Microsoft Offered $44.6 Billion to Acquire Yahoo! in 2008

New York Times, in 2008:

In a bold move to counter Google’s online pre-eminence, Microsoft said Friday that it had made an unsolicited offer to buy Yahoo for about $44.6 billion in a mix of cash and stock.

If consummated, the deal would redraw the competitive landscape in Internet consumer services, where both Microsoft and Yahoo have both struggled to compete with Google.

Then in 2016, Verizon acquires Yahoo! for $4.83 billion.

O how time flies, and how it drains billions along with it.

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Yahoo! Sold to Verizon

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I thought I’ve seen this coming. Techcrunch reports:

After a months-long bidding process and many layoffs, Yahoo has finally found a buyer. Verizon (which owns AOL, which owns TechCrunch) is officially acquiring Yahoo’s core business for $4.83 billion in cash, which includes Yahoo’s advertising, content, search and mobile activities.

I just hope the new owner, Verizon, will be able to turn Yahoo! around. At the very least, I hope they can salvage what was left of it, especially those that were once great like Tumblr and Flickr, among others.

Evernote’s New Pricing Plans

Evernote revealed a couple of weeks ago that they’re changing their pricing plans:

Beginning today, the prices for our Plus and Premium tiers will change for new subscriptions, and access from Evernote Basic accounts will be limited to two devices.

So, for Basic accounts like mine, I’m now limited to accessing my Evernote notes in up to 2 devices. Although Evernote‘s regional pricing plans for the Philippines offer a much lower price at PHP550 per year (roughly less than $12/yr.) for the Evernote Plus account, I’m not too keen on paying for something that I can actually get for free in other services. Continue reading

The Mobile Gaming Phenomenon that is ‘Pokemon Go’

Ever since Pokemon Go was announced in March and eventually launched in July (initially in select countries), it has taken the world by storm. Social media friends have started posting their virtual Pokemon finds, along with their own punchlines, which in the process captured the curiosity of those who are uninitiated in the Pokemon Go world. Eventually, every one has to try it out! That, regardless of news about armed robbers using this same mobile game to find their victims.

pokemon-go

So, what really is Pokemon Go?

Pokemon Go is a free mobile game for iOS and Android developed by Niantic. It is a GPS-based augmented reality game that allows players to capture, train and battle virtual Pokemon that appear throughout the real world. Although it is free, it supports in-app purchases for players who are maybe too lazy to go out and catch them outside their comfort zones and instead take some shortcuts.

This video trailer pretty much summarizes the game in less than 2 minutes: Continue reading

The Inefficient STAR Tollway Toll Collection System

On the afternoon of June 5, 2016, armed with my Transcend Drivepro DP220, we traversed through Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR Tollway) northbound from Ibaan to Sto. Tomas. At exactly 4:52 pm, just right after we passed the Tanauan exit, we hit the end of the long queue leading to the Sto. Tomas toll barrier.

What followed next was a good 3 kilometers of traffic at crawling speeds for 48 minutes (which translates to an average speed of 3.75 km/h). Finally, at 5:40 pm, we got to pay for our toll fee.

I’ve documented that ordeal in the video that follows. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go through the same 48 minutes to finish the video, as I cramped it to about 2.5 minutes.

Imagine a good 1 hour lost just making our way to pay for our toll due. Perhaps, other people spend more time than that in Metro Manila traffic, but for a much better purpose — to get home or even to get to where they wanted or needed to go. Moviegoers line up to watch their favorite movies. Heck, calamity victims wait in line to get their share of relief goods. Now, isn’t it absurd to line up in such a long time for something that you have to pay for? Continue reading