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Kate Stevens
Managing Director, UK

News & Views

AxiOnline: Talking 'bout my generation
Overworked, cranky babyboomer thinkpiece writers – are you tired of dragging yourself to the increasingly dried-out "mil...
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Overworked, cranky babyboomer thinkpiece writers – are you tired of dragging yourself to the increasingly dried-out "millennials are killing X" well day after day? Have you finally, once and for all, sated your thirst for blaming the death of every major industry and capitalist institution on the 22-34 age bracket? Well, you're in luck! You see, it turns out there's a new crop of even more frustratingly inscrutable youngsters on the scene; they're called Generation Z (kids born from 1993 onwards, basically) and they've come for your beloved Facebook! That's right, it turns out teens aren't using the world's most ubiquitous social media platform anymore – they much prefer YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, apparently. We don't suppose Mark Zuckerberg is losing too much sleep given he owns Instagram anyway (plus he's in the process of killing off Snapchat), nor does it seem as though the survey findings correlate with the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. Rather, it's interesting to see just how quickly the social media landscape evolves, shifting from the Facebook-centric picture of the last few years to a more diffuse focus on multiple platforms. In any case, it is a bit of a shame that millennials have already been bested in their ability to kill things off; still, they’ll always have the avocados and the fact they’ll never afford a mortgage, right guys? In other news, Amazon and eBay have this week pulled a brand of cuddly toys from their virtual shelves because they pose a security threat. Concerns about the CloudPet teddy bear range were voiced last year after it was discovered that owners' voices were being recorded and stored unprotected. But now it turns out the cuddly critters are hackable in other ways, too. Let this be a lesson, kids – Toy Story come to life may seem like a nice idea, but you have to remember that the movies don't cover the crucial topic of privacy and data leaks! It must be why none of the movies were ever considered for the Oscar Best Picture... In less mildly terrifying news, Microsoft has just dumped a load of data servers into the sea off the coast of Scotland. No, not because the council are charging too much to dispose of them correctly, it's because the famously chilly Scottish waters save them from having to cool the data centres with thermal balancing! Plus, the wind turbine-adjacent location ensures efficient energy usage. Plus, according to the firm, around half of the entire world's population live within 120 miles of a shore. Plus, having an underwater lair makes them look pretty cool. Okay that last one is just conjecture, but we're probably right. And finally, nabbing the window seat on the plane may become somewhat of a hollow victory in the future after Emirates Airline announced plans to introduce virtual windows. Other than the fact it enables them to placate passengers with bucolic vistas rather than the usual drab and samey cluster of clouds, frightening lightning strikes or spooky demons destroying the fuselage, removing the windows apparently makes the aircraft lighter and faster. All well and good, but just wait until the budget airlines get wind of this potential money and time-saving lifehack – do you really think us cattle-class travellers will get cool virtual windows like the Emirates clientele, or do you think we'll be treated to some nice windowless flying tubes instead? - Bernard Wheeler