireless customers whose economic situation has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus.”
Mashable: FCC confirms wireless carriers broke federal law by selling location data. “At the center of the investigation are all four major U.S. carriers: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. It is unclear at this time which groups will be penalized, and what that penalty will look like. Further documentation on the specifics of the violation is forthcoming.”
Motherboard: Verizon Launches ‘Private’ Search Engine After Years of Violating Its Customers’ Privacy. “Verizon has spent the better part of the last decade mired in privacy scandals and lobbying the government to ignore or legalize its bad behavior. Now it’s launching a new privacy-centric search engine, apparently hoping you forgot all of that ever happened.” It’s apparently Bing in a privacy wrapper, and I’m as cynical about the offering as this Motherboard article.
NPR: Internet Historians Mourn Loss Of Cultural Record As Yahoo Prepares To Delete Groups. “Yahoo Groups was once a place where people turned to find out what was happening in their communities. Then Facebook, Tumblr and other sites came along, making Yahoo Groups obsolete. So earlier this fall, Verizon, which now owns Yahoo, announced it will delete the archives of every Yahoo Group. That was supposed to happen this coming Saturday, but Verizon just announced it will extend the deadline until next month. NPR’s Neda Ulaby reports Internet historians and activists are scrambling.” I can’t find any other mentions of the deadline being extended at the moment, but I’ll keep an eye out. And why am I banging on about this? Because it’s going to happen again. And again. And again. And somebody has to care.
Ars Technica: Verizon reportedly blocks archivists from Yahoo Groups days before deletion. “An ad-hoc group scrambling to archive as much content as possible from Yahoo Groups ahead of the site’s final demise next week is running into trouble as more than a hundred volunteer archivists say Yahoo’s parent company, Verizon, has banned their accounts.” This is a big steaming pile of you know.
TechCrunch: Verizon is selling Tumblr to WordPress parent, Automattic. “Six years after Yahoo purchased Tumblr for north of $1 billion, its parent corporation is selling the once dominant blogging platform. WordPress owner Automattic Inc. has agreed to take the service off of Verizon’s hands. Terms of the deal are undisclosed, but the number is ‘nominal,’ compared to its original asking price, per an article in The Wall Street Journal.” Axios is reporting that it was less than $20 million. From $1 billion purchase by Yahoo to reportedly less than $20 million. And just to make this as fun as possible, I’ll note that the sale price of Tumblr was apparently less than Marissa Mayer’s severance pay of $23 million.