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2May/160

Berlin bans renting whole apartments through Airbnb

Not everyone is happy with the move. Critics speaking to AFP are concerned that this is a ham-fisted attempt at making up for poor housing policies, or else an attempt to protect the hotel industry. There's also a lawsuit alleging that the rules violate Berlin's constitution. Airbnb, meanwhile, would prefer a compromise. It wants Berlin to "follow the example" of major cities like Hamburg, which explicitly lets you rent your entire home so long as it's your normal residence.

Whatever the concerns, it's doubtful the city will change its mind quickly. Although Berlin is still relatively affordable as far as Europe goes, rents surged 56 percent between 2009 and 2014. However much Airbnb contributed to that increase, officials likely want to eliminate anything that could artificially boost housing prices.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/02/berlin-bans-airbnb-whole-apartment-rentals/

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2May/160

Uber drivers in New York State begin to organize

Uber drivers fought to gain employee status in California, and are trying to form a trade union in Seattle. New York's Alles isn't a trade union, however, and Uber drivers still aren't employees, so it won't be able to negotiate driver fees, which are fixed by the ridesharing service. However, Uber agreed to allow labor associations as part of the terms of its settlement with Massachusetts and California, and New York drivers quickly took advantage. "Since Uber management controls the fares charged for the service, drivers want and need security and protection," Alles said in a statement.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/02/uber-drivers-in-new-york-state-begin-to-organize/

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2May/160

LG’s phone fingerprint sensor doesn’t need a button

Existing phone fingerprint readers are less than ideal. When they're on the back, you can't sign in while the phone sits on your desk; on the front, they chew up valuable device real estate; on the side, they're tiny. That's where LG Innotek might just come to the rescue. It developed a fingerprint sensor that hides just under the cover glass on a mobile device, saving space while giving your digits an easy target. On top of that, it can actually be more effective than a dedicated button. It's extremely accurate (the failure rate is just 0.002 percent), and the stealthy approach protects the reader against scratches and water.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/02/lg-fingerprint-sensor-under-glass/

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2May/160

The UAE wants an artificial mountain to increase rainfall

Not surprisingly, there's a lot of work to be done before cartographers have to redraw their maps. While the UAE is no stranger to small-scale terraforming (see Dubai's artificial islands) or otherwise changing the environment, a mountain is much more ambitious. The team is still determining the size and location of the mountain, and whether or not it's completed could hinge on both the necessary engineering and the price. While the UAE has plenty of private wealth floating around, the government might not be so keen on funding the project if the costs get out of control. Should this go forward, however, it'll likely represent the biggest-ever attempt at permanently altering a regional climate.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/02/uae-artificial-mountain/

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2May/160

Oculus Rift comes to 48 Best Buy stores May 7th

As you might expect from an in-store experience, Oculus plans to include a range of VR demos to show off the hardware, starting with the Oculus Dreamdeck we played around with in our official review. For something even more immersive, users will also be able to take on the heights of Crytek's The Climb and explore the alien worlds of Farlands, all without ever leaving the safety of their local Best Buy.

If in-person purchases aren't your thing, a small number of Rifts will also be available for purchase online through Amazon and Microsoft starting this Friday, May 6th at 9 AM PST. Expect supplies to be scarce while the company catches up on pre-orders, which have already been experiencing some shipping delays.

Speaking of which, anyone who already ponied up for their Oculus Rift hardware will be able to purchase the Rift in-store and keep their pre-order benefits like the EVE: Valkyrie Founder's Pack and front-of-the-line status for Oculus Touch controllers. All you need to do is go to your order status on Oculus' site, add a note that you've already bought the hardware at a retail location and the company will cancel the pre-order.

Finally, if you do plan to get your eyeballs into a Rift headset before shelling out for one, you can find the nearest store and schedule a demo ahead of time by heading to live.oculus.com.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/02/oculus-rift-comes-to-48-best-buy-stores-may-7th/

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2May/160

Long-delayed ‘Mighty No. 9′ arrives June 21st

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you -- after more than a few delays, Comcept has announced that Mighty No. 9 is finished. Keiji Inafune's spiritual sequel to Mega Man will arrive in Asia and North America on June 21st, and the rest of the world on June 24th. The initial release is limited to console and computer players (albeit on virtually every platform), but versions for both the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita are due "at a later point." Just be sure to think carefully about your choice of media format: while downloads are more convenient, a retail copy includes the Ray add-on.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/02/mighty-no-9-arrives-june-21st/

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2May/160

‘Uncharted 4′ multiplayer maps and modes will be free forever

Putting content and gameplay upgrades behind pay gates could make for an uneven playing field, Naughty Dog said in a blog post. All maps and modes will be released simultaneously, while the in-game currency, called Relics, can't be bought with real money. The studio has scheduled new content in seasonal expansions through spring 2017, with most maps and co-op dropping by fall 2016.

Meanwhile, so-called microtransactions will still be around in the form of "Uncharted Points," and while gamers can purchase vanity items and weapons with real money ahead of when they'd normally be unlocked, there are no exclusive items reserved for those dropping more cash on the game. Plug away long enough and every weapon and costume can be yours.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/02/uncharted-4-multiplayer-maps-and-modes-will-be-free-forever/

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2May/160

Kentucky Derby jewelry powered by tweets and hats

The brooch, which will adorn Weir's lapel during the festivities this Saturday, is something more than just a statement piece. It also happens to be a device built for measuring social engagement on Twitter. As more people tweet about Weir's undoubtedly fascinating headwear using the punny hashtag #WatchMeNeighNeigh, the little horse will gallop faster and light up little brighter.

The fashion stunt is part of a larger plan by NBC Sports to make "the most exciting two minutes in sports" even more exciting. Viewers tuning in online will be able to stream live camera angles from the grandstands and the infield through a GoPro/Periscope integration. Beginning this Wednesday, May 4th, NBC Sports will also be trotting out their Derby coverage on every available platform including Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/02/kentucky-derby-jewelry-powered-by-tweets-johnny-weir/

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2May/160

The CIA thought live-tweeting the bin Laden raid was a good idea

Tweeting a historical event as it happened can be enlightening, such as when the History Channel reenacted the sinking of the Titanic. It provides the context and time scale that you might miss reading a news story. However, the CIA just showed why this isn't always a good idea. The agency decided to recreate the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden through 'live' tweets this weekend, starting with the operation's approval and ending with confirmation of the terrorist leader's death. It was supposed to be informative, but it ended up rubbing a lot of people the wrong way... and it's not hard to see what triggered that outrage.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/02/cia-tweets-osama-bin-laden-raid/

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2May/160

The Rock wants you to wake up and smell what he’s cookin’

If you like to set your alarm a few minutes early so you can hit the snooze button a few times, this app will break you of that habit as it doesn't offer a snooze feature. Why? "The Rock is not a fan of the snooze button." Understood. For folks who are really looking to get a head start on things, you can choose to wake up with The Rock... at 4:15 AM. He really likes the early-morning cardio.

As you tap through the screens of the app, entering goals and what not, The Rock is there to offer encouragement with "you got this" or "it's on" and other phrases. Rock Clock also promises "exclusive video messages" from Johnson, the first of which was captured from his phone while he drove down the road. He says he'll be checking in regularly, so let's hope he finds a safer time to deliver these updates. If you're looking for some added motivation, the free alarm clock app is available for iOS and Android now.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/02/dwayne-the-rock-johnson-rock-clock-alarm-app/

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