Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, July 29, 2021

When I made note of scientific research that equated compulsive skin-tanning with addiction, I thought the title “Sun Junkies” was pretty spot on.

It never occurred to me that the term “tanorexia” was a possibility, as well.

At first glance, I didn’t think over-tanning and anorexia were similar enough to warrant the pun-based equivalency. But thinking about it, I guess both afflictions are rooted in body-image obsession, leading to physiological and psychological damage. If someone’s an anorexic, there’s a good chance they’re tanorexic too. The only upside of which is the nutritional absorption of Vitamin D from the sunlight — unless they get all their UV rays from a tanning bed…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 07/29/2009 10:22pm
Category: Science, Society, Wordsmithing
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The headline above sums up just what the new 10-year search deal reached by Yahoo! and Microsoft amounts to:

Under the pact, Microsoft will provide the underlying search technology on Yahoo’s popular Web sites. The deal provides a lift for Microsoft’s recent overhaul of its search engine, renamed Bing, which has won praise and favorable reviews, after years of falling further and further behind Google.

Running such a search system proves expensive, and Microsoft can now filter more searches through the Bing technology infrastructure. It expects to deliver better answers to search queries over time as well by learning from more peoples’ queries.

In other words, eventually the search boxes on all of Yahoo’s sites will carry a “powered by Bing” tag. There’s a chance that Yahoo! Search could disappear altogether, both as a brand and a technology (although Y! has to keep a backup plan in place for whatever happens when its partnership with Microsoft ends).

While everyone’s focusing on the sexy search technology, I find the doubling-down bet made by Yahoo here to be more interesting:

For Yahoo, the move furthers the strategy under [CEO Carol] Bartz to focus the company on its strengths as a producer of Web media sites, from finance to sports, as a marketer and a leader in on-line display advertising that accompanies published Web sites.

Yahoo’s decision to develop and host content has been criticized as too old-media for a user-generated/aggregated Web landscape. But it’s sticking to that approach, because — surprise! — it works. Something has to actually draw those eyeballs to the screen, and search is just a bridge, i.e. you have to be searching for something. Yahoo is going with being that “something”, and leaving the dirty work of search algorithms to Redmond and Mountain View. Personally, I think that will pay off, longer-term.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 07/29/2009 11:21am
Category: Business, Internet, Media
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