Do what you will, just don't shutter Flickr
January 9, 2017 3:23 PM   Subscribe

With the (maybe not) closing of the roughly $4.8 billion sale of its core business to Verizon Communications Inc., Yahoo says goodbye to Chief Executive Marissa Mayer, co-founder David Filo and others and changes its name to Altaba Inc. More in the small print of Form 8-K. On Flickr: the MetaFilter group, the MetaFilter HQ reception, and other search results for 'MetaFilter'.
posted by Wordshore (92 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
altaba and the 40 thieves
posted by entropicamericana at 3:24 PM on January 9, 2017 [2 favorites]


Altaba? ALTernate ali-bABA?
posted by Thorzdad at 3:27 PM on January 9, 2017 [4 favorites]


AltabaVista?
posted by schmod at 3:32 PM on January 9, 2017 [13 favorites]


as Altaba Tronc deftly piloted his X-wing through a fury of blaster fire,
posted by theodolite at 3:32 PM on January 9, 2017 [83 favorites]


as Altaba Tronc deftly piloted his X-wing through a fury of blaster fire, he exclaimed "Yahoo!"
posted by jozxyqk at 3:35 PM on January 9, 2017 [33 favorites]


Alt-tab right out of here.
posted by porn in the woods at 3:42 PM on January 9, 2017 [16 favorites]


AltabaVista?

Quite; AltaVista.com resolves to Yahoo. But, for us old back-in-the-day* types, Lycos still trundles on even if it's acquisition did lead to financial difficulties for its current parent.

(*Looks at old quality Internet resource service and mourns a bit)
posted by Wordshore at 3:42 PM on January 9, 2017 [5 favorites]


Altaba Tronc is, as I'm sure we all instantly recognized, an anagram for Blatant Orca.

Which makes sense once you realize that Marissa Meyer is an anagram for Smearier Yams.

Filtrate Me!
posted by jenkinsEar at 3:42 PM on January 9, 2017 [25 favorites]


Can someone please create isflickrabouttoclose.com? I am still in denial but I need some warning.
posted by selfnoise at 3:49 PM on January 9, 2017 [4 favorites]


I really do need to download all of my Flickr images. The cloud really is just someone else's computer.
posted by octothorpe at 3:54 PM on January 9, 2017 [11 favorites]


MetaFilter HQ reception still gets a chuckle out of me
posted by not_the_water at 3:58 PM on January 9, 2017 [2 favorites]


I just nuked my Flickr account after realizing I haven't touched it since 2013 and it sent me an email saying some random person liked my photo from back then. Figured I don't need all that stuff floating out there anymore.
That name is Tronc level terrible. And I'm more curious what they'll do to wring blood out of the turnip that is Tumblr.
posted by msbutah at 3:58 PM on January 9, 2017


Can someone please create isflickrabouttoclose.com? I am still in denial but I need some warning.

I've been in low-level panic about this for a few years. An AskMeFi from last year to try and figure out moving options.
posted by Wordshore at 3:59 PM on January 9, 2017 [6 favorites]


For those wanting to download all their photos:

Go to https://www.flickr.com/cameraroll

Select the first image, go to the bottom of your timeline, shift click the last image, and on the right hand side, you should now see a download button.

It actually works, batched up my 2000 photos in 5 zip files.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:01 PM on January 9, 2017 [86 favorites]


Did they download in separate folders for each album or are they all just jumbled together?
posted by octothorpe at 4:04 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


I could be wrong but it sounds like Altaba is the holding company for Yahoo's current ownership of Alibaba and Yahoo Japan shares. These are very valuable ($30B+?) and the tax bill for selling them was a big part of why Yahoo wants to sell itself to Verizon. Futhermore, it may be that the creation of this new investment company magically eliminates the tax bill.

But I could be wrong, I'm waiting for more solid reporting.

Related: tech company taxes are going to be a hot topic in the Trump/GOP regime. Expect Apple, Google, GE, Microsoft, Pfizer, IBM, etc to get very excited patriotically saying they want to "repatriate" the $1.4 trillion in cash being held offshore. You know, without paying taxes on those profits.
posted by Nelson at 4:08 PM on January 9, 2017 [14 favorites]


That sounds good mrzarquon. My wife has 230,000 photos. I'll givn it a whirl.

A few weeks ago I tried a side-load solution (that claimed to transfer the photos to Google Plus which, while basically shit, is at least a little more likely to hang around than Flickr). But it sat there chugging for a few hours then quit.
posted by Jimbob at 4:08 PM on January 9, 2017 [2 favorites]


I looked through one of the galleries. I had no idea that Metafilter had a tartan! I probably won't get a MeFi kilt, but it's comforting to know that I can, should the need arise.
posted by dfm500 at 4:08 PM on January 9, 2017 [3 favorites]


I just tried it and it worked for the first three out of six zip files but when I clicked on the fourth, I got sent to a 404 page.
posted by octothorpe at 4:09 PM on January 9, 2017


They are just a zip file of everything, and trying to download all five of mine at once caused three to be corrupt, i'm hoping its the missing subset of files, but i get to download them all again, so I spoke a little two soon.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:10 PM on January 9, 2017


I had no idea that Metafilter had a tartan!

I think that was the age before MetaFilter's Brown Period?
posted by Wordshore at 4:15 PM on January 9, 2017


and other search results for 'MetaFilter'.

Ahhh, this explains the spike in my Flickr stats that I was a little freaked out about a few minutes ago. Geez, ignore Metafilter for a few minutes and all hell breaks loose...
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:17 PM on January 9, 2017


Had occasion to root around my photo archives at Flickr for the first time in years the other day. The site was more responsive than attempting to perform the same task on roughly the same set of images in Apple's Photos, loading from a local SSD. I found that remarkable.
posted by mwhybark at 4:32 PM on January 9, 2017 [6 favorites]


I'm just hoping that, when the dust settles, Stewart and Caterina will get to buy back Flickr for a knock-down price, and run it as a sustainable exit-strategy-less offshoot of Slack. (By now, its users' loyalty has proved that there's something there worth preserving.)
posted by acb at 4:34 PM on January 9, 2017 [16 favorites]


For those wanting to download all their photos

Now this seems like an interesting exercise. About five years ago I uploaded my entire iPhoto set in full rez, marked private, specifically as a test. It worked, eventually. Let's see how this goes!
posted by mwhybark at 4:38 PM on January 9, 2017


I deleted my Flickr account about a month ago. I just deleted the rest of my Yahoo account.

No tears spilled. They ran out of any possible goodwill ages ago.

I do hope Tumblr ends up okay, though.
posted by SansPoint at 4:38 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


Just over 12,000 photos, 24 zip files! Here goes.
posted by mwhybark at 4:40 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


Had not uploaded anything to Flickr since 2011. Sayonara, Flickr.
posted by briank at 4:42 PM on January 9, 2017


404 error on zip 18, trying again.

Retry has at least generated all 24 links as downloading things. We'll see.
posted by mwhybark at 4:43 PM on January 9, 2017


I could be wrong but it sounds like Altaba is the holding company for Yahoo's current ownership of Alibaba and Yahoo Japan shares.

That is: Altaba is not the Tronc, Yahoo is the Tronc here.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:48 PM on January 9, 2017


I'd like to backup my Yahoo emails too, I haven't used it in a decade but it has all of the messages from when my wife and I first started dating.
posted by octothorpe at 4:48 PM on January 9, 2017 [2 favorites]


According to the WSJ article about this Altaba really does mean "Alternate Alibaba" whatever that means. The good news is nobody cares about Altaba, since as far as I can tell none of the services people care about like Flickr or Tumblr are sticking with Altaba.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:51 PM on January 9, 2017


Also, it's suspected that Mayer will be moving over to Verizon to continue to head the bits of Yahoo that are moving over.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:54 PM on January 9, 2017


Someone save Yahoo Answers!
posted by drezdn at 4:58 PM on January 9, 2017 [10 favorites]


Ugh, I still can't get the zip files to download. I keep getting network errors on the halfway through the downloads.
posted by octothorpe at 5:06 PM on January 9, 2017


Usually when a big ownership changes hands, there's some noise made about whether the new owner is going to preserve existing branded services, change them, or shut them down. (where "we haven't decided yet" - type noises usually means "shut them down")

Has Verizon said anything at all about what it plans to do with Yahoo? I haven't been following the news enough to even assume there's a means of knowing which way the wind blows. I have heard everybody acting on their own maximally-pessimistic predictions (which might not be a bad thing to do). But at the same time, if Verizon intends to buy a popular online property with hundreds of millions of users, it'd make good sense to not do things that scare 'em off.
posted by ardgedee at 5:09 PM on January 9, 2017


MarketWatch have more details and clarification and whatnot.
posted by Wordshore at 5:15 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


> According to the WSJ article about this Altaba really does mean "Alternate Alibaba" whatever that means. The good news is nobody cares about Altaba, since as far as I can tell none of the services people care about like Flickr or Tumblr are sticking with Altaba.

