A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Inside Google’s Secret Drone-Delivery Program (Atlantic)
For two years, the company has been working to build flying robots that can deliver products across a city in a minute or two called Project Wing. There are already dozens of Googlers working on the project, concocting everything from new forms of the vehicle to the nature of its delivery mechanism to the user experience of the app for ordering drones.
Samsung Navigates Away from Google With Here maps for Galaxy phones (Verge)
Google Maps may be one of the undeniable strengths of the Android platform, however Samsung has decided to offer an alternative in the form of Nokia’s Here maps. A beta version of Here for Android will be made available exclusively for Samsung Galaxy devices when the newly announced Gear S smartwatch hits stores in October.
Openings and New Hires at LiveIntent, Affinity Express, and Linkedin (Street Fight)
Every two weeks, Search Influence’s Kelly Benish — who knows practically everyone in hyperlocal — covers some of the latest job changes taking place in this dynamic industry. In this week’s edition, new jobs and hires at Elastic Box, Convergent Mobile, Happenings Media, Sonata and more.
Uber and Lyft Have Become Indistinguishable Commodities (New York Times)
Farood Manjoo: Though the two ride-sharing giants have carried on like the bitterest of enemies recently, their services have become pretty much indistinguishable. In many places, they both offer ubiquitous, cheap and mostly high-quality service.
Meet Groupon’s New Dance Partner: Snapchat (CNBC)
Groupon is looking to piggyback on that momentum as it transitions from the Web to mobile, where more than half of its transactions now take place. While Snapchat has yet to introduce ads on its network, there’s nothing stopping companies from creating an account and sending promotions to their followers.
Filmmaker Miranda July’s New Somebody App Lets Your Intimate Messages Be Delivered By a Complete Stranger (Village Voice)
Filmmaker artist, and author Miranda July launched Somebody today, a messaging service that enlists strangers to verbally deliver your messages. Theoretically, here’s what happens: Somebody users write messages, then choose a fellow Somebody user, a total stranger, to deliver.
MIT and Marriott Are Testing a Matchmaking Table Fed by LinkedIn Data (Wired)
Marriot and MIT’s Mobile Experience Lab came up with Six Degrees, a physical social network that has the potential to turn Marriott’s lobbies into business traveler mixers. The whole system piggybacks on guests’ LinkedIn accounts to pull information on where guests are from, where they work, and what their interests might be.
Downtown Launches Mobile Payment App In Palo Alto (TechCrunch)
Downtown wants to change the way you order and pay for food, starting with its launch today at the Palo Alto’s Coupa Cafe, a common startup meeting spot. With its iOS app that launched today, Downtown allows you to make in-store orders and purchases directly from your iPhone.
LBMA Podcast: Discovery Navigation, Digital Hacking in Real Life (Street Fight)
On the show: Earshot and DoubleDutch raise money; Apple patents a car locator; Lay’s partners with Uber for Uber Picnic; Vemory app launches; Stylebored pays cash for referrals; Omote’s living makeup; Netflix changes room color based on the movie.