Foursquare revamps business pages to take on Yelp as web visitors hit 50 million per month
As Foursquare has evolved from friend-finder to expansive recommendations engine,Yelp has emerged as the company’s most formidable enemy. Foursquare’s mobile apps have for some time stood head and shoulders above Yelp’s, but there was always one area where Foursquare lagged: the web. Today, a big update on Foursquare’s web app hopes to change that — a fresh coat of paint that front-loads Foursquare’s top selling points over its rival.
“This is the place to make a first impression,” says Foursquare’s lead web engineer Mike Singleton. 50 million people come to the site every month, which is an astounding number compared to the 33 million users Foursquare says it has. A large portion of that traffic comes from Google, Singleton says, and that’s where he sees the greatest opportunity to earn new users. In fact, the number of referrals from Google has doubled in the last year, and that trend is expected to continue. Despite ballooning web user numbers, the site had not seen a significant visual update since November 2011.
Foursquare’s new business pages are far more colorful, and put a much greater emphasis on the areas where Foursquare stands out: its ability to generate relationships between similar places and judge appeal based on hundreds of signals like check-ins and likes. The service has to some extent evolved into Pandora, but for restaurants and bars. The tough part is creating pages that work for both “super users” and for the increasing number of people flocking in from Google searches. These are two very different kinds of people, Singleton says.
Cry for Verizon to kill contracts grows louder
A petition from Change.org needs just 30,000 more signatures before it can take it to Verizon.
The calls for Verizon Wireless to drop the contract are getting louder.
The petition posted on Change.org calling for Verizon to kill off its contract model has garnered nearly 120,000 signatures, with 25,000 signatures added over the weekend alone. It only needs another 30,000 before it can take it to the company.
The petition was created by Verizon customer Mike Beauchamp on April 7 after Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told CNET on the sidelines of an event held earlier this month that he would consider moving to a no-contract model if consumers demanded it, and said the process to shift to no-contracts wouldn’t be difficult.
The comments came shortly after T-Mobile dropped service contracts and subsidies as part of its “Uncarrier” campaign. Under the new plans, consumers pay the full price for their smartphones, but pay a lower monthly rate for cellular service, ultimately saving consumers money.
A Verizon representative noted that the company already offers a month-to-month plan that requires customers to pay the full cost of a device upfront.
“Verizon Wireless has for years offered many different choices for customers, including contract plans or month-to-month plans that do not require a contract,” the representative said.
In addition to eliminating the contract, Beauchamp challenged Verizon to come up with an affordable way for consumers to pay for that smartphone. He added that a no-contract model is a better reflection of the faster moving wireless industry, and noted that he didn’t start the petition because of any dissatisfaction with the service.
“I’ve been a long-time Verizon customer and I don’t see myself ever leaving; but I want that choice myself; I don’t want them making it for me and imposing stiff penalties if I do decide to leave,” he said in the petition.
T-Mobile, for instance, has changed the model by charging a smaller upfront fee and a monthly payment that covers the cost of the device over 24 months. Consumers can pay in advance. They can also leave whenever they want, but have to pay the balance of the cost of the device, which some criticize as just another version of a contract.
Last week, Verizon said that it was changing its upgrade policy so that consumers would have to wait the full 24 months of their contract before they could change their phone at the subsidized rate. Previously, subscribers could upgrade their phone at the discounted rate after 20 months.
The change drew a lot of questions during last week’s earnings conference call, but Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said he didn’t foresee any backlash from customers.
“We don’t anticipate a lot of dissatisfaction,” he said during the call last week. “We’re not sz
Xbox 720 official announcement May 21st at 10 a.m.
It seems the long wait is now finally over! Microsoft’s next Xbox, known as the “Xbox 720″, might be at last be revealed on May 21st. I certainly anticipate it, anyway.
Don Mattrick, for those of you who are unaware, is the President of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Businesses. He is responsible for quite a number of things: Xbox 360, Kinect, XBL, Mediaroom, etc.
As the image clearly states, he – along with other team members – has invited GAME for a “special” unveiling. My immediate assumption was that the Xbox 720 is finally going to be revealed. Having looked up on Mattrick, however, there may be more in store than the possible reveal of the next Xbox console – like the alleged Kinect 2.0.
The month of the reveal itself was already anticipated to be in May after Microsoft allegedly delayed their expected April reveal, but now that a day has been set gamers have something to look forward to.
What’s curious about the invite itself – which GAME also picked up on – is that instead of the title saying a “next generation revealed”, the titles states a “new generation revealed.” That’s quite a claim to make, considering the only “new” generation that has been rumoured so far is apparently going to be a very always-online one. Nevertheless, what has been said so far are just rumours and nothing officially has been confirmed as of yet.
iPhone 4 “antennagate” settlement checks arriving in the mail
iPhone 4 owners who filed claims over the so-called “antennagate” have begun receiving their settlement checks. Posts about the checks began popping up on Twitter in addition to sites like 9to5Mac, where several readers confirmed they had received their $15 payouts.
The iPhone 4 was released in July of 2010 and was immediately met with controversy over its “work of genius” antenna design. Unlike previous in iPhones, Apple had designed the iPhone 4 so the stainless steel bezel on the outside of the phone would act as antennas for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular. But a weak spot was discovered by users who bridged the gap between two antenna segments with their hand while using the device—when held like this, many users observed a drop in the cell signal, and some reported an increase in dropped calls.
Apple did not react well at first—at least from a PR standpoint. Then-CEO Steve Jobs responded to an e-mail from Ars in 2010 saying users should “just avoid holding it in this way.” Then the company held a special event in Cupertino for the sole purpose of showing that competitors’ devices had the same issue—an odd move for Apple, which typically doesn’t offer public responses about product issues. The company later agreed to give free iPhone 4 bumpers (or an equivalent case from another manufacturer) to iPhone 4 owners, but it wasn’t enough to quell the uproar, and a series of class action lawsuits followed.
Those cases were eventually rolled into one and settled in February of last year—nearly two iPhone introductions later. Affected users were encouraged to submit a claim for either another free iPhone 4 bumper or a $15 settlement check. Now, more than a year later, those checks are being sent out, as evidenced by the photos being posted online.
Geek This Week:
Aaron: Seeing Star Trek: TNG in the theatre on Thursday.
The NES has been re-pinned! Picking it up later this week.
Bought the latest MacHeist bundle. Was only $10!!
Gozer: Injustice: Gods Among Us
The Geek’s Choice: Gozer’s Hypothetical Game of Thrones Fighting Game
Featured Segment: Tool Time w/ Aaron and Gozer
Feedback and items of Note:
Just looking around 9to5mac and found this article http://9to5mac.com/2013/04/03/analyst-apple-hdtv-coming-this-year-with-iring-motion-controller-mini-itv-second-screen-experience/
it is saying that an actual Apple TV will come out later this year,use a ring for gestures, and use an iPad sized second screen.
This sounds cool but I don’t believe they will make the second screen and should just use an iPad because the people who will buy
the TV will be really invested in Apple and will most likely have an iPad or iPad Mini.As always, love the show
7th Grade Geek
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