From the WSJ article: "Still, analysts say most of Yahoo’s value stems from its stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, not the core business sold to Verizon. [...] About 61% of Yahoo’s worth is tied to its stake in Alibaba, while 13% is linked to Yahoo Japan Corp."

Arguably *most* of the services people care about are sticking with Altaba.
posted by ardgedee at 5:16 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


I love Tumblr a lot, but I keep hoping something like this will finally do it some real damage so that the fandom people will start drifting off to some platform that's slightly more conducive to holding a conversation. Even with a messenger platform built in now, that's only one-on-one, and there's a grand total of one person with whom I've had more than two conversations that way. I love fandom; I miss when fandom didn't mean Tumblr.
posted by Sequence at 5:19 PM on January 9, 2017 [8 favorites]


If they do kill Flickr, will all the bereaved photographers left homeless online become known as the Altaba Martyrs' Brigade?
posted by acb at 5:20 PM on January 9, 2017


I love Tumblr a lot, but I keep hoping something like this will finally do it some real damage so that the fandom people will start drifting off to some platform that's slightly more conducive to holding a conversation. Even with a messenger platform built in now, that's only one-on-one, and there's a grand total of one person with whom I've had more than two conversations that way. I love fandom; I miss when fandom didn't mean Tumblr.

Perhaps now would be an excellent time for somebody to take a look at the LiveJournal value proposition and reimplement it from scratch, with modern technologies (OAuth/REST for APIs, everything test-driven, possibly a microservices architecture), but keeping the privacy filter system (perhaps borrowing set differences from Facebook's filters), threaded discussions, user icons, and, last but not least, no real name policy.
posted by acb at 5:25 PM on January 9, 2017 [12 favorites]


Verizon owns AOL and therefore Compuserve, Netscape, ICQ and Winamp. Soon they'll own Yahoo and Flickr too.
posted by humanfont at 5:37 PM on January 9, 2017 [4 favorites]


Is there a reasonable self-hosting photo gallery that isn't written in php?
posted by Skorgu at 5:38 PM on January 9, 2017 [3 favorites]


Funny, I've been on yahoo mail forever, and despite all the hacks, I can't move to gmail. See I created my gmail username once, didn't set up recovery options, and then forgot the password...

Shit
posted by Windopaene at 5:40 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


I uploaded my first photos almost exactly 12 years ago, and just now downloaded all ~1200 (using the technique mrzarquon mentioned above - one .zip file at a time). I'm surprised, I thought there were more. I'm pretty sure I've got originals for all of them, but...just in case.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:41 PM on January 9, 2017


I'm actually kind of sad about this. Not that I've used anything yahoo except Flickr in like 15 years, but Yahoo!™ was one of the original Internet brands that those of us using the early web indentified with. Before google, in the Long Ago, there was Lycos, and Alta Vista and AOL and Netscape and some other shit I forget about and Yahoo!™ was the cowboy Silicon Valley start up that made the web better. In the mid 90s, Yahoo!™ was the Internet. This is kind of like the end of Packard Automotive or the Washington Senators. It doesn't really matter I suppose, but I always felt that Yahoo!™ deserved to live on as a brand somehow because of their groundbreaking importance at the start of an industry like Bell or Wells Fargo or Edison.

Yeah I'm anthropomorphizing a billion dollar corporation. That's the age we live in.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:41 PM on January 9, 2017 [24 favorites]


Unfortunately it doesn't appear to have retained any tag/comment/album/etc. data, just the pics themselves. :-/
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:42 PM on January 9, 2017


Are we going to see "Altaba Answers?"
posted by raysmj at 5:46 PM on January 9, 2017


Yahoo was literally the very first site that I connected to on the internet in 1995 using Kermit over a 28.8 dial-up connection.
posted by octothorpe at 5:48 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


Perhaps now would be an excellent time for somebody to take a look at the LiveJournal value proposition and reimplement it from scratch, with modern technologies (OAuth/REST for APIs, everything test-driven, possibly a microservices architecture), but keeping the privacy filter system (perhaps borrowing set differences from Facebook's filters), threaded discussions, user icons, and, last but not least, no real name policy.

