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Donald Trump says video games, movies may cause violence

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.

The presence of video games can encourage violence?

Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images

Guns don’t kill people, but video games might. Movies, too. That might, at least, be one interpretation from remarks made by Donald Trump during a meeting on Thursday with state and local officials in Florida.

The meeting was to discuss safety in schools after the tragic Feb.

14 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The president seemed to set his sights on the entertainment industry and even the internet itself. He began by suggesting that the internet’s influence on young minds should be examined.

He moved on, however, to the gaming industry. “I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” he said. Much research has been done to see if there is, indeed, a link between violent video games and violent acts.

They may, the American Psychological Association said in 2015, increase the tendency toward aggression. This doesn’t mean, however, a necessary extension toward criminal acts of violence. A year earlier, President Obama had requested £10 million for the issue to be studied further.

This request was rejected by Republican members of the appropriations committee. This year, research published by the UK’s University of York concluded there was no link between gamers and an increased propensity for violence. The president, though, believes other forms of entertainment may also influence young minds in a violent direction.

“And you go one further step and that’s the movies. You see these movies, and they’re so violent, a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn’t involved, but killing is involved, and maybe we need to put a rating system for that,” he said. There is, in fact, a ratings system for that.

It’s perfectly reasonable to wonder whether that ratings system is working as well as it might. Research on violent movies, though, has also concluded that they don’t make people more violent. Some might wonder why the president seems keen to point to many things as the potential cause of young mens’ violence except the ease with which guns can be obtained by those who shouldn’t be anywhere near them.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Airbnb is getting all fancy

CEO Brian Chesky announced several new Airbnb features at an event at San Francisco’s Masonic theater.

James Martin/CNET

Airbnb wants to have more than 1 billion people staying in its rentals by 2028. That’s one-seventh of the world’s population — or the populations of the US and Europe combined. To get there, the lodgings company is doing a major overhaul, which it unveiled at an event in San Francisco’s Masonic theater on Thursday.

Along with making its website more user friendly, it’s adding four new types of rentals, high-end tiers for wealthier travelers, and more rental categories to choose from. “Over the last 10 years a lot has changed,” Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky told the crowd at the Masonic. “Airbnb is still an alternative, but it’s still not for everyone … Today we will show you our road map: Airbnb for everyone.”

Now Playing: Watch this: Airbnb wants to be a place for ‘everyone’


Airbnb has gone from a website for couch surfers to having a massive online presence in just under a decade.

It lists roughly 4.5 million homes for rent in more than 81,000 cities. But that growth has come with increasing scrutiny from city regulators. The company has battled local governments from San Francisco to New York to London.

Though it’s worked out deals with many of those regulators, it’s had to scale down its offerings and adjust to rules that require hosts to register with cities and that curb how many nights a year people can rent out a home. That means Airbnb has needed to rethink its business to stay competitive with hotels and similar sites like VRBO vacation rentals. Over the past couple of years, it’s expanded from offering homes for short-term rentals to letting travelers book day trips and restaurant reservations.

It’s also partnered with major landlords in California and Florida that allow for Airbnb rentals through their buildings. The company’s newest revamp includes several features. It’s specifying four new property types: vacation home, unique space, B&B and boutique hotel.

Unique spaces include things like tree houses, yurts and Airstream trailers, while boutique hotels would be nonchain hotels. Airbnb said it’s differentiating these listings so people will be able to more easily choose the best match for their preferences.

Airbnb Plus is one of the company’s new high-end types of rentals.

James Martin/CNET

The company is also adding two new high-end tiers: Airbnb Plus and “Beyond by Airbnb.” Chesky said Plus is for guests “looking for beautiful homes” that have “exceptional hosts.” All of these listings are verified by the company. “Beyond by Airbnb” goes one level higher, with full-on luxury stays that include “some of the world’s nicest homes,” Chesky said.

These include everything from villas in Tuscany to ski-in, ski-out lodges in Aspen. Jennifer King, who was in the audience at Thursday’s event, said she listed her two high-end homes in San Francisco and Maine on Airbnb Plus. She said that when Airbnb verified her homes, “they came and literally opened every drawer.” They made sure she had the right pots and pans and carbon monoxide detectors.

“It was to the nth degree,” she said. “For the creme de la creme.” Finally, Airbnb announced at its event that it’s redesigning its website to include more personalized collections for travelers to choose from. Currently people need to scroll through listings to find what’s right for them, but with more collections they’ll be able to choose from categories like weddings, travel for work, group getaways and dinner parties.

“We think we finally do have a home for everyone,” Chesky said. “I’m really excited to see what the next 10 years look like.” First published Feb.

22, 9:31 a.m. PT. Update, 2:31 p.m.

PT: Adds more details about the event and background information.

CNET Magazine: Check out a sample of the stories in CNET’s newsstand edition. Life, disrupted: In Europe, millions of refugees are still searching for a safe place to settle. Tech should be part of the solution.

But is it?