Did Yahoo! hire Marissa Mayer to bring back Yahoo Search?

This is an interesting take on the hire of Marissa Mayer, considering that all the past CEO’s have gone as far away from search as they can.

As you may have heard, Marissa Mayer is now CEO of Yahoo, ready to turn it into a leaner, fitter, more successful firm. It’s a great move for Yahoo, and it could mean great things for you, the consumer. But the entity that may benefit the most? Google.

Yahoo’s search effort is sinking. Back in December 2011 its U.S. market share in search slipped behind Bing’s, and the trend continued at least until June. If its July and August figures show a continued slip in market share, that will make it 12 months of non-stop dropping into oblivion. Bing, meanwhile, is picking up some of this slack, as is Google itself. For Bing, however, this is more a case of it maintaining its slim market share–hovering around 15%, which doesn’t represent a huge threat to Google.

Google needs Mayer to turn Yahoo search around, perhaps growing its market share by pushing for real innovation. Because a stronger Yahoo will also push Microsoft to compete harder with Bing, possibly even stealing market share from Google. That’s not such a bad thing: Google has enough to share, and it’ll create a dynamic, vibrant search engine market in which Google will face much less antitrust heat. “We really think an independent Yahoo’s better for the Web,” Mayer told Charlie Rose in 2009.

A more competitive market will push Google itself to innovate, delivering what its users want and need–versus what experimental services Google deems fit to push on them.

 

Keep reading: Fast Company – Why Joining Yahoo Is The Best Thing Marissa Mayer Ever Did–For Google

 

 

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A rare opportunity – NASA opens Launch Control Center to visitors

For the first time in more than 30 years, NASA is allowing Kennedy Space Center visitors inside the Launch Control Center – where NASA directors and engineers supervised all of the 152 launches including the space shuttle and Apollo programs.

The KSC Up-Close: Launch Control Center (LCC) Tour, the second in Kennedy Space Center’s special 50th anniversary series of rare-access tours, takes visitors inside Firing Room 4, one of the LCC’s four firing rooms and the one from which all 21 shuttle launches since 2006 were controlled.

Inside Firing Room 4, visitors will pass by the computer consoles at which engineers monitored the computerized launch control system’s thousands of system checks every minute leading up to launch. They’ll see the main launch countdown clock and many large video monitors on the walls, and enter the “bubble room,” with its wall of interior windows through which the Kennedy Space Center management team viewed all of the proceedings below.

A Rare Opportunity

As with the Vehicle Assembly Building, visitors have not had access to the LCC since the late 1970s, during the period after the Apollo and Skylab programs ended and before the first space shuttle launch in 1981.

The LCC will continue to operate in guiding the next generation of rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center for NASA and potentially for commercial space programs. Future launches of SpaceX, whose recent launch from nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station resulted in the first mission by a commercial company to travel to and dock with the International Space Station, could take place from Kennedy Space Center beginning in 2013.

The LCC Tour is led by a trained space expert, giving visitors an insider’s view of the space program from launch preparation to liftoff. The tour also includes drive-by views of Launch Pad 39 and culminates at the Apollo/Saturn V Center, where visitors can resume the regular tour.

 

Learn more and buy ticketsKSC Up-Close: The Launch Control Center Tour

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College competition racing Baja off-road vehicles

A group of students in gray shirts file out of a cramped classroom onto the road. Shining flashlights to see through the darkness, they huddle around the frame of a short, black car.

One yanks on the pull start.

The engine roars to life, and the car takes off down the road, ready for competition.

The vehicle will race this week at the Baja Society of Automotive Engineers regional competition in Oregon. The competition challenges collegiate teams to design, build and race an off-road vehicle, testing the cars in categories such as maneuverability, acceleration and endurance.

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Each car in the competition must be built using the same type of engine, but the design of other parts such as the gear box and transmissions are up to each team, said Dylan Aramburu, a second-year mechanical engineering student on the UCLA Team. This gives teams the opportunity to fabricate their own customized parts.

A lot of teams buy gearboxes to put in their cars, but UCLA’s Baja team makes its own from scratch, said Anthony Tyson, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student and one of the project leaders for the team.

keep readingUCLA Racing Baja team seeks off-road victory

Careers on the ocean

A post from Aaron Hartmann, a marine biologist, describes some of diverse of ocean-related jobs out there:

Fisheries observers: Want to improve your sea legs? Fisheries observers live aboard fishing boats and ensure that the animals being harvested are big enough and not in numbers exceeding legal catch limits. Their work is critical for managing ocean harvesting in order to ensure that we don’t drive species to extinction.

Oceanographer: Open-ocean ecosystems, deep-sea communities, hydrothermal vents, oxygen minimum zones, garbage patches, currents, winds, and global seawater circulation—oceanographers do it all (not surprising given their title).

Engineers: Submarines, remote sensing buoy systems, remotely operated underwater vehicles and ocean-scanning satellites—engineers make them all. Thanks to their work, we are constantly going deeper and farther, discovering more about the ocean’s unknowns.

Aquarist: The survival of animals that live in public aquariums worldwide depends on professional aquarists. These people know more about what makes marine critters happy than anyone else, and I know this from experience. Working alongside aquarists at Birch Aquarium, I’ve learned an incredible amount about corals over the past few years.

via Science Minded (w/ 4 more careers)