Airbnb Adjusting to Criticisms
Airbnb is, for some people, a popular way to rent living accommodations while travelling. Instead of booking a regular hotel room, Airbnb users access their smart phone app or log into the computer Web site to search for rooms open to rent in participants homes. The company advertises that using this service allows people to experience a new desitnation like a hometown resident would, staying in a neighborhood and having local knowledge of a vacation or travel experience that you can’t get in a cookie cutter corporate hotel.
However, there have been a growing number of complaints from African American users who say that when they submit a request to rent a room, they are being rejected in high numbers. The CEO of the company, Brian Chesky admitted that Airbnb has been slow to respond to the data and investigations into their discrimination problem. Chesky also said that one thing that the sharing economy service would do going forward is to deemphasize the role that user photos play in the rental booking process. Investigations by media groups suggest that user groups offer clues to invididuals ehtnicity and that has played a role in the rental acceptance process.
Dig Deeper Look further into the details of this story and see what criticisms have been leveled against Airbnb. Do you think these complaints are valid? Has the company done enough to address these criticisms?
Phyllis Schlafly Dies
On Monday, September 5, news broke that Phyllis Schlafly died. Schlafly was a political activist who fought strongly for conservative political goals–especially in the 1970s and 1980s. Schlafly was famous, in part, for her vocal opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, when feminists and woman’s rights groups were trying to secure a constitutional amendment that would have prohibited any sort of gender discrimination in American laws. Even though Congress passed a version of the amendment in 1972, it did not become part of the Constitution because not enough states voted in favor of the change. Schlafly’s vocal opposition was instrumental in turning the vote in some states against the amendment.
Schlafly’s opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment was based upon her belief that, in the unique role of child-bearers, women deserved unique legal treatment and therefore should not be treated equal to men.
What Do You Think? Do you agree with Schlafly’s point of view regarding women? Why or why not?
FCC Wants App to Replace Cable Box
Even if you don’t pay for your own cable, you might have heard other people complain about the high monthly cost of all that entertainment that you could have coming into your house. Or maybe you don’t have cable at all–but would like to if you could find a cheaper option? Well, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is thinking about some new ways that you could get cable delivered to you in the future.
The FCC’s plan is to require all cable TV providers to eliminate the cable box (which is one source of the high monthly cost) with a cell phone app. Eliminating the cost of physical equipment may make cable cheaper in the long run, but that might be offset by the necessity of having to use an (also costly) smart phone. Another benefit, or problem, with the FCC’s proposal is that in the future the government organization wants all cable providers to move to an open standard–which would mean that all cable companies can “talk” to one another as well as other entertainment providers such as Roku or Apple TV. This would widen the pipeline for entertainment, but it would require higher cooperation between competing media corporations.
What Do You Think? Would you be in favor of ditching a cable box system and relying only on smart phone apps for your entertainment? What sort of benefits or drawbacks can you identify with this sort of configuration? Do you even have cable TV? If so, can you live without it to save money?