I haven't looked at it in a while, but I think Dreamwidth is basically this.
posted by kmz at 5:49 PM on January 9, 2017 [4 favorites]


"You guys think of something to call this new company, I don't know ... Altaba. Except more proactive."
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:54 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


Verizon owns AOL and therefore Compuserve, Netscape, ICQ and Winamp. Soon they'll own Yahoo and Flickr too.

Verizon: Internet Company of the Year 1996
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:55 PM on January 9, 2017 [31 favorites]


I still like Flickr as a photo sharing service. I hope it sticks around. I'm "old-school" pre-Yahoo acquisition member & it's had its rough spots, but I've never found anything better. Never had any use for the Yahoo mail, ever though. Been using DuckDuckGo as my search engine for a couple years & am pretty happy with it. Yahoo sports was good, but utterly non-essential.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:06 PM on January 9, 2017 [8 favorites]


I haven't looked at it in a while, but I think Dreamwidth is basically this.

No, it's the same 1990s-vintage Perl codebase as LiveJournal. It was written before modern MVC-style frameworks and test-driven development became common, so, architecturally speaking, it's essentially a big ball of mud. (Lurking in the Dreamwidth development reports list was a Sisyphean, or perhaps Augean, experience; most of the progress seemed to consist of knocking off some from an endless list of bugs.) Also, authentication is username/password only (so no API keys, or compartmentalized app permissions; if you trust an app, you trust it completely), and the API didn't go far beyond the CGI form you see on the web.
posted by acb at 6:25 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


Verizon owns AOL and therefore Compuserve, Netscape, ICQ and Winamp. Soon they'll own Yahoo and Flickr too.

Netscape, ICQ, and Winamp are like 75% of what my computer was used for in college. Thank God Yahoo doesn't own IRC.
posted by maryr at 6:31 PM on January 9, 2017 [4 favorites]


What about my tags and albums?
posted by k8t at 6:44 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


Or Usenet.

Mind you, all those unownable services have been pushed out to the periphery and away from the "legitimate" net. Usenet is largely blocked because it's mostly an unpoliceable wasteland of piracy and porn, and IRC is largely seen, when it is, as a command and control channel for botnets.
posted by acb at 6:46 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


You wanna altaba?
posted by Navelgazer at 7:12 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


It's kind of funny how Yahoo managed to go from market leader to complete zombie that was more or less propped up by it's alibaba holdings in such a relatively short period of time.

Much like AOL struggled to come up with a viable business plan once the age of 56k dial-up was coming to a close it seems like Yahoo could never come up with a viable second act after Google search basically destroyed the entire point of the Yahoo directory.

Yahoo of course had various billions and enough purchases to keep themselves more or less breathing for an extended period of time but under Mayer it just looked like the holding ground for a bunch of old poorly running auxiliary enterprises.

Maybe someone else could've taken it back private and used the remaining assets to come up with the equivalent of the iphone and given Yahoo a new lease on life but it just seemed like Yahoo under Mayer was destined to be a slow ride into oblivion.

I'm actually surprised that she lasted as long as she did without being forced out. I'm also kind of surprised that Verizon seems willing to keep her around because I'm not sure what sort of long term value she'll provide them.
posted by vuron at 7:39 PM on January 9, 2017 [3 favorites]


Yeah, a weirdly bittersweet moment. I sort of was rooting for Yahoo, in the way one roots for a beloved dog that's hit age twelve or thirteen. 'C'mon fella, you can dooooo it!'

But the poor thing is just wincing when he has to climb up on the bed...it's for the best, really. Reading that all the Yahoo assets, all the Yahoo employees, and even Mayer herself were actually negative assets, destroying value every single workday... well, have fun Verizon!
posted by mrdaneri at 7:47 PM on January 9, 2017 [2 favorites]


Tumblr suffers from the same problem that plagues twitter, post-hoc blocking and a tagging ontology do not create functional communities.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:32 PM on January 9, 2017



Much like AOL struggled to come up with a viable business plan once the age of 56k dial-up was coming to a close it seems like Yahoo could never come up with a viable second act after Google search basically destroyed the entire point of the Yahoo directory.


