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Desperate to deflect attention from impending layoffs, Yahoo's top management has put pressure on the ranks to deliver some splashy product launches and distract the media. Gullible as the tech press corp is, they'll likely fall for it. A top candidate: Fire Eagle, Yahoo Brickhouse's long-delayed location-data tool. Brickhouse chief Salim Ismail, embarrassingly, has been talking up the project long before it was actually ready; he last promised to deliver it by the end of November.

Valleywag hears that for this and other projects, engineers have been flown in from around the world to finish the project; people on the verge of walking out have been cajoled to stay; and people who have already quit have been asked to come back as contractors. Which would seem to go against the goal of controlling headcount, trimming costs, and focusing on core projects. But expecting Yahoo to stick to a strategy seems a bit much.