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This week in New York tech saw the end of a storied dot com and more

From the New York Public Library's Building Inspector, helping digitize their 435,000 maps

The Wrap

Even in the dying days of August, news happens. Check out some of this week’s biggest stories from the New York tech scene.

Hail Fellow

Crain’s reports that yellow cabs are about to try competing with Uber, a mere four years after the San Francisco colossus launched in New York. Arro is a smartphone app to hail a cab, and it fully integrates with existing taxi payment systems. The program is currently being beta tested in 7,000 cabs and plans to officially launch in the next several weeks.

Feel Any Safer?

Looks like it’s curtains for one of the last holdouts from New York’s first dotcom boom. The Manhattan offices of Rentboy.com were raided by federal agents on Tuesday; CEO Jeffrey Hurant and six others were charged with “conspiring to violate the Travel Act by promoting prostitution”. Curiously, the Department of Homeland Security was involved in the raid. Even curiouser, Rentboy.com has been operating since 1997 – so why shut them down now? As L.G.B.T. activist and performer Justin Vivian Bond told The New York Times, ” To many in our community this feels like a throwback to when the police raided gay bars in the ’50s and ’60s.”

In Other News

Have no fear, people of New York! Our ever-progressive mayor is setting up a second panel to deal with costumed characters and bare-breasted women. We love Queens as much as the next New Yorker, but why are tourists going there? With the introduction of BLIP Systems beacons it’s possible that JFK Airport will become incrementally less awful.

Now go forth (and raise your hand).

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