Popular crowdsourcing hotel site, AirBnB, which allows users to rent out their houses, beds, and coaches to travelers, is adding a Facebook filter to search offerings from friends of friends. Next time you get a Facebook message asking for a couch to crash on, say, "Sure thing, that'll be $49.95." — Updated, 5:40 p.m.
Google Adds Cloud Movie Rentals for Android
In case adding movie rentals for YouTube wasn't enough (see below), Google announced today at its I/O conference that the company will add a movie rental service to its Android marketplace. Thousands of titles will be available for streaming, starting at $1.99 per rental. Movies can be streamed to any Android-based device, whether smartphone or tablet, and are also available to watch online.
3,000+ movies are now live streaming from Youtube.com/movies for about $3.99 a pop. The Google-owned company inked deals with Time Warner and Sony (among others) as part of the company's headfirst dive into more professional content. At almost half the price of a 30-day Netflix membership for each movie, though, YouTube's only benefit for now is that many popular titles, such as Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part I, are stream-able (DVD-only for Netflix). Will this be enough to distinguish YouTube?
At least 23,000 BitTorrent users who illegally downloaded Sly Stallone's Expendables are probably wishing they chose another second-rate action flick to pass the time, since it might cost them $150,000 in fines—the hammer of justice is heavy! The case is an example of a controversial new "court-cased business strategy" that seeks to score millions by claiming ownership of embarrassing movies, like porn, in the alleged hope that defendants will settle to save face. Just how much is hiding your love of Stallone worth to you?
If you're tired of manually inputting business cards, Google Goggles, the picture-detection service for Android, has been updated with improved card detection. It's a nice idea, but given the horse race for fancier business cards, only a human-powered service like Cardmunch is likely to get all the nuances correct.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is rolling out SMS-based alerts, but the lucky survivors of the next instant apocalypse will only be from Washington and New York, the first test states to get it by year's end. New cell phones will include the alert on an opt-in basis and will include a special vibration.
Sources: Mashable, Reuters, Wired, AndroidAndMe, The Washington Post, Google
[Image: Flickr user Sam Howzit]