opinion

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I have heard several small business owners complain about Yelp’s “sleazy” and “crooked” (their words) tactics. I think that while ruled legal, Yelp advertising itself as a fair and honest ratings is deceptive. It is clearly a conflict of interest that they control the order of listings, and take money for advertising and placing advertisers higher in the results. When they tell businesses they can increase their star-rating by buying ad-space, or decrease it by not, that is hardly fair, nor honest. People have been led to believe Yelp star rating are accurate—they keep advertising it as such. But when Yelp is free to manipulate the listings, it is clear that “hard bargaining” is corporate speak for “manipulative coercion.” Despite its legal standing, Yelp’s practices are far from ethical—especially since it advertises ratings it publishes for businesses as genuine.

The tablet wars have yet to be decided, but so far every iPad killer has ultimately met with failure. Even in the smartphone space, despite Android’s lead, every study found that iTMS’s AppStore collects more money than competing digital stores. About the only thing you can say with certainty is that UNIX derived mobile operating systems (mOSes) have won the first battle in the mobile space. Why is this? Taking a glance at the history of mobile computing tablets gives us some clues…

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