AOL is still getting by (albeit at a fraction of its value) on dial-up subscriptions, believe it or not. As for Yahoo!, yeah, they've been circling the drain for some time, managing to stay out of the event horizon by buying better companies. I just checked my Flickr account and there are a bunch of City of Heroes screenshots that I want to yank out before the lights are turned off, but I have no nostalgia for the big Y itself; for some time, I've been using my Y! email account for the kind of stuff that I don't want polluting my Gmail accounts, and given the sort of crap that has ended up in them, that's saying something.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:33 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


Jeezzz. I've been blogging (remember blogging) about bicycling since 2006. I have a ton of images embedded from Flickr. I mean a TON. I guess I'll have to to let Curtis in Bicycle Land (self link for the curious) die if Flickr dies.

I do wish I could somehow keep some record of this very important 10 years of my life. I tried one of those print-your-blog services, but it came out too ugly and there was no edit feature.

If you have hints to save me, please post or message.
posted by cccorlew at 9:17 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


That name is Tronc level terrible.

But there are two kinds of corporations which need two types of names whose purposes are completely different. One kind of corporation is trying to build a brand and needs a name that's appealing and memorable (Yahoo!). The other kind of corporation is trying to buy and sell, own and control the companies that are brands and they would prefer to have as few people paying attention to them as possible. They want names that are boring and forgettable.
posted by straight at 9:31 PM on January 9, 2017 [2 favorites]


Verizon owns AOL and therefore Compuserve, Netscape, ICQ and Winamp. Soon they'll own Yahoo and Flickr too.

Not Winamp anymore. It's in some weirder purgatory. I still use it anyway, because it's still the best for my old-fashioned, folders-not-tags, my-computer-not-the-cloud music collection.

Ugh really hoping that someone keeps Flickr going though. It's good at what it does, pretty painless to use, and doesn't force social media and other crap onto you, unlike so many things these days.
posted by ubersturm at 9:33 PM on January 9, 2017 [3 favorites]


Not Winamp anymore. It's in some weirder purgatory.

Vivendi might be French, but not sure it qualifies as weird; it's just one of those huge media conglomerates (they own Canal+, UMG, DailyMotion, etc).
posted by effbot at 10:14 PM on January 9, 2017


The Glass Cliff.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:28 PM on January 9, 2017 [3 favorites]


I would be very sad to lose Flickr. I have every digital photo I've taken since 1999 (even the blurry ones of my thumb) up there and I like that I can access my photo library anywhere. Their search is surprisingly good too. All of my images are also backed up a half-dozen other ways on media that I own, thankfully, but it's the collaborative groups where Flickr shines and that I'd miss, such as Cats of Metafilter!
posted by jamaro at 11:05 PM on January 9, 2017 [3 favorites]


What the hell,they just charged me $24 to renew my pro account!
posted by boilermonster at 12:13 AM on January 10, 2017 [4 favorites]


If you're technically inclined, I've been using FlickrMirror to periodically download and sync a copy of my Flickr account so I can self-host if someone pulls the plug. It runs on Node and grabs pretty much all the metadata and image derivatives, along with sets and collections.

Unfortunately there's nothing in FlickrMirror to retrieve comments or your social graph. The only thing I've seen that came close to that was Aaron Straup Cope's Parallel Flickr, but that hasn't had any commits in 3 years.
posted by garrett at 2:02 AM on January 10, 2017 [11 favorites]


All the things that used to be branded Yahoo will still be branded Yahoo. Altaba is just a holding company that does nothing but hold shares of Alibaba (and a bit of Yahoo Japan.) So I don't really think this will affect anything, you'll still go to email.yahoo.com or whatever and it will still be branded as Yahoo. From one of the links posted here, it seems like the endgame is to get Alibaba to acquire Altaba, in effect a stock buyback. Altaba may not even exist for long anyway.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:35 AM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


for reference - downloading 11,337 photos resulted in 23 zip files.
posted by zenwerewolf at 5:27 AM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


Is there a particular reason why people think Flickr is going away?
posted by plastic_animals at 5:55 AM on January 10, 2017


Well, why wouldn't Flickr go away?
posted by oceanjesse at 6:08 AM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


I've been sending my photos to Flick for a long time now, pre-Yahoo. I've been paying for Flickr Pro since late 2008-ish. But I've never trusted the cloud enough to delete my local copies. If it dies, that will be sad, and I'll be annoyed. But I won't need to worry about downloading anything.

