A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
Buy AOL? A More Likely Scenario for Yahoo’s Mayer Is a Big Local Search Acquisition to Spur Growth. (Recode)
Kara Swisher: Would Yahoo buy Foursquare? Or YP.com? Or perhaps, finally, Yelp? It could happen, given that local search has become a renewed area of focus at the company, according to a number of insiders I have talked to in recent days at the Silicon Valley Internet giant.
Placemeter CEO: How ‘Computer Vision’ Is Making Our Cities Smarter (Street Fight)
Thanks to rapid developments in “computer vision,” a technology that uses machine learning to identify patterns in video streams, a small team of technologists at Brooklyn-based startup Placemeter have built a system that uses over 500 personal and private video cameras sited throughout Manhattan to measure everything from the crowd in Times Square to the line outside of Shake Shack.
CEO Tim Cook Says Touch ID Was Part Of Apple’s Thinking Around Mobile Payments (TechCrunch)
Apple CEO Tim Cook actually discussed mobile payments directly on the company’s earnings call today, saying that it’s an area that has “intrigued” the company and that mobile payments actually figured in the company’s thinking around Touch ID. Cook noted that customers have responded positively to being able to buy digital goods including music, movies and apps via Touch ID, and suggested that there’s potential for use of the fingerprint-scanning tech in other kinds of commerce, too.
Uber Sued Over Death of 6-Year-Old on San Francisco Street (Businessweek)
Uber was sued for wrongful death by the parents of a six-year-old child killed last month by a car linked to the company. The parents of Sofia Liu sued Uber and the driver who hit the girl and seriously injured her mother and brother as they crossed a street on a green light on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, according to the lawsuit.
GoDaddy Launches “Get Found” Local Listings Syndication Service (Screenwerk)
GoDaddy has formally launched what it calls “Get Found,” a new business listings syndication service that builds on the Locu data syndication product GoDaddy acquired in August last year. The new service has been live for a little while but is now being officially promoted — including indirectly in the company’s upcoming Super Bowl commercial (see below).
Stealthy Payments Startup Clinkle Adds PayPal Exec Mike Liberatore As CFO (TechCrunch)
Mobile payments startup Clinkle continues to add senior management types to its executive ranks. Mike Liberatore, who has 15 years of experience in financial positions at PayPal, Adobe, and others, will join the company as its new CFO.
Smartphones to Open Doors at Some Hotels (Wall Street Journal)
Guests arriving at the Aloft Hotel in Manhattan or one in Silicon Valley will soon be able to do something hotels have dreamed about offering for years: walk past the check-in desk and enter their rooms by using a smartphone as a room key. The boutique hotel brand from Starwood Hotels plans to offer this feature at two hotels before the end of the quarter.
Why Data Science Matters to Foursquare (Guardian)
Since its most recent update, Foursquare users now spend 30% more time with the check-in app. And it wouldn’t have been possible without the input of data scientist Blake Shaw
4 Unanswered Questions About In-Store Tracking and Privacy (Digiday)
In=store data is collected in the name of retailers better serving their customers, but it’s a fine line between providing quality customer service and making consumers feel like they’re caught in a sci-fi dystopia ruled by all-knowing corporate overlords. Here, then, is Digiday’s attempt to answer the lingering questions about where the line lies between an improved retail experience and an encroachment on privacy.