online rentals

EU lawmakers include Spotify and iTunes in geoblocking ban

By Julia Fioretti

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union lawmakers voted on Tuesday to ban online retailers from treating consumers differently depending on where they live and expanded their proposed law to include music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple’s iTunes.

Ending so-called geoblocking is a priority for the European Commission as it tries to create a single market for digital services across the 28-nation bloc, but many industries argue that they tailor their prices to specific domestic markets.

Tuesday’s vote means the European Parliament can begin final negotiations with EU member states to reach a deal on the proposal, after which it would become law.

The proposal, which will apply to e-commerce websites such as Amazon, Zalando and eBay, as well as for services provided in a specific location like car rental, forbids online retailers from automatically re-routing customers to their domestic website without their consent.

Amazon already makes it retail websites accessible to customers anywhere in Europe and says 98 percent of its own stock is available to shoppers from any European country.

In a blow for the book publishing and music industries, European Parliament members voted to include copyright-protected content such as music, games, software and e-books in the law.

That would mean music streaming services such as Spotify and iTunes would not be able to prevent, for example, a French customer buying a cheaper subscription in Croatia, if they have the required rights.

The music industry has argued that extending the geoblocking ban to copyright-protected content could lead to a waterbed effect - pushing up prices in areas that are cheaper now.

However, EU member states favor excluding copyright-protected services from the geoblocking ban.

“Booksellers can’t be forced to sell across borders. It is a company choice, in line with the evolution of the market, and booksellers’ first concern is to keep their business afloat,” said Fabian Paagman and Luc Treutenaere, co-Presidents of the European and International Booksellers Federation.

Under the proposal, consumers would be able to buy goods online even when the retailer does not deliver to their country of residence. Retailers would not be forced to deliver cross-border though, so an Italian buying a TV off a German website would have to arrange their own delivery or collect it.

Consumers will also be able to take advantage of better prices for car rentals, hotel rooms or music festivals on websites in other countries, which may have previously re-routed them to their local version.

“What we want is simple: to end discrimination in the single market, based on people’s nationality, residence or temporary location,” said Roza Thun, the MEP who is steering the legislation through the European Parliament.

(Editing by David Clarke)

Gone Fishing.

Okay, not really, but I have tasted the Atlantic Ocean today. lol

I’m on vacation and my laptop keyboard has decided to bail on several keys so I am typing on a USB connected keyboard. 

And I’m hardly in to type, and even when I can get online here at the rental, it isn’t usually very speedy, so my connections time out a lot.

PLEASE know I am not ignoring anyone’s notes or reviews on my stories. I’m just not reliably available for a week. Or so.

Stay cool, all. 


At Home in the High Desert with @thejoshuatreehouse

For more scenes from life in the desert, follow @thejoshuatreehouse on Instagram.

Sara and Rich Combs of the Joshua Tree House (@thejoshuatreehouse) fell in love with the California desert the first time they visited. “It makes you feel like you can be yourself and create what you want to create,” Rich says. Last May, the couple, both 29 years old, found themselves with a 1940s hacienda, which they renovated and listed for rental online about five months later. When they’re in San Francisco, Rich and Sara work as web designers, designing apps for startups and tech companies. They used their backgrounds to redo the house’s interiors, curate art on the walls and add touches reminding guests to take life slow — from flipping a record on a vintage player to brewing a cup of pour-over coffee. “We want people to enjoy the process of creating something, even if it’s just coffee,” Rich says. Their advice to other small business owners on Instagram is to remember that snapping a single photo is never as compelling as telling an entire story. “The story of Joshua Tree obviously captured us,” says Sara. “We figured out how we can share that feeling with people who are interested in staying at the house.”

anonymous asked:

Oh internet guru, thank you for all your sage wisdom. I need to start searching for a place to live soon as I'll be moving in August. Little tiny hiccup. I live overseas and will be trying to find a place State-side. There is no way I can visit properties ahead of time and I need to be able to move in right away. Advice for someone who simply cannot make a long-distance commute to visit apartments?

