A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
An Apple Exit Over Maps (Wall Street Journal)
Apple executive Scott Forstall was asked to leave the company after he refused to sign his name to a letter apologizing for shortcomings in Apple’s new mapping service, according to people familiar with the matter. In deciding how to manage the maps crisis, Mr. Forstall argued that the company could address the outcry without apologizing, as Apple had done when it shipped iPhones with faulty antennas a few years ago, one source said.
Village Voice Sues Yelp for Using “Best of” (PaidContent)
The publisher of one-time counter-culture icon The Village Voice is expanding its legal campaign to own the phrase “best of.” The Voice’s publisher now wants Yelp to pay triple damages for using the “best of” monicker in relation 10 cities, including Miami, St Louis and Dallas. The complaint also seeks an injunction against Yelp.
Could Sandy be Instagram’s Big Citizen Journalism Moment? (Pando Daily)
Hurricane Sandy — or Frankenstorm Apocalpyse as it’s being called on Foursquare — could be Instagram’s big citizen journalism moment. The time when the seemingly frivolous app could get some Arab Spring-style gravitas. Just like the last three Presidential elections have been transformed by a new social media service — YouTube, Facebook and now Twitter — natural disasters and tragedies are emerging as a way for social media services to gain respect and legitimacy as world-changing agents as well.
Google Now: Behind the Predictive Future of Search (The Verge)
That vision of an all-knowing smartphone hasn’t come to pass, yet, but features like Apple’s Siri and Google Now offer a keyhole peek into a near future reality where your phone is more “Personal Assistant” than “Bar bet settler.” The difference is that the former actually understands what you need while the latter is a blunt search instrument.
Proposed Rule Changes Could Bring Uber’s Taxi Service Back to NYC (Venture Beat)
Ready to get hip to today’s mobile times, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission today proposed regulations that would finally allow app makers to legally operate electronic taxi hail and payment systems in the city. If passed, the rules could do away with the ongoing tension between the TLC and avant garde San Francisco-based startup Uber.
Roamz Brings Its Local Social Search Engine To The Web (TechCrunch)
Roamz, a startup which recently relaunched its mobile applications with a new focus on local search, is now bringing its local search engine to the web. Today, the company is debuting an online version of its service at Roamz.com, allowing users to view real-time content about nearby places and events, search for specific things, like coffee or shopping, and then drill down into each place to see more details and photos.