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Locality | Date: 2017-02-07

A method and system for the anonymization and segmentation of the media access control (MAC) addresses reported by visitors 802.11 enabled devices at a venue operator premises. This system assures a venue operator and its visitors that no individually identifying information about a visitor is re-transmitted or stored that can be traced back to their MAC address, while still allowing the venue operator to obtain venue visitor counts visit frequencies well as traffic patterns during visits (i.e. dwell times at, and movements between, locations within a venue) and counts of common visitors between venues. It also ensures that the data generated is segmented so that the data obtained by two different venue operators is not correlatable between visitors common to the two sets of data.

In today’s world, where re-examination has been given to cultural globalization, the relationship between architectures and specific regions is one of many specific issues. At this time, the study of architecture from the perspective of geography has significant meaning for treasuring regional characteristics and protecting the essence of ethnic culture. The study of geo-architecture includes two aspects: the influence of geographical environment upon architecture and reflexively, architectural responses to geographical environment. In “Geo-Architecture and Landscape in China’s Geographic and Historic Context Series” (4 volumes), published by Springer Nature in 2016, the contents of “geo-architecture” has been interpreted from various angles as form, function, semantics and symbol. This book is the first to be entitled “Geo-Architecture”, which studies the relationship between geography and architecture from the perspective of geographical environment and historical context in China. The book’s research reveals the influences of different geographical scales, such as zone (macro), region (middle) and site (micro) scales, on architecture; it discusses dynamic and systematic thought, including such research elements as “Object-Subject-Time”, and it reflects views on pattern and process of cultural landscape. Research on geo-architecture aims to help construct the security pattern of the cultural landscape for the new requirements of a new era, which is used to optimize spacial structure, stimulate heritage conservation and renewal, respect the geographical environment, pay attention to historical culture and sustain emotional memory. © 2017, Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EURO-3-2014 | Award Amount: 2.38M | Year: 2015

There is growing consensus in Europe that an active set of approaches to welfare known as Social Investment will improve human capital, enable more people to participate in society, and reduce intergenerational deprivation, yet implementation has been uneven across member states and much remains to be learned, especially with regard to regional and local realities of Social Investment. This proposal is for EURO-3-2014: European societies after the crisis. Within that call its focus is on Innovative social investment approaches for the modernisation of social policies and services. We will deploy multidisciplinary research on innovative ways of implementing and financing social welfare that promise lasting benefits. Our aims are threefold: -Identify and evaluate existing innovative and strategic approaches to social welfare reform at a regional and local level; -Explore social and psychological impact of these innovations on individuals and communities; -Collate useful, practical learning from this new body of evidence and mobilise it to inform policy and practice across the EU. We will deliver on our first two aims through: Macro and micro-level research on social investment policies and initiatives; Mixed method case studies in ten member states, taking account of local and regional networks, institutions and assets, as well as national and European policies; A distinct understanding of Social Investment utilizing social innovation as a key concept; A strong user voice, ensured throughout the project by recruiting and training Community Reporters Approximately a third of the resource on this project is devoted to impact generation (Aim 3). Results from the research will be assimilated in a Foresight Analysis where we will work with policy makers, user-led organizations and social entrepreneurs to consider options for innovative ways of implementing and financing social welfare systems in the future. 10 impact partners will assist us.

Showghi N.N.,Locality | Williams A.C.C.,University College London
Pain Medicine (United States) | Year: 2012

Objective. The objective of this study was to describe and evaluate the Internet resources available to patients searching for information about chronic urogenital/pelvic pain. Design. As far as possible, we applied systematic review methods to search, retrieve, sort, and critique Websites, using common search engines and terms in the English language. Evaluation from a patient viewpoint focused particularly on the quality of explanations for chronic urogenital/pelvic pain in men, and on the psychological content of the Websites. Results. While the 23 Websites reviewed were generally accessible and open, authorial attribution was largely missing and the nomenclature were inconsistent and confusing. Explanations of chronic pain were diverse and often inaccurate or only partially accurate; none represented current neurophysiologic models of chronic pain. Eight described psychological aspects of pain, five in a simple way and three with more complexity, but only one approximated a contemporary biopsychosocial model. Conclusions. As in other areas of chronic pain, there is a wealth of information available online, but much is of poor quality, and taken together, is likely to confuse more than enlighten patients attempting to understand male urogenital/pelvic pain symptoms or supplement information from health care professionals. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Locality | Date: 2016-05-20

Disclosed is an invention for the identification of the true identity of a WLAN device that has been cloaked (its source address has the U/L bit set as L), by evaluating its history (recent or distant) of Probe requests for WLAN infrastructure and treating that history as part of its fingerprint. Disclosed also is an invention that prompts more management frames from a WLAN device that is sending broadcast Probe requests without specifying a particular network, by presenting the appearance of the presence of popular networks.

