Live from Yahoo's keynote with Tom Cruise
(UPDATE: Click here for live Google keynote coverage beginning at 4pm Pacific. See after the jump for pix of Yahoo's new Dashboard)
8:55am Terry Semel should be out in a few minutes (right after the ubiquitous Gary Shapiro, of course.) The guys behind us are arguing whether or not Yahoo is a Web 2.0 company. No wait, they're trying to figure out what a "Web 2.0 company" is. Note to Dale Dougherty at O'Reilly: Mission Accomplished!
8:57 We've just overheard "AOL sent 30 people" here to cover CES for Engadget.
9:05 Gary S is on. Stand by... He's pronounced Terry's name as both SEH-mell and seh-MELL.
9:05 Here's Terry! He jokes that he's been to Las Vegas plenty of times, but this is the first time he's seen what it looks like at 7am.
"When people ask, what do we do at Yahoo, first of all we think of our consumers. So many of those 400 million people rely on Yahoo and ... already invested a lot of time and a lot of energy setting up their world on the PC. And they now want the ability to take that world anywhere they go. So let's see a little video..."
Promo video montage of people talking up what Yahoo does for them.
9:11 Terry is throwing out numbers: 90 million users in Yahoo Groups. 2 billion minutes/month on Yahoo games. 250 million Yahoo Mail users, supposedly largest in world. 2 billion images on Yahoo photos. "We always thought the Internet was never about one killer app."
"We think the Internet isn't a Web page anymore, it's a vehicle for delivering ... it's about connecting the devices that all of you are manufacturing."
9:13 On early MTV: "There I was sitting there for an hour, a month, and never seeing that one video I wanted to see." (Madonna's "Lucky Star" video on big screen behind him). "Stock tickers, same thing ... Someone decided the news goes on at 11:00 at night. Someone decided when the comedy you like goes on. We all grew up with someone else as the programmer.
"The programmer today is the user. The user today decides (TALKING POINTS ALERT) what they want, when they want.
9:15 "I want to talk about my 13-year-old daughter. I was driving her to school .. I took a look at her when she got into the car. She had two headsets attached. One was her iPod video, the other was her Creative Zen. She had two things bulging out of her pocket. One was her cellphone - it was going off every ten seconds with alerts. I thought she was trafficking for a while. She pulled out a Sidekick and was communicating with two groups of people at the same time.
"When we say there's been a paradigm shift ... it is for us, but not so for the latest generations."
"What we're here to talk about today is how to take that experience anywhere..."
Four areas to discuss. [NOTE: We never did catch #3 and #4 while typing.]
2) Content "Almost everything on Yahoo is content. About 80 percent of the content people have heard of, but then there's that tail..."
Video: Donald Trump. "Wow, what a turnout you have. They obviously knew Trump was coming. Yahoo ... brought The Apprentice to a whole new level on the Web."
Montage of people as publishers -- citizen journalism after the Madrid train bombings. "People can elect to have us add an advertisement to [their content] and effectively go into business as a publisher. It creates a whole new world. We can call it tail content, I prefer to call it user-generated content."
9:22 "There are six billion song ratings on Yahoo Music. You're not interested in what some guy my age thinks about a song."
"We're doing a real good job bringing people (SAY IT WITH US!) what they want, when they want, and with your help where they want."
We found a customer who's here today to talk about what it's like. .."
9:25 Ellen DeGeneres comes on. Jokes about the porn convention next door. "I was about ten minutes from going on and realized I was in the wrong place. In my defense there was someone on a mechanical bronco yelling Yahoo! But I should have figured out that this convention is the one where they're all about making things smaller."
9:28 "I think the whole thing about technology is it's supposed to be getting easier but it keeps getting more complicated." APPLAUSE
9:30 "There's spell check, but I think someone should invent a sarcasm check. And a 24-hour outgoing hold on angry emails."
9:32 Terry thanks her. "It's not easy to make people laugh at 9:00 in the morning."
9:33 "I would like to announce right now what we call Yahoo Go. If you have some of the same problems dealing with things as Ellen .... Yahoo Go ... is a revolutionary way to connect users to Web services they already use. We're installing new applications right on devices (pix of laptop, TV, phone)"
"Yahoo Go products have 4 features
- Seamless experience
- Knows what device it's on and will adapt to screen etc
- Built on an open platform
Dan Rosensweig (ROH zen swag), Yahoo COO, comes on to demo. [Reader mickster comments below, "It's Roe-sen-swie-g with an 'i' like in kite. He's my cousin."]
9:50 This has been a long, long demo you'd be bored with. We'll summarize the news: Yahoo Go involves little apps called Yahoo Widgets on a Yahoo Dashboard. It looks a lot like Konfabulator and Apple Dashboard. [Readers have reminded us that this is Konfabulator, which Yahoo bought a while back.]
Our photos are lame, sorry. Borrowed camera, no experience. If you've got better please post 'em to comments.
There are also Yahoo Go Mobile widgets for the phone. They claim they can "do anything you can do on the Web" on a phone.
9:55 Video statement from AT&T on how they're going to partner. AT&T, Cingular
10:00 Yahoo Go TV demo. Onscreen menus for video search, etc. Can see recommendations, favorites, etc. Looks a lot like
DEMO BUG!! They got an error onscreen, "service not available" or something similar. Marco the demo guy handled it well. "I see we have the obligatory demo glitch... We seem to have a network problem ..." Rosensweig offers to act out the movies they're searching. But then he jokes, "We know whose software we're using." (big ooooOOOOOOHHH from audience.) But wait -- Terry Semel interrupts to announce a celebrity cameo! His intro is taking forever and could be about anyone, which gives us time to reload our memory stick ....
Tom Cruise! Way to save the demo.
Our camera batteries just rolled down the aisle, so we won't even try to shoot blurry pix of the trailer he's going to show for Mission Impossible 3. BIG strike against the CyberShot for putting the memory card in the same compartment as the spring-loaded batteries.
The video is intense - lots of fast action scenes and things blowing up right next to Cruise. Tom says he did his own stunts and "separated six ribs."
Audience member yells: "Rnn rr rr-rnnn!"
Audience member: "Run it again!" (everyone cheers)
Tom: "Can we do that? Can we test the speed of the Yahoo engine?"
Terry: "Just press play."
They run it again. THIS is how you save a demo.
10:08 Tom walks off. Terry alone. "If you think that wasn't rehearsed, it was. We figured if we're gonna have a live demo and it screws up ...."
10:10 Terry announces a partnership with Intel for Viiv. Paul Otellini comes on.
Otellini shows a little yellow Viiv PC about the form of a Mac mini.
10:15 He shows a demo tablet that hangs. "I think it's a Windows problem." (cheap laughs)
10:18 Terry: "I think we should bring Ellen back to see how we did .. she had a lot of pain points. Did we help?"
Ellen: "Yeah, but can we see that trailer one more time?" (Hell yeah. We can all probably go home now.)
They show cheesy Photoshopped vacation photos of Ellen in mountains, San Francisco, etc with heads of Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Terry Semel pasted on.
10:20 Ellen leaves.
Terry: "What we've shown you today are only the first steps. You can be sure we will continue to innvoate right alongside you. I'll go back to the first question about why Yahoo was here (at CES) for the first time today. Here's what I hope you take away:
- Yahoo is not going to make gadgets. We're here to partner with you
- We have 400 million users who have spent a lot of time setting up their world
- Personally I think walled gardens are a thing of the past
"Thank you all for joining us today."
10:40 Outside, a guy talking into his phone: "Well Steve Jobs is a fucking Jedi Master of this shit compared to these other clowns."
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.