Party-pooping-as-a-service


February 27, 2020

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Bash Busters

Airbnb gets serious about party prevention with new anti-party sensors

Last week, Airbnb began offering its hosts discounts on “three of the top party prevention devices.”

The company claims these little party poopers are a non-intrusive way to keep pesky parties at bay, but some security critics and consumers aren’t comfortable with the bite-sized surveillance devices.

Airbnb’s got a party problem, and now it’s pulling out all the stops 

Airbnb has always banned unauthorized parties at its properties, but it has long struggled to enforce its rules.

After a deadly shooting in an Airbnb last year, the company explicitly banned “party houses” and resolved to “combat unauthorized parties and get rid of abusive host and guest conduct.”

The company also improved its own internal party-policing system to flag high-risk reservations, created a “party house” rapid-response team, and stiffened the penalties for violators. 

And now it’s subsidizing surveillance systems

Airbnb explains on its dedicated party prevention page that these devices are meant to protect properties, maintain privacy for guests, and preserve friendly neighbor relationships.

Instead of introducing its own privacy products, Airbnb is offering deep discounts on 3 top-rated 3rd-party products:

  • Minut, $99 (normally $149) 
  • NoiseAware, $149 (normally $199) 
  • Roomonitor, $39 (normally $165) 

All 3 monitor noise, which Airbnb sees as “a leading indicator of property misuse.”

Minut also monitors temperature, motion, and humidity (although no one has yet explained how humidity is related to party prevalence… ).

But some (party?) people aren’t pleased

Airbnb assures consumers that none of these devices record sounds, they merely measure them.

But some critics still aren’t comfortable with the increased surveillance.

Evan Greer, the deputy director of the digital-rights organization Fight for the Future, told Vice that a measurement-only device is certainly better than “internet-connected surveillance cameras or listening devices in your home.” 

“But we’re hurtling toward a world where almost everything we own is monitoring us in some way,” she said. “And I’m not sure that’s actually going to be a safer world.”

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Weird Weather

Why silver is suddenly all up in your snow

Coloradans who spent extra time shoveling snow out of their driveways last year should direct complaints to their local university.

In a paper published Monday, a team of University of Colorado scientists revealed the results of an effort to turbocharge weather patterns — with a few sprinkles of the compound silver iodide. At some test sites, snowfall nearly doubled.

It’s called ‘cloud seeding’ — but you might call it cloud’s cradle

Since the process often involves silver iodide, it’s tempting to picture scientists shooting cannons of Tiffany & Co. sterling into the sky. But cloud seeding is a bit more complicated.

The compound is dropped onto clouds from circling planes — it’s supposed to speed up the growth of ice crystals.

Where did this idea come from? Kurt Vonnegut’s brother Bernard was one of the first scientists to use silver iodide to spruce up weather patterns — the idea influenced the fictional “ice-nine” in Kurt’s book Cat’s Cradle.

Everyone wants to be their own Weather Channel

Cloud seeding has weathered a turbulent half-century of life. The US tried it during the Vietnam War; China followed suit during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The results have been mixed, but that hasn’t cooled excitement. Several Western states are getting into cloud seeding to fight intensifying droughts.

And the private sector is forecasting more successes: A group of corporations with dystopian names, like Weather Modification, Inc, are jockeying to cash in on the trend.

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Sponsored

Job seekers, ahoy! Machine learning can now help pair you with the perfect role

Are recruiters quivering in their boots at the thought? 

*Shakes Magic Eight Ball*

“Signs point to yes”

Okay, tell me more… 

We don’t need a Magic Eight Ball to see that the old ways of job hunting are dying. The new approach to job searching is based on machine learning (pioneered by online hiring platforms like Vettery) and is quickly replacing the outdated method of blindly blasting out your resume for one simple reason: It’s a win-win.

Job seekers, like yourself, get pointed in the direction of the roles that will best make use of their specific skill set, while top companies are handed higher-quality candidates who actually fit their needs. 

Try a machine-learning, job-searching platform like Vettery today to see for yourself.

P.S. You get a $300 bonus if you find a job through them 🙂 

Start seeking →
Things You Should

OUT: Slippers. IN: Flamin’ Hot Crocs, $49.99

If you’ve ever woken up wishing you were Guy Fieri — and let’s be real, who hasn’t? — then these are the shoes (slippers? sandals?) for you. Perfect for any terrain, including diners, dives, and even drive-ins. 

THESE ARE *LITERALLY* FIRE →  

HACK: Your wallet with a cash back card, $1k+ in value

The Ascent just found a cash back credit card that packs up to $1,148 in value — all you have to do is swipe (or, uh… insert?). Stop leaving money on the table.* 

SEE THE CARD → 

CASH: In with a fine art investment with Masterworks, Skip the line

Our very own Sam Parr, founder of The Hustle and investor in hot investments has invested in Masterworks. Tune in next week to find out how it turned out. Hint: He knows very little about art, but lots about money. In the meantime, head over to Masterworks and see how putting your money in a masterpiece could mean big returns.*

THE ART OF INVESTING → 

*This is a sponsored post.

The booming business of digital privacy

Many people are starting to recognize that their data has a price, and they’re questioning whether they’re willing to trade it away. Those concerns are giving rise to new businesses that focus on preserving users’ privacy. They’re popping up in all corners of internet tech, like…

In a recent Trends report, we tackle how these tools balance ethical growth with the need to turn a profit. There’s still opportunity for businesses to capitalize on this growing market, with services that…

  • Help people safeguard their info (think password managers, VPNs, and online-cleanup work).
  • Allow companies to follow compliance rules (like privacy-policy generators).
  • Educate the public on privacy (KrebsOnSecurity is just one example. Ahrefs estimates that the value of the site’s organic traffic is $560k). 

Don’t doubt the value of starting small. Cloudflare, which now has a ~$5B market cap, started as a project to track how spammers harvested email addresses. It now provides a range of security services for more than 20m internet properties.

Why? Privacy is universal.

Want more insights on the privacy industry? Read our full Trends report.

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Snippets

👔 Bob is taking over for Bob as Disney’s CEO. Their predecessors? Michael, Ron, Card, Donn, and the OG, Roy. Spot a pattern?

🥡 The bill for your food-delivery order probably includes some crazy markups

🎥 Clearview AI, the controversial facial-recognition company that scraped billions of images from across the internet, had its entire client list stolen.

🐄 You might think the Impossible Burger is taking a bite out of American appetites for beef. You might be wrong.

📱Never seen a bad guy in a movie using an iPhone? One director says that’s not a coincidence.

Want snippets like these in your browser? Download our Chrome extension here.

 
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Nick “VP of Party Prevention” DeSantis

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