Only 25% of U.S. local businesses have websites and just 10% show their prices online, but Centzy launches today to let you sort local business searches by price, open hours, and eventually quality — reviews relative to price. That means you could find the nearest dry cleaner open until 7pm that’s the cheapest but has the best customer ratings pulled from Yelp and CitySearch. Centzy uses a self-built crowdsourcing platform get humans to pull offline data online. That’s data inaccessible to any web crawler. With $800,000 in seed funding from ff Venture Capital and Lightbank, Centzy could one day monetize its crowdsourcing platform, price database, and/or a destination site for finding and purchasing from the best local businesses. Today at TechCrunch Disrupt, Centzy opens its search engine for 15 business types in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City. So go find who’s got a great deal and who’s ripping you off. The big problem with today’s local business search is that there’s no correlation between higher prices and better customer reviews. People will give a decent $5 burger the same 4-star review as a great-but-not perfect $15 burger. Since review sites don’t provide specific pricing info, you won’t necessarily find the best value at the highest-rated business. But Centzy plans to combine review data from Yelp and CitySearch’s APIs with the pricing and open hours it collects to provide true value scores. For today’s launch, though, Centzy’s web and mobile sites let you search for hair salons, gyms, museums, oil changes and more business types, and sort by price, distance, open hours, and average rating. Listings appear on a map and you can select which product’s price you want to search for. More business types are on the way. Centzy’s Jay Shek tells me he and his technical co-founder Jeremy Clemenson have backgrounds in managing and analyzing data for San Francisco startups. They took Centzy through the Entrepreneurs Roundtable in New York last summer and decided to stay and make NYC their home base. It plans to be available in the top 10 U.S. markets by this fall, go nationwide in 2013, and now Centzy is looking for more funding to build a team including expert Ruby developers. Surprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be much competition for bringing offline prices online. The closest thing might be Priceonomics, which is a price guide for second-hand goods. I literally used Centzy for one minute and discovered a cheaper, better reviewed dry cleaner that’s closer to my apartment than the one I currently go to. The value scores aren’t ready yet but the product already works. Detailed human reviews will always be valuable, especially for restaurants. But if there’s one service that could replace Yelp for me, it’s Centzy. MC Hammer asked if businesses will use Centzy to research the prices of competitors, but Centzy’s Shek says users want more than the lowest price, they want quality. Cyan Bannister asked “doesn’t Yelp show prices?” but Shek responded that the exact price is a lot more useful than vague “$$” or “$$$$” indicators. And on how Centzy will make money, Shek says his company will be able to take a cut of purchases made through its business search.

Centzy, a local search startup which is putting prices, store hours, ratings and specials for convenience-oriented businesses online, is today announcing $1.6 million in seed funding from Cowboy Ventures, Founder Collective, Lightbank, ff Venture Capital, and strategic angels found on AngelList. The company had previously raised $825,000 in funding from previous investors ff Venture, Lightbank and others, and it in the past, that was also characterized as a “seed” round. However, Centzy co-founder and CEO Jay Shek clarifies that the company is now referring to that earlier raise as an “incubation round,” in order to leave the door open for a Series A in the future. First launched at TechCrunch Disrupt in May 2012, Centzy is focused on bringing detailed business data online – especially information that doesn’t exist anywhere else. As Shek explained earlier this year, 90 percent of Centzy’s data isn’t found anywhere else online because the business has never put that info online to begin with. The startup is targeting smaller, local merchants, primarily in the “health and beauty” vertical at present. This vertical includes places like nail salons, spas, hair salons, tanning salons, waxing, etc. But Shek says part of the funding will help Centzy expand into new areas, such as personal care (shoe repair, dry cleaners, tailors, etc.), family care (daycares, retirement homes), gyms, home and car services. However, the company is still limiting its interest in businesses which could be classified as falling under the broader “errands” category – it’s not going after more complex services like car repairs or home repairs, for instance, because those problems require that a professional look at a problem directly, then provide an estimate. “We found that a lot of people didn’t understand what ‘local services’ are,” explains Shek. “So we said, we help you with things that are like ‘errands.’ Errands are high-frequency of use services that exclude restaurants and bars, and exclude complex and expensive services,” he says. “We found that those services are where people are the most price and convenience-focused, so the information we provide is useful.” Centzy also apparently has a female appeal as well. Its customer currently skews 18 to 44, female, with an above average income, and minority (Asian, Hispanic or black). Shek says the female demographic appealed to Cowboy Ventures, the fund started by KPCB’s Aileen Lee. However, Lee says the fund goes broader than that – it’s not just focused on commerce and women. Cowboy Ventures, though, invested the largest amount in this new round, all of which was done via convertible note. Just this February, Centzy announced it had expanded to the top 10 U.S. metro areas, and had grown its database of business listings to over 300,000. Today, it has reached 400,000 local businesses, and consumer traffic is growing 25 percent per month. 60 percent of Centzy’s traffic is on mobile, even though the company has yet to launched its mobile apps. Though, thanks to the new funding, those apps are on their way this year. At present, Centzy is working to expand its service nationwide – a rollout it expects to also complete this year. And it’s working to develop merchant-facing tools, too, which will allow businesses to edit their own information, as well as post advertisements. “We think of ourselves as the anti-Groupon,” says Shek. “At the core, every local startup is a marketplace between consumers and merchants. We started on the consumer side…and all the consumers who come to us are high-intent,” he explains. “Unlike a daily deal site where they essentially push an offer out to a million people and maybe .1 percent of them will buy, we have a pull model. We’re pulling in people right at the point when they’re ready to buy.” Because of this angle, the consumers can convert to paying customers without the need for the merchant to offer a very large discount. It could even be just a matter of merchants posting their everyday specials online – like the “new customers take 10 percent off,” or the “2 for 1 on Tuesday” type of deals. 15 percent of businesses are already running specials like this today, Shek notes. The merchant tools will also arrive to all merchants later this year, and the ad and lead gen services will be made available to paying customers. (Pricing has not yet been set.) Beta tests in the NY area are underway now.

