Apartment owner freaks at Airbnb 'XXX Freak Fest'

Should you swear by Airbnb, this story might make you understand what happens when you want to swear at Airbnb.

This is the tale of New York comedian Ari Teman, who rented out his apartment on the famous site.

The renter was a man called "David." He was a verified member. Sadly, by the end of this tale, you may not be able to think of the phrase "verified member" in the same way again.

Teman described his experience fully on a special Tumblr feed dedicated to the Airbnb team.

It begins: "Usually I am … Read more

Vimeo relaunches On Demand pay-for-play platform

For the first birthday of Vimeo On Demand, the video-sharing site is giving its pay-for-play platform an overhaul.

Monday, user-created-video site Vimeo released its refreshed version of Vimeo On Demand, which is a feature of its $199-a-year subscription known as Vimeo Pro.

Vimeo Pro lets creators upload higher-quality video and get access to tools like Vimeo On Demand, which packages and sells videos to viewers on the terms the creator specifies. Vimeo also gets a 10 percent cut of the pay-for-play sales, but the rest goes directly to the people who created the video.

Starting Monday, Vimeo On Demand has … Read more

Indie-darling filmmakers: Vimeo has $10M with your names on it

In a bid to get an exclusive hold on the most promising content it can, video-hosting site Vimeo is taking the Kickstarter ethos of directly connecting fans with creators and flavoring it with a dash of Netflix -- and $10 million.

The company is carving out a $10 million fund to directly invest in films that either premiere at one of the top 20 US film festivals or garner $10,000 in crowdfunded support on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, in exchange for giving Vimeo a window of time as the only place you can go to see the videos … Read more

Woman jailed for not returning VHS of JLo movie 9 years ago

Look around your living room. Go up to your bedroom. Scour your attic.

There might be old movies there that aren't technically yours.

You might once have rented them from your local Blockbuster or equivalent and, as you and your Blockbuster aged, both of you forgot about it.

I mention this only because of the experience of Kayla Michelle Finley. As Fox Carolina reports, she went along to her local police station to report a crime.

Suddenly, JLo and behold, she was locked up for not having returned a VHS of the seminal work "Monster-In-Law," starring Jennifer … Read more

Find your dream apartment and pay your rent with Lovely

Editors' note: This review was updated on February 28, 2014, to cover new features added in the latest version of the app.

Lovely (Android|iOS) is a sleek apartment-hunting app that streamlines the process of finding a new place to rent. It grabs classifieds from rental sites, property management firms, and its own rental database, giving you a wide variety of places to choose from, which helps up the chances you'll find your dream abode.

There's an Android and iPhone-only app, plus a tablet-friendly web site for the iPad where you can search for rentals by location, contact … Read more

Buy Chromecast and get $6 Google Play credit

In the spirit of Black Friday, Google is offering shoppers credit if they buy the Chromecast video dongle within the next week.

Between Friday and December 7, a Chromecast purchase will get users a $6 credit on Google Play that can be used for an HD movie rental or anything else in the online store. The credit cannot be used toward a discount on devices or subscriptions -- it's only for items $6 or less.

To get the deal, shoppers can buy Chromecast at several retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, and on Google Play.

Google's Chromecast is like … Read more

Blockbuster throws in the towel

Blockbuster has admitted defeat in the DVD-rental business.

Parent company Dish announced Wednesday that it will shut down all remaining company-owned Blockbuster stores in the United States by early January 2014. The closure will affect around 300 remaining retail outlets as well as the company's distribution centers.

The Blockbuster By Mail service will be cut off in mid-December. Only franchised and licensed stores in the US and abroad will keep their doors open.

Hurt by the rising popularity of Netflix and similar online services, Blockbuster saw its retail profits dwindle over the past few years. In January, Dish revealed … Read more

Aaron's computer rental chain settles FTC spying charges

Imagine getting set up with a rent-to-own computer only to later find out that the retailer was surreptitiously snapping Webcam photos of you and recording your keystrokes via spyware. As bad as this sounds, it reportedly happened.

Atlanta-based Aaron's rent-to-own computer chain has been accused of knowingly installing software onto its computers that secretly monitored its customers. The Federal Trade Commission caught onto the Aaron's alleged tactics and filed a complaint against the company earlier this year. On Tuesday, the chain agreed to settle with the FTC.

According to the FTC's complaint (PDF), Aaron's software tracked … Read more

The 404 1,342: Where we board a flight to HEL (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Five disappointing things about the iPhone 5S.

- Why I'm gladly spending $100 more on the iPhone 5S over the iPhone 5C.

- Here comes a gold Lightning cable for your gold iPhone 5S.

- Apple has only increased the iPhone's battery capacity by 12 percent in six years.

- Apple stock tumbles following debut of new iPhones.

- Friday the 13th travelers take chance on flight 666 to HEL.… Read more