Airbnb makes news for a mix of good and bad reasons. When it's not expanding the service to make it easier to stay between multiple properties on the same trip, its safety team (and terrible rentals) are becoming the subject of a documentary series.
Now, according to a report from Curbed, April 2022 apartment rental inventory in Manhattan, Brooklyn and northwest Queens numbered 7,699 units. That compares to somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 entire-apartment or entire-home Airbnb listings across all of NYC, as calculated by AirDNA and Inside Airbnb.
New York City prohibited short-term rentals (less than 30 days) in multi-unit buildings without the owner present since 2011, to even advertise such listings in 2016. The report hasn't traced whether Airbnb hosts are following these guidelines.
Airbnb hasn't solely caused the NYC housing shortage - an issue seen in most 'desirable' cities across the world. In New York, rents are going up, and permits for new apartments are down by "a double-digit percentage" said Airbnb's spokesperson.
However, the optics of having more Airbnb listings than rentable apartments are not good.
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Russia claims it's using new laser weapons against Ukraine
The technology reportedly blinds satellites and destroys drones.
Russia is reportedly testing out new technology on the battlefield as it continues its invasion of Ukraine. According to a Reuters report, the Russian government says it's using a new wave of laser weapons. One weapon, a destructive laser called Zadira, can apparently burn up drones. Deputy prime minister Yury Borisov said that in one test, it incinerated a drone 3.1 miles away within five seconds. A more established system, Peresvet, reportedly blinds satellites up to 932 miles above Earth.
NASA will soon bid farewell to its Mars InSight lander
The lander is expected to end its science activities by the end of summer.
NASA's Mars InSight lander will soon no longer be able to send back data and images. It's been gradually losing power for a while now as dust continues to accumulate on its solar panels. The darker skies expected in the next few months - also due to having more dust in the air - won't help either.
The space agency believes the lander will no longer be able to sustain its seismometer by the end of summer.
Amazon refreshes its Fire 7 tablets with faster CPUs and longer battery life
The new Fire 7 will set you back at least $60.
The new Fire 7 has double the RAM of the previous generation and is powered by a quad-core processor that's 30 percent faster. It also has 40 percent more battery life and can last for up to 10 hours while browsing and watching videos. Unlike previous Fire 7 models, it now comes with a USB-C port instead of a micro-USB. One day I'll shut up about USB-C, I promise.
The Fire 7 is available in black, denim and rose and will set you back at least $60. It will start shipping on June 29th and is available to preorder now.
Homeland Security 'pauses' disinformation board three weeks after creating it
The group's leader was the target of harassment and threats.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has "paused" a Disinformation Governance Board just three weeks after its April 27th announcement. Officials reportedly decided to shut down the board on May 16th, but that decision appears to be on hold after a last-minute effort to retain board leader Nina Jankowicz. She resigned from the board and the DHS today (May 18th). Far-right influencers and media outlets portrayed the board as a censorship tool and villainized Jankowicz. The campaigns led to harassment and threats against the board leader.
Sony's LinkBuds S are smaller $200 noise-canceling earbuds
Lots of new Sony headphones to pine after.
Sony's LinkBuds S are apparently designed for a "never off wearing experience," with transparency mode allowing you to tune into your surroundings as needed. Unlike the open-ear LinkBuds that debuted earlier this year, the LinkBuds S have a more "traditional" closed design, with a shape that's more similar to Sony's flagship WF-1000XM4 buds. These, however, are much smaller.
The LinkBuds S are up for pre-order now, with general availability starting May 20th.