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Business

Airbnb hosts face fees in city worried about affordable housing

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Airbnb hosts in Boston could get hit with fees in an effort to combat high rents in popular neighborhoods.   

On Monday, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that he had filed a city ordinance to regulate short-term rentals. His plan would charge Airbnb hosts fees for renting out their properties, as well as limit the number of days a unit can be rented out. 

“This ordinance is an important step towards our goal of reducing housing costs by creating disincentives to take units off the market for use as short-term rentals,” Mayor Walsh said in a statement. “It also allows for the continued use of short-term rentals in scenarios that are non-disruptive to our neighborhoods and support our tourism industry.” Read more…

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Business

Why the iPhone X will probably never see its first birthday

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If you’ve been debating whether to buy an iPhone X, you may have just been scared out of your decision.

On Friday, the king of Apple analysts, his majesty Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, predicted Apple will soon be discontinuing the iPhone X, according to a recent AppleInsider report

That’s right: Apple is due to kill off its most expensive iPhone after the summer, right when the next generation of iPhones is due and less than a year after its debut (it didn’t go on sale until Nov. 3).

In his note, Kuo appeared to imply the move was a response to weak demand, particularly in China, where smartphone buyers are said to be more skeptical of the infamous “notch.” He later clarified in a follow-up note that the iPhone X was being put out to pasture early to prevent any potential “cannibalization” of the new iPhone line that’s planned for the fall, according to MacRumors. Read more…

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Tech

This pillow with a retractable umbrella is the wacky new beach accessory you never knew you needed

Humanity can proudly lay claim to at least a few ingenious inventions. For instance, the wheel, electricity and Netflix’s ‘Skip Intro’ feature are probably mankind’s top three greatest hits. But … Read more

The post This pillow with a retractable umbrella is the wacky new beach accessory you never knew you needed appeared first on Lost At E Minor: For creative people.

Business

Download this: An app to help you get better at HQ Trivia

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Trivia buffs now have a new way to prepare for games of HQ.

Called Practice HQ Trivia, the recently released Android app challenges players to answer multiple choice trivia questions similar to what you might see in HQ and other quiz games. There are no timers, goofy animations, or charismatic hosts, but you do get an unending supply of trivia questions without any gimmicks.

It’s an incredibly barebones app — consisting of just trivia questions and slightly intrusive ads that appear between questions when you get an answer wrong. (If you think money is a good incentive to answer questions correctly, just wait until you have to sit through a few app install ads.) Read more…

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Business

Someone just created a site to make browsing Netflix easier

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Here’s some great news just in time for the weekend: someone’s created a site that makes browsing through Netflix so much easier.

Reddit user CrazedEli, aka Ville Salminen, announced his creation Flixable on the r/television subreddit Friday. It’s basically a search engine for Netflix and it’s worth checking out; it could save you hours of wasted time.

Flixable shows what’s popular, what’s original, and what’s leaving Netflix. Users can browse by genre and IMDb rating, and filter their searches based on release date. 

Salminen said he built the site as a hobby to learn more about programming. He noticed that many Netflix users on Reddit were frustrated by the streaming service’s unintuitive browsing options, pointing to one popular complaint in particular. Read more…

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Lifestyle

Amazon updates the Alexa app so you can actually use Alexa

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Amazon’s Alexa app is about to get a lot more useful.

That’s because the company is finally bringing the full powers of its assistant to the Alexa smartphone app. 

Until now, the Alexa app was primarily used for controlling settings, timers, and various Alexa-enabled devices, but you couldn’t actually use any of Alexa’s assistant capabilities. That’s finally changing.

It’s not the first time the full-fledged Alexa assistant has made its way to the smartphone screen. The company previously partnered with HTC and Huawei on integrations specifically for the HTC U11 and the Huawei Mate 9. Read more…

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Business

The long, strange history of the backlash against women in tech

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This column is part of a series called “Voices of Women in Tech,” created in collaboration with AnitaB.org, a global enterprise that supports women in technical fields, as well as the organizations that employ them and the academic institutions training the next generation.

As we prepare for the second annual Women’s March this weekend, it’s tempting to see the last 12 months as a time of unique empowerment. But honestly, the more things begin to change, the more obvious it becomes that we must fight against inertia and the tendency for our industry to revert to the same old tired excuses about why women can’t have seats at the table. Read more…

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Business

Tech companies have endured a PR nightmare, not that the business world cares

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Tech companies, once a shining beacon of American innovation and optimism about the future of technology, have endured a brutal run of press in the past couple years. 