I think there is too much there for it to just die. Someone ought to be able to make something out of it. I'm likely wrong, but we'll see.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:11 AM on January 10, 2017


For me it's more that I know Verizon is a company that seems to hate its customers so I just assume they will make Flickr coin operated or only available with a quadruple fuck package (TM).

I really like Flickr for my family photo sharing as someone who doesn't do Facebook so I'm ruminating on another option.
posted by selfnoise at 6:22 AM on January 10, 2017


Well, why wouldn't Flickr go away?

Near as any outsider can tell it appears to be profitable or within striking distance of being so. Verizon isn't paying $4.8B for Yahoo! just to throw that money away, they have to have a plan to recoup that cost. One way to do that is to keep the profitable portions going. Flickr won't earn billions but there is a good chance it can be taking in more than it spends for a number of years.
posted by plastic_animals at 6:23 AM on January 10, 2017


Flickr's Creative Commons photo library has been an amazing resource for my cash-strapped nonprofit. It'll really suck for us if we can't access it anymore.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:48 AM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


I do wish I could somehow keep some record of this very important 10 years of my life. I tried one of those print-your-blog services, but it came out too ugly and there was no edit feature.

If you have hints to save me, please post or message.


Man, right there with you. Flickr emerged while I was in grad school, having the time of my life meeting so many new people (including my husband). I tremble at the thought of losing that record. There are comment chains that... I dunno how to say it nicer than some of our only text records of funny conversations with friends who've since passed away are in those comments and tags and so on.

I would 100% pay a decent amount for a full copy of my account.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 8:38 AM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


I have a Tumblr account and a Flickr account. I would love for any public photo that I put on Flickr to be posted to a Tumblr draft, or even just a queued post. They have been siblings for so long and there is still no simple way for one to feed the other unless you want to do one picture at a time. I use IFTTT, but that does not catch everything. When a company can't make their own disparate products work together in a meaningful way, it is really frustrating.
posted by soelo at 8:45 AM on January 10, 2017


I've had a Yahoo mail account since 1999; past a certain point I'd had it for so long I couldn't be bothered changing it, and now I have thousands of old emails stored in my account, many of which I'd like to save. Do I need to worry about them shutting the mail service down, and if so is there an easy way to archive/download the emails in my account? If I knew anything about this stuff I suppose I wouldn't still have a Yahoo email account.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:49 AM on January 10, 2017 [2 favorites]


Yeah Flickr isn't going away. It's going to be Flickr by Verizon!™ or something equally awful. But Verizon isn't going to just shutter it, and my guess is this Altaba news doesn't really affect Flickr or other Yahoo web products at all. The weird thing to me is Verizon is willing to pay $5B for those Yahoo web properties. The stock market valued them at about -$3B, depending on how you did the math and factored the tax liabilities. Of course the whole deal is now in question with the news of a second massive account breach.

I haven't seen any reporting today on what will happen to the taxes associated with Altaba. The company is sitting on $35B+ of capital gains in foreign company ownership. My guess is they're going to figure out some way to liquidate that without having to pay any US tax.
posted by Nelson at 8:51 AM on January 10, 2017 [2 favorites]


ardgedee: "Usually when a big ownership changes hands, there's some noise made about whether the new owner is going to preserve existing branded services, change them, or shut them down. (where "we haven't decided yet" - type noises usually means "shut them down")

Has Verizon said anything at all about what it plans to do with Yahoo? I haven't been following the news enough to even assume there's a means of knowing which way the wind blows. I have heard everybody acting on their own maximally-pessimistic predictions (which might not be a bad thing to do). But at the same time, if Verizon intends to buy a popular online property with hundreds of millions of users, it'd make good sense to not do things that scare 'em off.
"

Wait a minute. I use AT&T, for my DSL, which outsources mail handling to Yahoo. Just realized this. I really don't use the account, but I wonder what is going to happen, as I suspect there is no love lost between AT&T and Verizon.
posted by Samizdata at 8:53 AM on January 10, 2017


I just hope this doesn't negatively impact My Brother, My Brother, and Me.
posted by Green With You at 9:13 AM on January 10, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'd like to backup my Yahoo emails too

It's been a long time since I did this myself (and then I stopped using the address completely), but you used to be able to grab all your email out of Yahoo Mail using IMAP.

