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theEweekly Wrap

Mayer discusses Yahoo plans, Google reveals tablet research findings and Ceefax is switched off

Mayer outlines Yahoo strategy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has revealed her plan to revive the company's fortunes in her first earnings call since she was appointed.

The former head of Google's local services pledged to take Yahoo "back to its roots" and admitted that it would have to embrace mobile technologies going forward.

In particular, she highlighted the need for more mobile engineers and pointed to Yahoo's well-received update to its Flickr service for Android devices as an example that it was capable in this area.

Mayer also hinted that Yahoo's current search partnership with Microsoft was not working as well as she would like, and indicated that any future acquisitions, if indeed there are any, will not exceed $100 million.

Her plans for revitalising the company have also spread to staff as part of an attempt to improve the culture of the business. Employees now enjoy free phones and free food as incentives, while their goals are now set out in line with those of Yahoo as a whole, which according to Mayer will help portray it as a positive working environment.

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Google reveals tablet habits

Google has released an in-depth research paper looking at the many ways in which people use their tablets.

Conducted using interviews, diaries and observations, the study followed 33 participants in three different areas of the US in attempt to pinpoint how and why people use their devices. Tablet use has greatly increased in the last two years, with the iPad and Android devices retaining much of the market share.

Nearly a quarter of the instances when it was used occurred on the sofa (23.51 per cent), and 23 of the participants did this. The next most popular location was in bed (16.54 per cent), while frequent use was also found at a table (9.04 per cent) and in the kitchen (8.66 per cent).

Of course, the data becomes most interesting when coupled with an analysis of what the user was doing in each location. For example, email checking and playing games were both popular sofa activities, while in bed the emails continued but the games stopped.

The study found that a tablet might be used in the kitchen for either listening to music or quick and easy recipe-finding, while the more general category 'looking up information' was also a feature here. Online shopping was mostly done in bed, while five of the participants used their tablet to read a book during their daily commute.

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Ceefax signs off

Long-running news service Ceefax was finally shut off this week as the final analogue television services left in the UK were shut down.

Thirty-eight years after it first appeared, the iconic pages were switched off in Belfast as athlete Dame Mary Peters ceremonially ushered in the digital era.

Over the years Ceefax developed a cult following as its blocky graphics remained long after rolling news, red button services and online reports became commonplace. Its many rumoured fans included former Prime Minister Sir John Major, Avril Lavigne and John Cleese.

It has also made the news in its own right on many occasions, most notably in 1994 when during a rehearsal it mistakenly broadcast a story claiming the Queen Mother had died. Despite only airing the error for thirty seconds, the false article was spotted and it was forced to apologise.

Several stories have also gone down in sporting folklore, including the memorable case of former Queens Park Rangers assistant manager Bruce Rioch, who in 1997 found out he had been sacked by the football club when the story appeared as he browsed the day's news on Ceefax.

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Written by James Riches

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