A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Amazon Plans Local Services Marketplace This Year (Reuters)
Amazon later this year plans to launch a marketplace for local services, a broad term that encompasses anything from babysitters to handymen to birthday clowns. The move takes direct aim at consumer review sites Yelp and Angie’s List as well as U.S. home improvement chains Home Depot and Lowe’s.
The Commerce Graph: Some Thoughts on the Future of Physical Exchange (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: The “Commerce Graph” is a new framework we have developed to think about the future of physical exchange. The model offers an alternative to the dominant narrative about the commerce landscape that frames digital networks as an adversary of physical exchange — a force that will inevitably drive us to buy and sell nearly everything virtually.
RadioShack Draws on Credit Line as Losses Deepen (Wall Street Journal)
RadioShack started the year with a wider loss, as the electronics chain continued to struggle for traction in a highly competitive market. RadioShack said sales at stores open at least a year fell 14% in the quarter, hurt by a drop in foot traffic and weak revenue from selling mobile phones and tablets.
Google to Buy Skybox Imaging for $500 Million (New York Times)
Google agreed on Tuesday to buy Skybox Imaging, a provider of high-quality satellite images, for $500 million, as the technology giant continues to work on fulfilling its lofty ambitions for its Internet offerings. Skybox will help improve Google’s dominant mapping service.
Apple Moves To Stop Location-Tracking By Mobile Analytics Companies (MediaPost)
Apple’s upcoming operating system could prevent analytics companies from tracking iPhone and iPad users in brick-and-mortar stores. Apple company said in a presentation at the Worldwide Developers Conference that iOS 8’s WiFi scanning will use “random, locally administered MAC addresses,” instead of the permanent MAC addresses.
Taxi Drivers Plan Big Protests in Europe Against Uber (Wall Street Journal)
Taxi drivers planned to turn a handful of European city centers into giant parking lots Wednesday, protesting the mobile car-hailing services of Uber and others. The demonstrations highlight some challenges facing Uber and its peers as they race to increase revenue and woo investors.
The Emerging Science of Computational Anthropology (MIT Technology Review)
Location-based social networks are allowing scientists to study the way human patterns of behaviour change in time and space, a technique that should eventually lead to deeper insights into the nature of society.
The Truth Behind Why I Left PayPal (LinkedIn)
Rocky Agrawal: The primary reason I quit was that I felt I could no longer represent PayPal and be true to myself. As someone whose role was in large part to be the public voice of the company, I had told myself before taking the position that if I ever started not to believe what I was saying, I had to leave.