Yahoo Celebrates Earth Day!

By Chris Page, Global Director, Energy and Sustainability Strategy

Earth Day may just come around once a year, but at Yahoo, we’re focused on keeping an Earth Day perspective every day of the year. We are continuously looking for ways to incorporate energy efficiencies into our own daily habits. 

Our data centers power the core of our business. We’re committed to investing in, designing and building state-of-the-art data centers to ensure our facilities are as efficient as possible. Our data centers in Lockport, NY and Quincy, WA incorporate our award-winning Yahoo Compute Coop (YCC) architecture that uses significantly less energy and water than conventional data centers. The unique shape of the building and the use of outside air-cooling for approximately 98% of the year eliminates the need for expensive and energy-intensive chillers to keep the servers cool.

We’re also focused on lowering our environmental footprint at our offices around the world. This year, we expect to reduce our landscape watering needs at our LEED Gold Certified Sunnyvale headquarters by 35%, through a sensor system installed last fall that integrates weather data, measures moisture in the air, and customizes water flow to pre-set vegetation zones. This new system will save over 3.5 million gallons of water annually.

As a company, we also encourage Yahoos around the world to consider how they can contribute to our overall efficiency. Our café staff in Sunnyvale is exploring ways to use less water during dishwashing. Additionally, all the restroom fixtures in our headquarters are low-flow to further reduce our overall water consumption. We also installed Power Strip Motion Sensors in Sunnyvale that automatically put desktop appliances in sleep mode when the workspace is unoccupied, saving more than 100,000 kWh per building on campus and nearly 80 tons of Co2 annually. As Sunnyvale is home to 30% of our global workforce, these energy initiatives save energy dollars and help raise employee awareness.

We’re committed to being an environmentally responsible company. We take into consideration the energy impact of our business operations and will continue to work hard to ensure that we are operating as efficiently as we can.

 

Yahoo Data Center in Lockport, NY

 

Yahoo Teams Up with NetSafe in New Zealand

By Nick O’Donnell, APAC Public Policy & Connie Chung, Trust & Safety

Yahoo is committed to keeping young people safe in the digital environment by proactively building the online space to be safer for our users.  Our Trust and Safety team is particularly focused on empowering our users — especially our younger users — to have meaningful, trustworthy and safer online experiences.

In the past months, several countries in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) have proposed legislation around online safety issues that we’ve followed very closely.  We’re committed to protecting our users’ security online and have taken significant steps in recent months to encrypt our products and information flowing between our data centers. We are working with regional lawmakers to ensure they understand how we prioritize these issues, as well as our model of security-by-design.

We also recognize the value of building strong community relationships to understand our users’ needs.  Connie Chung from our Trust and Safety team spent four weeks in New Zealand working hand-in-hand with NetSafe, New Zealand’s leading online safety organization.  More than half of New Zealanders online visit Yahoo properties, so it was a unique opportunity to better understand local online habits and concerns. Connie’s collaboration with NetSafe highlighted the importance of encouraging safe online behavior through education, building in safety-by-design, and engaging multiple stakeholders around the importance of online safety. You can read more about Connie’s experience here

We are constantly striving to make the internet safer for everyone, especially our youngest users around the globe. Check out @YahooSafely to learn more about our efforts and join the conversation.

Reducing Energy Consumption At Our Data Center in Quincy, WA

By Chris Page, Global Director, Energy and Sustainability Strategy

At Yahoo, we’re focused on making the world’s daily habits inspiring and entertaining — and our state-of-the-art data centers power our users’ daily habits. So we’re excited to share that we’ve partnered with SynapSense® Corporation, the leading provider of wireless monitoring and cooling control solutions, on a joint project that will save 4.6 million kilowatt hours of energy annually at our data center in Quincy, Washington.

To reach this ambitious goal, we’ll work together to reduce cooling costs, recover stranded cooling capacity and improve operational resiliency of the data center’s cooling infrastructure.

Our partnership with SynapSense will further our efforts to ensure our data centers are as energy efficient as possible. We look forward to working together with SynapSense to maximize our cooling efficiency and lower our overall carbon footprint.

For more information, check out SynapSense’s press release.

Yahoo Joins The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)

By: Yahoo Global Public Policy Team

We recently joined The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), an advocacy and policy organization that counts the world’s most innovative technology companies among their ranks. We’ll be working with ITI to boost our ongoing efforts to help policymakers and regulators better understand our business, allowing us to provide our global customers with the most inspiring and entertaining products possible.

We look forward to working with ITI to help fuel our users’ daily habits around the world!

Edging Patent Trolls Out Through Higher Quality Patents

By Kevin Kramer, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel

The resources that Yahoo and others spend fighting patent trolls and their abusive litigation tactics could be better spent to research and develop new products, to invest in facilities and equipment, and to create jobs.

One way to curb abusive patent lawsuits is to improve patent quality. Yahoo is working to do this in several ways. We share prior art, publish technological developments that we do not patent, and train patent examiners on emerging technologies.

  • Sharing Prior Art: We have shared prior art relevant to our business and intend to do so in the future. We are considering ways to more easily share non-confidential information with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). We believe that the more information we make available to patent examiners, and the more time they get to study that information, the better equipped they are to analyze patent applications and determine what is patentable and what is not.
  • Publication: We routinely publish technological developments that we do not pursue as patents to share information that not only helps patent examiners but also encourages innovation. Our publications are available on IP.com.
  • Training : Over the past five years, Yahoo has conducted nine seminars to train USPTO examiners about  technologies relevant to our business. For example, we provided both live and web-based trainings on cloud computing, databases, big data, web search, sponsored search, data center cooling, and advertising technologies. These trainings have provided the examining corps with a better understanding of the technologies relevant to the world wide web.

Even with our active engagement, more work remains to stop poor patents and abusive patent litigation. We applaud the Obama administration’s efforts to improve the patent system and to ensure a level playing field for innovators, as well as high quality patents. Yahoo supports legislative reforms that reduce incentives to engage in abusive patent litigation practices, and we look forward to continue working with the USPTO and like-minded companies to improve the system.