News Article | December 9, 2014

Nowadays you can get a lot of things done on demand with a mobile app. You can get a ride on demand, you can get groceries on demand… you can even get your laundry done on demand through an app. So why not book a same-day massage on-demand? A new app smartly called “MassageNow” was designed just for that purpose. The app, which was developed by local services startup Locality, enables customers to book a massage appointment with just a few hours notice, and also frequently at a deep discount to what they would usually pay. The app works to find unused inventory at nearby spas in San Francisco and fills them up at a flat discounted rate. Massages cost $60 through the app, which is below what participating spas would normally charge. The only catch is that you don’t know which spa you’re booking the massage at. For the service provider, the app is filling up time that a masseuse would normally spend not making any money. But while filling that slot, anonymizing it before booking serves to keep users from seeking discounts at a particular spa they would have gone to any way. That makes MassageNow kind of like Priceline for the massage market. You can’t pick the venue or even necessarily the type of massage — it’s all based on availability. You just have to hope you’re going to like the spa you’re booked at. That’s a pitch not everyone will love. I know a few fans of massage who swear by a certain type of massage or have a specific spa they like to go to. But Locality, the company behind the app, has done the work to curate the list to only spas with four-star ratings or above on Yelp. All of the spas that get booked in the app have also been pre-vetted by someone on the Locality team. Originally launched as Centzy — at TechCrunch Disrupt, no less! — the company sought to cut through all the B.S. of the local services market and to create a database of reliable pricing and availability information for small businesses throughout the U.S. It essentially aimed to create a “Kayak for local services” that would allow users to make booking decisions without having to search through various online forums like Yelp for information on the service providers. And, since less than 10 percent of small businesses even have their own web presence, Locality was providing a new way for them to reach their users. Now armed with that information, the company can offer up other interesting products. Like, for instance, a “massage on-demand” app. Since it already has a relationship with the local businesses, it can act to help secure them new clients with a minimum amount of hassle. Massage is a very specific niche, but it’s betting that it can get more casual massage fans to go more often if they’re getting a good deal — even if it’s not at their usual place. And if the customer decides to book their next appointment directly with the spa, then the company has shown it can provide more value to local businesses. If the launch of MassageNow goes well in San Francisco, you can expect the company to expand to more markets over time, and possibly even other verticals. That could mean discounted on-demand haircuts, or maybe manicures, or something similar. For Locality, it’s all about trying new ways of connecting consumers with local businesses.

News Article | December 23, 2013

Jay Shek is the CEO of As any local business owner knows, negative online reviews can have a huge impact on future business. But what should you do when you get the inevitable less-than-positive review? Surprisingly, there are many ways to get this wrong and potentially hurt your bottom line. Based on an analysis of thousands of local businesses featured on Locality platform, I have developed a list of four crucial mistakes that small business owners frequently make when responding to negative online reviews: It may be tempting to counteract negative reviews by paying for fake reviews, but review sites often have systems in place to identify such fake reviews. Also, suspicious, too-positive reviews can actually hurt your reputation in the eyes of savvy potential customers. Don’t run the risk of being publicly shamed. It’s not worth it. While receiving a bad review can be frustrating and sometimes feel unfair, it is important to avoid becoming angry or using emotional language and profanity. Don’t become the next Amy’s Baking Company horror story (as featured on the show Kitchen Nightmares). Your response, if you make one, should be friendly, direct, and focused on finding a mutually agreeable solution instead of shifting blame. While not every negative review needs a public response (for example, if a reviewer just didn’t like the taste of a particular dish), you should read each review to find potential problems, whether specific to one customer or general patterns, that you can fix. A negative review can be an opportunity to win back not only that one customer, but also win over other customers as well. If you respond promptly and courteously to the review and offer to help fix their problem, you can often turn a negative reviewer into a positive advocate. Even if the reviewer can not be satisfied, other potential customers will see your sincere offer to help as a positive signal for your business. Learning how to deal with online reviews in a positive manner is just one step local business owners should take in creating the perfect online identity, because online, your name and reputation are your most valuable asset.

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