Techcrunch hears that Google is in advanced talks to buy Yelp (supposedly for $500 million), and that the deal, while not finalized, is very close to that stage. This could be a huge boon for Google's mapping and mobile efforts.
This is a little bit odd because Google already has Places, which is a fairly similar (and actually quite good) service to Yelp—but Yelp is the biggest crowdsourced directory out there, and intimate mingling with Maps could make it all the more powerful. This is unconfirmed as of now, but we'll keep you updated if we hear anything else. [TechCrunch]