Not that it’s making much of a difference, at least in the business world. 

Fortune magazine has released its list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” and, as expected, it’s a who’s who of mega-giants that dominate our every day life.

Just so we’re all on the same page, here’s the top 10:

  1. Apple

  2. Amazon

  3. Alphabet

  4. Berkshire Hathaway

  5. Starbucks

  6. Walt Disney

  7. Microsoft

  8. Southwest Airlines

  9. FedEx

  10. JPMorgan Chase Read more…

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Business

Instagram just added a powerful new way to stalk people on the app

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Instagram is now even more of a stalker’s paradise.

Everyone’s favorite photo and video sharing app has just added an “Activity Status” that lets all your friends and followers “see when you were last active” on the app, just like on Facebook Messenger. Creeeeeeeepy!

SEE ALSO: 12 awesome Instagram features you’re probably not using

When you open up Instagram Direct, the messaging section of the app, you’ll now see it shows whether your friends are “active” on the app or when they were last active on it.

CREEPY…Instagram now has an “Activity Status” that tells you when your friends and followers “were last active on Instagram apps.” TL;DR: Instagram is now Facebook

RUNpic.twitter.com/Hv1wuIIm06

— Raymond Wong 📱💾📼 (@raywongy) January 18, 2018 Read more…

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Entertainment

‘Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery’ mobile game enrolls you in a virtual wizarding school

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Business

The Winklevoss twins may have lost A LOT of money on Bitcoin

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With Bitcoin crashing, some cryptocurrency HODLers are hurting. That might include the Winklevoss twins. 

Tyler and Cameron bought 120,000 bitcoins in late 2012 with money from the $65 million payout from their lawsuit against Facebook.

That’s more than $1.32 billion worth of bitcoin at Wednesday evening’s value of about $11,000 per bitcoin. That seems like a lot, but just two days ago a bitcoin was worth $14,000. 

Here’s the chart on Bitcoin since 2012. Up and up and up. 

Bitcoin's value since January 2012.

Bitcoin’s value since January 2012.

Image: coindesk

But then this week, it’s been down, down, down.  Read more…

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Business

A Google bus was attacked outside of San Francisco, just like buses from Apple

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Apple shuttles aren’t the only tech buses under attack

Google buses, which carry employees of the tech giant to and from its Mountain View headquarters, are in the spotlight today following an attack on one of the company’s chartered shuttles. 

California Highway Patrol officer Art Montiel confirmed to Mashable that, in addition to four Apple buses, a shuttle bus chartered by Google was hit in some sort of attack that took place on Highway 280 outside of San Francisco. Thankfully, no injuries have been reported. 

The incident went down on Tuesday. Much like with the attack on the Apple buses, which suffered broken windows, it is not clear what exactly was used by the perpetrator. Regardless, whether it was rocks, “rubber rounds” (as speculated by one Apple employee), or something else entirely, there is clearly real danger involved in breaking the windows of a bus while it’s full of passengers and driving on the highway.  Read more…

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Lifestyle

How Google’s ‘speed update’ will affect mobile search

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Google searches on your phone are about to get an important upgrade.

The company announced an upcoming “speed update” to search, which will put some slower loading pages lower down in search results on mobile devices.

Google says it expects the speed update, set to take effect in July, will only affect “a small percentage of queries,” but given the number of Google searches that happen on a daily basis, it could have a significant impact on search.

Under the change, Google will take page speeds into account in determining its rankings for mobile searches. The company has previously used speed as a factor on desktop, but this will mark the first time Google has done so on mobile. Read more…

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Business

This ridiculous electric SUV concept is over the top in every way

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Chinese EV startup ‘BYTON‘ has an electric SUV concept in the works and it’s packed to the brim with unnecessary tech—including a massive 49-inch gesture-controlled dashboard display and a fitness tracker that keeps tabs on your heart rate, blood pressure, and weight. The SUV isn’t available for pre-order yet, but the startup plans to add some autonomous driving features in 2019. Read more…

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Business

Instagram is testing another killer feature that could crush Snapchat even more

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Instagram is not slowing down in 2018.

After Instagram crushed Snapchat — seriously, pounded the app into the ground — last year with its own disappearing Stories feature, the Facebook-owned app is now secretly testing a new “Type” feature that’ll let users share text-based clips instead of photos or videos.

The Next Web first spotted the feature back in December when it rolled out to a select group of private users in Japan, and now it appears Instagram is testing it on some users in Europe as well.

Mashable reached out Instagram and received the following statement from a company spokesperson: Read more…

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