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Tech Obsessed
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Yahoo Changing to Altaba, Marissa Mayer Leaving Board

Yahoo Changing to Altaba, Marissa Mayer Leaving Board
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It’s looking like the end of an era as Yahoo plans on changing its name to Altaba if and when the $4.8 billion dollar sale to Verizon goes through. At that time, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will step down from the board of directors; there is no news yet, however, on whether her role as CEO will change.

The remaining business will be a holding company with stakes in Alibaba (a massive Chinese online store and portal headed by Jack Ma), as well as Yahoo Japan. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the name Altaba is a fusion of “alternative” and “Alibaba,” which Yahoo currently owns about 15 percent of. The new company is intended to be publicly traded, continuing its work with Alibaba and a 35.5 percent ownership of Yahoo Japan. The New York Times also reported on the unusual name for the new company, noting that a scissors manufacturing business in Pakistan called “Al-Taba” virtually shares the same name.

In addition to Marissa Mayer, David Filo, Maynard Webb, Eddy Hartenstein, Jane Shaw and Richard Hill will also be leaving the board once the acquisition is complete, with Eric Brandt remaining and serving as chairman. According to Yahoo, the departures are “not due to any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices." Those staying on include Catherine Friedman, Jeffrey Smith, Thomas McInerney and Tor Braham.

It’s reported that the Yahoo brand will continue to live on after Verizon’s purchase of the core business model. The name change only represents the remaining shares currently owned by Yahoo.

Questions still remain on whether or not the Verizon acquisition for $4.8 billion will proceed. Severe hacks affecting more than one billion user accounts were revealed after the deal was originally announced back in July, leading some to speculate that the deal may be renegotiated or even abandoned entirely. Some executives have publicly expressed doubts. In an interview with Reuters, Verizon executive Marni Walden, stated, "I can't sit here today and say with confidence one way or another because we still don't know.” According to Reuters, “Walden added that the merits of the deal still made sense and that there were certain aspects of the investigation that had yet to be completed.”

There are conflicting reports on whether or not Marissa Mayer will stay on as CEO or work for Verizon in some capacity, assuming the acquisition takes place. In a July post on Tumblr, Mayer was quoted as saying, “For me personally, I’m planning to stay. I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you. It’s important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter.” However, according to a source in an article from Recode, it would be unlikely she’d stay. “Marissa is not working for Tim at a phone company,” said the source, referencing that in an acquisition Yahoo will be integrated into AOL, headed by CEO Tim Armstrong.

CES Day 4: Which Products Are Worth Buying?

CES Day 4: Which Products Are Worth Buying?
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We’ve seen some impressive displays of technology at CES this year, from LG’s transparent display to a robot barista that can prepare a fresh cup of coffee. However, in many ways CES isn't just a showcase of the latest in tech -- it's a storefront where consumers can purchase the incredible products being showcased. As the show comes to a close, we’re rounding up some of the best products that are truly worth buying, with info on how much they cost and where to get them.

Kuri Home Robot

Think of Kuri as the next logical step in home robotics after the Roomba (although it doesn’t vacuum). It’s about 20 inches tall, is relatively unobtrusive, mobile, and capable of assisting with a variety of tasks like monitoring the house, acting as an alarm clock, playing music and reading bedtime stories to the kids. The Kuri navigates on its own by mapping the rooms it has access to and can go back to its charging station on its own when it needs to juice up with power.

Cost: $699
Where to buy: Pre-order at HeyKuri.com
Perfect for: Families with kids

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Laptop

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 doesn’t have any particularly showy gimmicks, curved displays, touch bars or anything like that, but it does a fantastic job at getting the basics done right. It’s a classically designed slim laptop convertible with a gorgeous nearly bezel-free (5.2mm) display. That means you can twist its screen 360 degrees back to use it as a laptop or tablet. The screen itself comes in either 1080p or Quad HD+ with 3,200 x 1,800 pixels. Depending on the model, it’s powered by a seventh generation Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 processor, with 1TB of storage and up to 16GB of RAM. It weighs in at only 2.7 pounds, is completely fanless and has 2 USB 3.0 ports.

Cost: Starting at $999
Where to buy: Purchase now at Dell.com
Perfect for: Business or personal users

Lenovo Smart Assistant

Amazon Echo-style virtual assistants are popping up all over the place in various forms. The beauty of the Lenovo Smart Assistant is that it comes powered by Alexa and fully equipped with everything you’d expect from an Amazon device, except it’s a lot more stylish with different colors and a premium design. Plus, you can order it with great sounding Harman Kardon speakers for $180. Like the Dell XPS does for laptops, the Lenovo Smart Assistant isn’t the showiest or most awe-inspiring product offering out there, but it nails the basics wonderfully.

Price: Starting at $129
Where to buy: Will be available in May on Amazon.com, Lenovo.com and standard retailers
Perfect for: Families, homeowners

Sony A1E OLED TV

Sony’s gorgeous, absurdly thin 4K flat screen display is expected to be available later this year with a 55-inch model estimated to cost around $2,000 and and a 65-inch model coming in at $3,000. These prices are still guesses, as official information hasn’t been released from the company yet. It will include a giant kickstand so it can be propped up like an enormous picture frame, and the screen itself will act as a speaker so sound will circulate around the room straight from the picture itself.

Price: Estimated prices will start at $2000
Where to buy: Expected to be available in 2017, standard retailers
Perfect for: TV binge watchers

ASUS ZenFone AR

The ASUS ZenFone is a powerful Android, smartphone with a 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 pixel display, a 8 megapixel front camera and a battery capacity of 3,300mAh. For the augmented reality or virtual reality enthusiast, this ZenFone is the perfect buy, as it’s the first ever phone ready for both Tango and Daydream. This means it’ll be equipped with the necessary depth perception features to experience the latest in augmented reality (like pretending to place furniture in a room) as well as Google’s virtual reality experiences (with immersive gaming and movies) when connected to the $79 Daydream View headset. It’s a smartphone that will give you early access to the latest in immersive AR and VR technologies while also just being a great phone.

Price: N/A yet
Where to buy: Will be widely available at Q2 of 2017
Perfect for: Virtual reality enthusiasts

Garmin Fenix 5, 5X and 5S Smartwatches

For outdoorsy types looking for the ultimate smartwatch, look no further. These durable waterproof watches come equipped with GPS, an accelerometer, three-axis compass technology, a barometric altimeter, a heart rate monitor and excellent battery life. The Garmin Fenix 5 will last about two weeks in smartwatch mode and roughly 24 hours while running with GPS activated. While a number of smartwatches currently boast fancier displays and sleeker designs, these features can come at a cost in terms of durability and battery life. The simplicity, power and real-world practicality of the Fenix 5 Series watches is what sets these apart.

Price: Starting at $599
Where to buy: Garmin.com
Perfect for: Campers, runners

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