Today’s topics include Yahoo’s plans to reorganize under the new name Altaba after it completes the sale of its core web media assets to Verizon, the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement that election technology is now designated as critical infrastructure, Microsoft’s launch of a battery life experiment in its latest Windows Insider build and Google’s application for a patent that involves using autonomous cars technology for ride-sharing services.
On Jan. 9, Yahoo announced that it will reorganize and change its name to Altaba once it completes the $4.8 billion sale of its core web media assets to Verizon. As part of the reorganization, CEO Marissa Mayer, co-founder David Filo and four other board members including former chairman Maynard Webb plan to resign.
These sweeping corporate changes were included in a 8-K Securities and Exchange Commission filing posted Jan. 9. Yahoo said that it has created a new business entity called Altaba to identify the company’s assets that it will retain after the Verizon deal closes.
Those assets include shares in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and Yahoo Japan. The final date for closing the Verizon deal hasn’t been publicly announced.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated the nation’s election technology and systems as critical infrastructure, giving state election officials access to technical and policy aid from the agency.
The move makes the election infrastructure in the United States part of the government-facilities critical infrastructure sector, one of the 16 sectors deemed crucial by the U.S. government.
While some states have reportedly opposed the designation, the DHS assured election officials that states would still have full oversight and responsibility for running elections.
The designation “makes clear both domestically and internationally that election infrastructure enjoys all the benefits and protection of critical infrastructure that the U.S. government has to offer.”
Members of the early-access and feedback program can now download build 15002 for Windows PCs, announced Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar, a software engineer at the software giant’s Windows and Devices Group and head of the Windows Insider program, Jan. 9 blog post.
Among the lengthy list of new features and enhancements is an experimental power mode that may help boost battery life. A subset of insiders will notice that some applications appear “throttled” in the Windows Task Manager under the Status column, which typically shows programs as running or suspended.
This suggests Microsoft is taking a new OS-level, per-application approach to helping Windows notebook and tablet users squeeze more useful life out of their batteries between charges.
A recent Google patent application suggests that the company may indeed be considering the use of autonomous vehicles in the ride-sharing space. The patent application published on Dec. 22, 2016 is titled “Determining Pickup and Destination Locations for Autonomous Vehicles.”
It describes a system for determining if a passenger pickup location or destination is accessible or safe for a self-driven vehicle and to suggest alternate locations as needed.
The technology, according to the patent application, is required because self-driving vehicles may not always be able to operate everywhere a human driver would.