Airbnb, which announced a permanent ban on parties at host properties back in June, is testing anti-party technology in the US and Canada. Not that these tools are real-world party crashing gadgets. The tools focus on when the customer books a property, looking at several factors to detect “potentially high-risk reservations.” They consider elements such as how long the prospective guest has had an Airbnb account, how far away the listing is from where they’re based and their history of positive reviews. It may, for instance, flag a planned stay of one or two nights over a weekend in the guest’s home city. In Australia, where Airbnb first tested the tools, it says it reduced unauthorized parties by 35 percent.

— Mat

The biggest stories you might have missed

What you’ll need to survive the California wildfires this summer

Update your home’s emergency kit now.


Climate change has transformed the American West into a tinderbox. Temperatures since the start of the century have averaged two degrees Fahrenheit higher than any other point on record, since 1895. A significant part of California is going to be affected — coastal cities, urban-wildland interfaces and out in the middle of rural anywhere. So here’s some gear and techniques to help with this summer’s fire season.

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Netflix with ads might not have offline viewing

The tier’s subscribers won’t be able to download, the Netflix app’s code suggests.

Netflix’s upcoming ad-supported tier might not be the best streaming option for commuters and other viewers who watch on the go. Developer Steve Moser has discovered text in the code of the service’s iPhone app that says, “Downloads available on all plans except Netflix with ads.” In short, no offline viewing. The streaming service told Techcrunch: “We are still in the early days of deciding how to launch a lower priced ad-supported option and no decisions have been made.”

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Australia’s top court rules Google isn’t a publisher

The company could have been held liable for linking to defamatory websites.

Google has prevailed in its long-running battle over potentially defamatory web links. Australia’s High Court has ruled Google’s search result link “merely facilitated access” to an allegedly defamatory story — Google didn’t play a part in writing or distributing the content. The decision could have a wide-ranging impact on internet firms operating in Australia.

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The best laptops for college students

Our favorite machines for classes on campus, online and everywhere in between.


Whether you’re heading to a physical campus, taking classes online or a mix of both, a laptop is sure to be the control center for your studies. Getting a new machine can help you stay on top of your schedule and handle your furious multitasking across dozens of tabs devoted to research while you write your essays. Given we’re still dealing with ongoing inflation and the global chip shortage, you might be concerned about rising prices or what might be in stock. The good news is companies are still making a ton of new laptops, and there are plenty of models for you to consider.

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