Here are instructions on setting up Thunderbird with Yahoo Mail's IMAP gateway. Sometimes you have to poke at it quite a bit to get it to download all your messages, particularly if you have a lot (some people seem to run into a 200-message limit when grabbing full messages and not just headers), but it does seem to work eventually for most people.

Thunderbird stores its local messages in standard MBOX files (or at least it did, as of the last version I downloaded) so you can copy those to a safe place and there's your backup. Alternately or in addition, you can connect up another email account (e.g. Gmail or what have you) and copy the messages from the Yahoo account's folders to the other mail account's, which will upload them to the other service.

I certainly don't recommend just leaving all your messages stored solely on Google's servers, any more than I'd recommend leaving them solely on Yahoo's, but Gmail does function as a pretty nice search tool. I've uploaded my old mail there just so I can search everything at once, from anyplace I have access to Gmail from. But the MBOX files are a good local backup to put in a safe place, since they're the lowest-common-denominator format and should be importable long into the future.

As for Flickr ... I've said before that the first sign that we were in the darkest timeline was when Yahoo bought Flickr and Google bought Youtube. If the Anthropic Principle holds, it probably suggests we're living in a dead-end universe.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:25 AM on January 10, 2017 [2 favorites]


The Card Cheat: There is an AskMe relevant to your question about Yahoo Mail.
posted by cheapskatebay at 9:31 AM on January 10, 2017 [2 favorites]


Yeah Flickr isn't going away. It's going to be Flickr by Verizon!™ or something equally awful. But Verizon isn't going to just shutter it

Unless it makes a loss. If it makes a profit, but an insufficiently large one, they might move to monetise the everloving hell out of it; think obnoxious ads everywhere, dark patterns to make you spam your friends, sketchy affiliate deals and such. Or just changing the terms of service, taking your photos and selling them to people specialising in various markets (stock photography, tasteful wall hangings, amateur porn, whatever), keeping 100% of the profit.
posted by acb at 10:17 AM on January 10, 2017


Crap. Downloading mine now in batches by year. Hopefully this works!
posted by apricot at 11:59 AM on January 10, 2017


I really don't want to incrementally download 123k photo right now.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:13 PM on January 10, 2017 [2 favorites]


Thanks mrzarquon for the solution to downloading all your flickr photos. I uploaded photos to flickr from 2005-2011 and I probably have all of them in the Photos app, but I'm also a person who has saved every email I've received since 1995, so there's that.
posted by bendy at 4:06 PM on January 10, 2017 [2 favorites]


Yeah Flickr isn't going away.

Subjectively, Flickr went away years ago for a lot of us. Its current design is indefensibly broken (infiniscroll, how I loathe thee), the interface stuff that was cool about old Flickr is hidden or busted, and it's on its way to ownership by an even more terrible and embarrassing megacorp than the terrible and embarrassing version of Yahoo that acquired and ruined it. More directly to the point, almost everyone I know stopped posting new photos there as the interface deteriorated (and imgur/Instagram took off). It's become one of those weirdly static internet ghost towns.

I'm sure there are a lot of active users, and I feel bad for them, but I wouldn't at this point encourage anyone to use the service. I mean, I paid for it up until this year, I used to buy people gift memberships, but it is way past time to file the whole thing under "centralized closed-source services will consistently fuck you" and move on to alternatives.

I decided to write a bad Python script and self-host simple image galleries on my own blog using git annex to manage the storage. I can't suggest quite this approach to non-programmers in my life, and it doesn't really solve the "seeing my friend's photos, sharing photos with my friends" problem, but at least it solves "your service provider will inevitably get bought out by complete assholes".
posted by brennen at 10:14 AM on January 11, 2017 [1 favorite]


Theres a multi-platform tool called Bulkr (which is not free but is only $40) which does more robust downloading from flickr than its built-in tool.
posted by softlord at 7:53 AM on January 15, 2017


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