From Google girl to Yahoo CEO

The sign that impressed me most in on a recent visit to China was the one warning me that using the internet could damage my health. By clicking on to the world wide web, I acknowledged those health dangers in deciding to continue.

While I was away, a few things happened so this week is a bit of a wrap of the items that caught my attention on my return.

Of great note was the news that Microsoft was giving its Office product a touch-up. The touch-ready version of Office was launched last week by chief executive Steve Ballmer who described it as the company's most ambitious launch yet.

Office 2013 is fully touch-ready as is Windows 8, the company's latest operating system, and its new tablet computer, Surface, which is expected to be available in October.

Surface will be in shops about two and a-half years after Apple launched its iPad on to the market.

Analysts say the power of Office gives Microsoft its best chance at gaining a genuine foothold in the tablet market.

For the first time, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook are all responsive to touchscreen controls - taps, swipes and pinch and zoom can be used within documents, files and presentations.

Long-time readers of Mackline will know I have a special place for Yahoo, even given its troubles that have gone on for years.

So, it was pleasing to see the former internet powerhouse had picked Google's Marissa Mayer (37) to become its new CEO, turning to an engineer with established Silicon Valley credentials to head the struggling company and turn it around.

Mayer, who edged out front-runner and acting chief executive Ross Levinsohn, started last Tuesday as Yahoo's third CEO in a year. She hoped to stem losses to Google and Facebook - which her high-profile predecessors failed to do.

Her hiring signalled the internet company is likely to renew its focus on web technology and products rather than beefing up online content. Mayer, who was instrumental in the birth of a major technological innovation - Google's search engine - joins the exceedingly exclusive club of female Silicon Valley CEOs.

She was Google's 20th employee and first female engineer, and led various businesses there.

Images of the Antarctic huts used by polar explorers Sir Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott have been posted online as part of the latest extension to Google's Maps service.

The prefabricated wooden cabins were built in 1908 and 1911 respectively and were used as bases for the men's attempts to reach the south pole.

Users can navigate the 360-degree photographs to see some of the kit and supplies used by both expeditions. The locations appear well-preserved.

The buildings have benefited from ongoing conservation work by the New Zealand-based Antarctic Heritage Trust, which co-operated with Google on the project, the BBC reported.

A news story published in the Otago Daily Times did get Mackline thinking, coming as it did on the same day as Twitter was alive with news that a former New Zealand Olympic representative was again in court for violence-related incidents. The representative has name suppression, as he did previously in similar circumstances.

However, it is not hard to find his name, the sport and the previous charges.

In Rotorua, a woman found out who her alleged burglar was and named and shamed him on Facebook. The woman caught offender in the middle of stealing from her house and gave chase before calling police. She then outed them online.

From there, her post went viral among her Facebook friends and she received plenty of support - even from the extended families of the named and shamed.

Rotorua police were grateful for the community support but warned people against posting information on social media sites as it could jeopardise investigations.

There lies the dilemma for people who are savvy with technology. The need many feel to be first with the news, or in some cases release suppressed information from the courts out of a sense of community justice, pushes legal boundaries.

Judges have previously criticised social media sites and bloggers for releasing details of court appearances when they have been suppressed. Some recent examples of that illustrate rich and famous people are almost certainly the ones who win suppression, while less affluent people without the best lawyers are often named and shamed in public for crimes of a similar or lesser nature.

There is a growing sense of injustice in online forums and comments such as those from the Rotorua police will just reinforce a bias towards law enforcement and the judicial system. The immediacy in which many of us operate means that when we want something, we want it now.

But we all need to take care we do not harm innocent people in our quest for justice.