Foursquare just launched a redesigned desktop interface that everyone, not just members, can use for local listings and business recommendations. The company has been on this trajectory for awhile now, especially with the latest Explore map that provides a more tailored search experience for logged-in users. This is all in line with co-founder and CEO Dennis Crowley’s promise that Foursquare is more than just a simple social service; that it serves as a discovery and recommendation engine much like Yelp or Google. Leveraging over 3 billion check-ins and 30 million tips from its community of nearly 25 million members, the New York-based firm is confident it can offer reliable recommendations to the general public. It’s still beneficial to join up — you get personalized filters and access to that handy mobile app — but it’s no longer necessary if you just want know where to get a quick sushi fix.
Filed under: Internet
Foursquare launches local search for all, goes after the likes of Yelp and Google originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 16 Oct 2012 06:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Data-master John Neslon created this bottoms-up view (looking at the Earth from Antarctica) of every single tropical storm and hurricane we know about, dating back to 1851. It’s based on data from NOAA’s archives, which include wind speed, storm name, date, and other information. The color of the path is tied to intensity. See the highest resolution on Flickr.
From Nelson’s blog, called IDV User Experience:
A couple of things stood out to me about this data…
Hurricanes clearly abhor the equator and fling themselves away from the warm waters of their birth as quickly as they can. Paging Dr. Freud.
The void circling the image is the equator. Hurricanes can never ever cross it.
Detection has skyrocketed since satellite technology but mostly since we started logging storms in the eastern hemisphere. Also the proportionality of storm severity looks to be getting more consistent year to year with the benefit of more data.
See some more of John’s work: Maps Show Every Major Fire In America Since 2001 >
According to a report by analytics firm AT Internet, 77% of mobile device traffic in France comes from iOS devices. (Link, in French) This is only an imperfect proxy for device market share (if iOS device owners surf more, for example), but it strongly suggests that iOS is dominant in France among smartphones, a finding that squares with this Paris-based analyst’s anecdotal experience.
Here’s why France shows such a lopsided result and why it matters for the rest of the world and the mobile platform wars: France was a unique market for iOS early on because French courts mandates that Apple offer its iPhone on all carriers. Remember: when the iPhone came out on AT&T in the US, Apple pursued a conscious international strategy of building a partnership with the largest carrier in each country. In France, courts saw to it differently, which means that the iPhone was offered from the start on all major French carriers.
Why is this important? Because it goes to show that Android’s surge in market share that we’ve been witnessing was due more to Apple’s delays in bringing carriers on board than in consumer demand for the Android brand. And, in turn, it suggests that now that Apple has adjusted to offering the iPhone on many carriers, it will reap many advantages.
As we wrote in our special report on the mobile platform wars, we think the upside for iOS is underestimated because it benefits from a developer network effect, which is what matters. Now that Android doesn’t have a carrier advantage, that effect should be magnified.
I love the smell of acquisitions in the morning! We’ve just heard that Groupon has acquired Adku, a stealth startup that uses big data in order to personalize the online shopping experience for people visiting eCommerce sites like eBay, Amazon and Zappos.
The company built their personalized targeting technology in three months, and have basically been in stealth since they launched at the Angelpad Demo day a year and a half ago. Adku is backed by Greylock Partners, Battery Ventures and True Ventures in addition to being an Angelpad startup.
Although CEO Ajit Varma and several members of the six person team are former Googlers, from what I’m hearing this wasn’t a talent acquisition or acqhire but a team + technology play – with a price beyond $10 million. Varma would not disclose what the team will be working on when they get to Groupon.
While it’s not clear what the technology will be applied to, the acquisition makes sense on a lot of levels, especially because a personalized experience is where most of eCommerce is headed. Greylock VC David Thacker now runs product for Groupon, so that couldn’t have hurt either.
Wrote Varma in a blog post, “We started talking to Groupon to bring our technology to more customers and quickly realized that we wanted to be a deeper part of a company that people love and is empowering merchants and customers in a way that’s never been done before.”
Ever thought you would have to read 21 books to get to the bottom of what caused the financial crisis?
Andrew Lo, an economist at MIT, has some bad news: it’s going to take at least 22.
Lo, a leading expert on hedge funds and financial engineering, has written a paper (h/t NPR) for the Journal of Economic Literature describing his experience reading 21 books on the crisis — nine by journalists, 11 by academics and one by a former Treasury Secretary.
His conclusion: In a field that prides itself on its scientific rigor (however dismal), the books reveal that alarmingly few facts about the crisis have been agreed upon. Was there too little or too much regulation? How much of a factor were low interest rates? No one’s been able to say conclusively.
“After each book, I felt like I knew less,” Lo told NPR’s Planet Money.
Economics, he says, has fallen well short of that standard when it comes to understanding the crisis:
“Many of us like to think of ﬁnancial economics as a science, but complex events like the ﬁnancial crisis suggest that this conceit may be more wishful thinking than reality.”
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