Tech tapas: Yahoo’s new hiring practices, Google Street View settlement, Netflix ISP speed index

Tuesday tapas about assorted Silicon Valley companies:

• Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer isn’t just getting tough on telecommuting, she has also implemented stricter hiring standards at the Sunnyvale company. Citing company insiders, Reuters reports that Mayer must now approve each hire, and that the Stanford graduate prefers those with degrees from top-rated schools. Not only is Yahoo considered a “backup” option by engineers, according to a placement professional who talked to Reuters, it also has almost 900 jobs, or 8 percent of its workforce, to fill.

Google, where Mayer came from, is famous for its rigorous and academics-focused hiring process — and consistently scores atop lists of best places to work.

• Remember all the hoopla about Google Street View vehicles’ collection of data over unsecured WiFi networks in 2010, a.k.a. SpyFi? Google said the collection of personal information was inadvertent, but subsequent reports showed that at the very least, at least one senior manager knew about it. (See Woes of the titans: Apple’s tax scheme, Google’s SpyFi.) Google has been fined $25,000 by the FCC, and it has endured investigations in Europe and elsewhere over the data collection.

Today comes word that its settlement with more than 30 states is official, to the tune of $7 million. That’s no typo — and yes, as the Associated Press pointed out a few days ago when it first caught a whiff of the settlement, “Google’s revenue this year is expected to surpass $61 billion. At that pace, Google brings in an average of $7 million in revenue per hour.” The AP points out that the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission decided not to fine the Mountain View company after looking into the data collection.

As part of the settlement with the states, CNet reports that Google must destroy any data collected by the Street View vehicles. It also must train employees over the next 10 years about protecting consumers’ information, and create an ad campaign to educate consumers about protecting their information.

• Netflix has launched a site dedicated to its ISP Speed Index, which is a monthly accounting of which Internet service providers offer the fastest speeds for streaming. The Los Gatos company started publishing the streaming speed rankings in December. In the United States, the index’s stats for February show that Google Fiber (in Kansas City only for now) was fastest, with an average speed of 3.35 Mbps, and that Clearwire was slowest with 1.25 Mbps. The average streaming speed in the U.S. was 2.3 Mbps. 


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  • Yahoo in the Valley

    I predict that Marissa is not going to last long at Yahoo. Too much focus on the employees and not enough on revenue generation.

  • sd

    There are so many things which could be fixed at Yahoo. Mayer has time to make educated decisions on everyone Yahoo needs to hire? Micromanagement of the first order — and a fine vote of confidence in Yahoo HR. Way to go….