Biz Break: Yahoo, Apple and the FBI own the week

Top Of The Order:

The Hits Keep On Coming: Yahoo might be getting closer to exploring a sale, as the company said Friday it had formed a new committee to explore “strategic alternatives.” Which means it’s possible that the company that once epitomized the Internet could be on its way to becoming, well…Does anyone remember Lycos?

Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer gets a lot of the blame for what’s wrong with Yahoo. And that’s how it should be. Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that said ,”The Buck Stops Here.” When you’re the boss, you better be ready for everything to land at your feet. But, that doesn’t mean the roots of all your troubles are your own, either.

No, the problems facing Yahoo go back for years, and make it appear like the company that couldn’t shoot straight, especially when looking at how the actions of Mayer’s predecessors contributed to where Yahoo is today.

Middle Innings:

So, You Listen To Barry Manilow, Huh? Cybersecurity has been on everyone’s minds of late. No one wants their personal information made available to the general public unless they do so themselves. And, yet, it seems like almost every type of breach is possible.

The latest such action appears to involve online streaming music company Spotify. According to Forbes, hundreds of Spotify Premium accounts began appearing online this week on the Pastebin website. The data is said to have included user names, passwords, email addresses and other information, but nothing involving credit card numbers or other payment methods.

It is not yet known who is responsible for the information dump, or how it was obtained. Spotify has more than 20 million subscribers and 75 million active users. It also remains unknown how many users of those accounts would be willing to admit they actually used Spotify to listen to Justin Bieber.

And It’s The FBI With A Right Cross: The battle between Apple and the FBI over the iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino mass shooters is not going to let up any time soon. In fact, on Friday, it was the Department of Justice, which oversees the FBI, that threw the latest punch back at Apple and its refusal to help the FBI unlock what has become the world’s most-famous smartphone.

The DOJ said Apple is refusing to help out investigate a case of terrorism, and called upon U.S. Magistrate Sheri Pym to force Apple to comply with the order she issued earlier this week for Apple to use its technology to get the passcode that will unlock the phone that belonged to Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple, and CEO Tim Cook, maintain that what the FBI wants is for Apple to create a “backdoor” way to get into Farook’s phone that could compromise the security of all iPhones.

Maybe it’s too simple of a solution, but you have to wonder if the FBI has thought of just taking that iPhone to the Genius Bar at its local Apple Store.

But Did They Stop In Any Coffee Shops?: It’s good to be Google. Or, at least it was back in 2014. Apparently, two years ago, Google managed to move 10 billion euros, or around $12 billion, through the Netherlands and into Bermuda. The whole process is part of a scheme pay almost no taxes on their foreign earnings.

Google didn’t keep the money in the Netherlands very long. There’s no word on whether Google picked up any cases of Heineken while its cash worked its way through Amsterdam.

Bottom Of The Lineup:

Here’s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley tech stocks did.

Movin’ On Up: Rocket Fuel shares rose more than 14 percent, and gains also came from Arista Networks, Natus Medical, Proofpoint and Applied Materials.

In The Red: Decliners included SunPower, SolarCity, Impax Laboratories, Intel and YuMe.

The SV150 Index of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies rose more than 17 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,463.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index climbed almost 17 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,504

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 21 points, or 0.1 percent, to end the week at 16,391.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index broke even at 1,917.

Quote Of The Day: “Never be late. When you’re late, what you’re saying is that your time is more important than the other person’s time. That’s pretty egotistical.” — Alice Cooper

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Photo: Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer delivers the keynote address at the first-ever Yahoo Mobile Developer’s Conference, in San Francisco in 2015.  (AP/Eric Risberg)


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  • AAPL.To.Break.$130.Soon>:-)

    For Mayer, the buck does stop there. The buck stops in her pocket.