Oh man, apartment hunting when you can’t be there is a HUGE roll of the dice. I’ve had to do it twice and once I got a SUPER LOVELY place to live and once I got a TOTAL SHITSHOW. 

The internet will be your friend, though. Here are some helpful things to look for when apartment-hunting:

a) An online apartment-finding service, like Chicago Apartment Finders, where you can see stats and photos (bedrooms, rent, is heat included, what’s the view like) ahead of time. google [your region] apartment finder or apartment agent and go with the one that looks the least sleazy. DO NOT use a service that charges you a fee; the landlord should always pay the fee, not you. The nice thing about online rental services is that they vet their rentals, so you know you won’t get scammed (see point e).

b) Google Street View. Once you’ve found an address, go to google maps, enter the address, and drag the little yellow guy to the street to see if you can get a look at the street in general. What do the cars look like? Are there bars on the windows? Are there a lot of empty store fronts in the area? Does the building look like it’s in good repair? If you need transit, Google now also has transit routes in most major cities, but you can always find bus stops on Street View. 

c) What is crime like in the area? Google [your region] crime map and see if there are maps in the area telling you where and what kinds of crimes. Sometimes the police have these on the police website. 

d) What is the name of the landlord or the apartment management company? Google that and “apartment” and see if you can find feedback sites where people have talked about their experiences. I avoided two slumlords this way last time I started an apartment search. 

e) While we’re on the topic, beware of individual landlords when renting sight-unseen – some people set up scams where they rent a property they don’t actually own to you, take your deposit, and run. This is why I NEVER recommend Craigslist for finding a home rental, because it’s super duper shady. 

f) Word of mouth – do you know anyone in the area? Ask them where good places to live are, or where they live; ask them how they found their place. I found the agent who found this place by whining long and loud about apartment hunting and getting him recommended to me by a friend. If you’re moving for school, find out if the school has a housing aid office and ask them if they can make any recommendations. 

Remember to be suspicious of anything that seems too good to be true, but also remember that you’ll only be renting for a year at most (month to month immediately if you’re lucky) and you can survive ugly housing for a year. And that you are entitled to break your lease if the housing is actually hazardous to your health. Good luck!

anonymous asked:

College freshman, sorry I didn't specify before.

Don’t procrastinate. Seriously.

Stay organized but college professors don’t really care about whether or not you learn the material, as long as they teach it. It’s not like high school and they won’t baby you on how to take notes or how to study so it’s a very self-reliant 4 years.

Go to office hours. Talk to the professor. You might need a letter of rec so get on their good side.

Never ever ever buy textbooks from the college bookstore cause it is highway robbery and you can get almost every book online from rental stores like ( has price comparisons so that’s good. Also I forgot if it’s slugbook or slugbooks, so just look it up) or amazon. Unless the professor specifies that there’s a booklet needed or it’s exclusive to the bookstore

Talk to your counselor and see them a couple times throughout the semester or quarter just so they know you and can help you better

I type my notes on my laptop cause it’s easier for me and I can jot things down but you really need to find a study method that works for you, since it took me a whole to figure out mine.

Take advantage of your uni’s resources and look at clubs and extracurriculars cause that’s a great way to meet friends and people

Also study groups are helpful if you’re with people who are actually serious about the class (I’ve been in groups where they goof off and it was a complete waste of time)

Don’t skip class unless it’s important to study for another class. I mean I’m a hypocrite cause I do this more often than I’d like to admit, but sometimes you need to learn how to budget your time

Cafeteria food can be crappy and expensive so pack your own lunch if you can and also snacks

Be on top of class requirements for your major and what you need to do to graduate

Uhh I think that’s all I can think of at the moment


Today would have been Eiji Tsuburaya’s 114th birthday. Eiji  was the Japanese special effects director responsible for many Japanese science-fiction movies, being one of the co-creators of the Godzilla series, as well as the main creator of Ultraman.