Google Latitude – This is Big!

Last month Google killed four of their mobile services (Jaiku, Notes, Dodgeball and the iPhone and Android specific variants of iGoogle) and I was starting to have doubts about the search and advertising giant’s commitment to mobile. I shouldn’t have doubted, on Monday Google rolled out Tasks for Mobile, and today launched a brand new service, Google Latitude. Latitude adds location tracking to the Google Maps mobile application and to iGoogle on the desktop.  You can track yourself and anyone … Continue reading

Sprint’s Mobile Web Friendly Open Location Platform

Image courtesy of WaveMarket US mobile operator, Sprint recently announced a couple of new ways for third party developers to create location aware applications and mobile web services.  What Sprint has done is to partner with two companies, WaveMarket and uLocate’s, who both act as intermediaries between Sprint and content providers.  Developers and publishers  no longer have to partner with Sprint in order to get access to location data.  WaveMarket and uLocate will handle the entire relationship including  serving the location data and … Continue reading

OpenTable Mobile – Great Concept, Poor Execution

I love OpenTable.  If you aren’t familiar with the service, it’s an online search for available reservations at local restaurants.  You select your city, preferred  dinning time, the size of your party and optionally the neighborhood and cuisine and OpenTable returns a list all the restaurants that have availability.  It such a time saver compared with calling up restaurant after restaurant, being put on hold for five minutes and then being told “Sorry we have nothing available at that time”. … Continue reading

BooRah – New Mobile Restaurant Review Site

BooRah ( is a crowd-sourced restaurant review site along the lines of Yelp (review) and Zagat (review) but with a couple of differences. First, instead of relying only it’s own members to build up a critical mass of reviews, BooRah pulls in reviews from other sites like CitySearch, Insider Pages and Yahoo Reviews. The other difference is that BooRah ignores the scores and star ratings in these reviews. Instead it performs a structural and semantic analysis of the review text … Continue reading

Sprint Shares Location Data with Mobile Web Site!

I’ve been waiting for this to happen. I know most of you are probably tired of all the hype around mobile location based services (LBS). Location is not a panacea, it’s just another technology that can enhance a limited number of mobile services. As Russell Beattie said, “Most LBS applications are a black hole of wasted time, effort, money, and opportunity.” I generally agree, but as even Russ in one of his better rants admits, an area where location really … Continue reading

MizPee – Your Mobile Toilet Advisor

MizPee ( is a new mobile site that aims to help you find a place to go when you gotta go. The premise is simple, enter an address and MizPee will find the nearest public restroom. Toilets are user rated from 1-5, represented not by stars but by toilet paper roll icons. Hours are listed along with whether there is handicapped access, a baby changing table or a charge for using the loo. Listings are currently limited to New York, … Continue reading

InfoSpace FindIt is an interesting mobile company. It’s a mobile web pioneer – launching it’s first mobile site – a phone directory search eight years ago. It’s a real survivor too. The company weathered the original Internet bubble, the early failure of WAP and it’s own mismanagement to build a relatively successful business creating mobile sites and back end services for mobile providers. Some of the services InfoSpace provides to carriers include portals, messaging, white label web and directory search services … Continue reading

Local Search Shootout

This piece started as a review of‘s new mobile site ( It’s got a simple, efficient user interface, understood addresses in every format I tried and it was very good at determining what I was searching for and returning relevant results. Most importantly, seems to return more results for my queries than other local search engines. I wanted to quantify what I was seeing and came up with some simple metrics for comparing local search engines. The things … Continue reading