Street Fight Daily: Uber’s Surge Pricing Stays, AOL CEO Speaks About Patch

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.

new_uber_logoUber CEO: Surge Pricing Is Here to Stay (Wall Street Journal)
Some year in the near future, Travis Kalanick could transform the car-service app Uber into a multipurpose logistics conglomerate, delivering an array of physical products around cities in addition to people. Kalanick, 37 years old, talked recently about how he handles criticism, what makes Uber stand out in Silicon Valley, and why he’s not planning on an initial public offering any time soon.

Esri’s Amber Case: Why ‘Less Is More’ With Local Data (Street Fight)
A self-proclaimed “cyborg anthropologist,” Amber Case sold her startup Geoloqi, which built positioning algorithms for developers, to Esri last year, and today, she heads up the 45-year-old mapping firm’s R&D center. Street Fight recently caught up with Case to discuss what we might expect from location data in the years to come.

AOL CEO Upbeat on Business, Patch Partnership (USA Today)
Tim Armstrong was upbeat about the Internet company’s recently acquired advertising technology business during an interview on Tuesday and said a partnership deal for its struggling Patch local news operation will be struck in the first quarter.

Hyperlocal M&A in 2014 — Here’s What the Big Acquirers Are Looking For (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: YP’s acquisition of Sense Networks earlier this week comes as M&A activity in the local technology continues to increase, with the market seeing the number of large, double digit deals increase in 2013. Here’s a quick look at several major players who may currently be in the hunt for locally focused acquisitions and what they might be looking for.

Yelp Seeks Washington Clout After Rapid Rise in Silicon Valley (The Hill)
The online review site Yelp is seeking clout in Washington to match its growing influence in Silicon Valley. The company made a splash by hiring a former staffer to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) as its first ever in-house lobbyist and followed it up by forming a political action committee to funnel donations to candidates.

How Google Cracked House Number Identification in Street View (Technology Review)
Google Street View has become an essential part of the online mapping experience. It allows users to drop down to street level to see the local area in photographic detail. Today, Ian Goodfellow and pals at the company reveal how they’ve done it. Their method turns out to rely on a neural network that contains 11 levels of neurons that they have trained to spot numbers in images.

How iBeacons Could Change the World Forever (Washington Post)
Apps such as Google Maps and FourSquare have long used location data to try to improve the average person’s mobile experience. But that could be just the tip of the location iceberg as Bluetooth’s latest technology revolutionizes how people interact with everyday objects and places.

Strauss: Top Small Business Trend is . . . (USA Today)
One of the best things about being in business today (or worst, I suppose, depending upon your point of view) is that it is always changing; not only do you need to be a savvy entrepreneur now, but you better be a life-long learner as well if you are going to stay in business. Business, technology, social media, marketing, SEO, outsourcing — it all comes into play now.

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