The Scan: Pheed may be the new Twitter, and today's travel tech newsNewsBy Sean O'Neil | October 22, 2012Share This article was originally published on Hipmunk lists private air taxi options and Google reveals that how Indians search mobile maps differently from Americans -- all are in our roundup of the stories making news and driving opinion on 22 October.SOCIAL COMMERCEIs paid-content site Pheed the new Twitter? The week-old real-time media platform already has a million users, many of whom are attracted to the idea of being paid for micro-blogging by charging followers fees.Out of the gate, Pheed may be merely a celebrity platform. But travel marketers may want to reserve place names for brand name handles just in case it blossoms further.DISTRIBUTIONDid you know that this year travel search site Hipmunk began listing private air taxi services by Linear Air as an option for northeastern US routes? Well it did, and apparently the business model for air taxis is maturing.In case you missed it: Online-accommodation rental service Airbnb may be in talks "with venture capitalist Peter Thiel about a roughly $150 million investment that would value the start-up at around $2.5 billion," says the WSJ. For context, see our "Ten critical questions for person-to-person business models in travel."DEVICES/MOBILEGoogle research has revealed that Indians tend to use their smartphones differently than other nationalities when it comes to searching on maps. Lalitesh Katragadda, Google India, Country Head (Products), says Indians often look up locations not to visit them but to use them as landmarks to find the places they actually want to see."The entire concept of adding landmarks as a layer or feature on maps, globally, was an idea conceived in India," says The Hindu. Users in other countries more commonly search by destination.The Langdale Hotel & Spa has become one of the first hotels in the UK to install contactless payment points. The Lake District hotel allows any customer to pay for a service, such as a restaurant meal or a spa treatment, by waving his or her credit or debit card in front of an electronic reader.In case you hadn't heard: On Tuesday, Apple is expected to announce a smaller iPad "Mini."On Friday, Microsoft's Surface, a 10-inch tablet, goes on sale worldwide, at $499. But it runs on the new Windows 8 operating system, which is getting bad early reviews. ("Where's the Start button?")Fun fact: Did you know there are 250,000 active patents that impact smartphones, representing one in six active patents?LOOKING AHEAD THIS WEEKBoeing, Delta Air Lines, and US Airways report their earnings on Wednesday. United follows on Thursday.CAREER MOVESJoanna Shields, Facebook's managing director for Europe, Middle East, and Africa operations has resigned. In January, she's going to take charge of London’s Tech City Investment Organisation.THANKS!Tnooz hopes you have an effective day. Feel free to e-mail us your tips, theories, and any news from Europe's largest technology conference (which starts today in Dublin).We’d be grateful if you forwarded this to your friends — they can sign up for our free newsletter, here.