Facebook’s Oculus users are frustrated over mandatory Facebook accounts, new rules in the U.K. stop mobile networks from selling locked phones, and cities are taking new approaches to take back their housing from Airbnb.
It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, October 28, and I’m your host Baneet Braich.
Facebook’s Oculus users are frustrated. This week they were told they could lose all their Oculus purchases and account information in the future if they ever delete their profile on the social network. The decision comes two months after Facebook decided all-new Oculus users will require Facebook accounts to use their VR gizmos. It’s also required that all current Oculus users will need a Facebook account by 2023. If users don’t comply, Facebook says apps installed on the headsets may not work as expected. Oculus users have not taken this lightly and quickly took to social media to complain. Tensions increased particularly after Facebook said it would ban users who use the same Facebook account for multiple players. There is an online effort to jailbreak new Oculus headgear to overcome Facebook’s increasing restrictions.
There is a new mobile selling rule in place in the UK. The UK’s mobile networks will be forbidden from selling phones locked to their services from December 2021. Networks have suggested that locking devices helps deter theft and fraud. But regulator Ofcom says that unlocking handsets can be a complicated process that discourages owners from switching providers at the end of their contracts. Companies like EE, BT, Vodaphone, and Tesco Mobile have also abandoned the practice. An Ofcom connectivity director says it will save people time, money and effort – and help them unlock better deals.
The pandemic has particularly highlighted housing imbalances in popular cities especially with short-term rentals that support Airbnb. Now cities are taking on different approaches to the short-rental housing empire. Lisbon, Portugal is acting as a landlord and renting empty apartments as subsidized housing. Amsterdam has fully stopped vacation rentals in the heart of the old city. Berlin officially warned of a crackdown on short-term leasing platforms that try to evade the enforcement of the law, and Paris is planning a referendum on Airbnb-type listings. According to the New York Times, Airbnb properties have “distorted housing markets in cities where supply is already tight.” European cities especially are taking new measures to reclaim their housing. [LinkedIn]
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening