Millennials have discovered antennas will give them free TV channels

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that millennials have learned how to get free TV with a simple antenna, for a one-time cost of about $20. Us old-schoolers have known of this ancient wisdom since, well, forever but have neglected to pass down to the young'uns.

But the crazy thing is that it's not just young folks, the Journal consulted an industry group who estimate about a third of all Americans don't realize that local channels are free:

Let’s hear a round of applause for TV antennas, often called “rabbit ears,” a technology invented roughly seven decades ago, long before there was even a cord to be cut, which had been consigned to the technology trash can along with cassette tapes and VCRs.

The antenna is mounting a quiet comeback, propelled by a generation that never knew life before cable television, and who primarily watch Netflix , Hulu and HBO via the internet. Antenna sales in the U.S. are projected to rise 7% in 2017 to nearly 8 million units, according to the Consumer Technology Association, a trade group.

There is typically no need to climb on a rooftop. While some indoor antennas still look like old-fashioned rabbit ears, many modern antennas are thin sheets that can be hidden behind a flat TV or hung like a picture frame.

And, these modern ones are paintable... (?!)

Of course, if the commercials are getting to you, there's always this alternative:

Thanks, Laura!

Rabbit ear image via Amazon, smashed TV gif via Giphy Read the rest

Most European millennials would join "a large-scale uprising"

The European Broadcasters' Union polled 500,000 18-25 year olds on the question, "Would you actively participate in a large scale uprising against the generation in power if it happened in the next days or months?" 53% answered yes. Read the rest

Three terrible tech trends

Freddy deBoer writes that he's been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley's only product, which might be universalized as "At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!" But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will now occupy their interest.

First is infecting everything with DRM so it's controlled by the manufacturer and limited to their ecosystem. Second is charging rent for being in it and using algorithms to maximize it. Third is marketing workaholic poverty to the young as a way of life.

We Love Doers So Much We Want to Give Them a Hellish Existence of Endless Precarity

The basic idea here is that 40 years of stagnant wages, the decline of unions, the death of middle class blue collar jobs, the demise of pensions, and a general slide of the American working world into a PTSD-inducing horror show of limitless vulnerability has been too easy on workers. I’m sorry, Doers, or whatever the fuck. The true beauty of these ads is that they are all predicated on mythologizing the very workers who their service is intended to immisserate. Sorry about your medical debt; here’s a photo of a model who we paid in “exposure” over ad copy written by an intern who we paid in college credit that cost $3,000 a credit hour. Enjoy. The purpose of these companies is to take whatever tiny sense of social responsibility businesses might still feel to give people stable jobs and destroy it, replacing whatever remains of the permanent, salaried, benefit-enjoying workforce with an army of desperate freelancers who will never go to bed feeling secure in their financial future for their entire lives.

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Millennial Hoarders

Most people think of millennials as minimalists, of sorts: either the hip sort or the poor sort. The New Yorker imagines: what would a millennial hoarder look like?

One quip really hit home for me: "A browser just for episode recaps of shows he never watches." I'm not sure if I've ever seen a single episode of ███████ ███ but I can quote chapter and verse from many—a simulation of experience mediated by the psychotic phemonema of the Internet, where work is not quite play and play not quite work, and even talking about it the way I am now turns out to be a nerdy joke about the pretentious way we talked about the Internet future in the 1990s. Read the rest

Millennials are legit screwed

The Economic Innovation Group and Ernst and Young surveyed 1200 millennials and found that, basically, everything sucks. Read the rest

Wha Oh! Wha Oh! That thing you hear in every other pop song is the Millennial Whoop

The Patterning's Patrick Metzger reports on the increasing prevalence of a repeating two-note motif in pop music, bouncing between the fifth and third notes of a major chord. The Millenial Whoop is everywhere. Read the rest

What you think about Millennials says a lot about you, nothing about them

Adam "Ruins Everything" Conover was asked to give a keynote to a conference on marketing to millennials, and he brought the house down with an amazing speech about the absurdity of generalizations about generations, and about how all of the generalizations hurled at millennials have been slimed over every other generation, too. Read the rest

The story old people tell young people about getting a job

An excerpt from Monical Helsey's new book I Can't Believe it's Not Better: A Woman's Guide to Coping With Life called "Getting a Job, a Short Story by Your Parents" shows off both Helsey's razor wit and the generational unfairness captured so well by Old Economy Steve. Read the rest

Young people will pay for entertainment, but not news

A study of so-called Millennials (born since around 1980) ranks the things they actually give money for on the internet. News is at the bottom. At the top: entertainment such as movies, TV, music(!) and games.

Poynter's Rick Edmonds:

The findings come from the Media Insight Project, a joint initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Research at the University of Chicago. The researchers surveyed 1045 millennials in January and February of this year, supplemented by focus groups.

The survey found 77 percent had paid in the last year for movies and television, 69 percent for cable, 54 percent for music and 51 percent for video games. Roughly 30 percent had paid for print magazine or newspaper subscriptions. Adding in various digital options, 53 percent pay for some sort of news.

Even among those who say keeping up with news is important to them, only half pay for content, the rest getting what they need free. And even among those who do pay, the largest source of news is free service like Facebook or Google.

What's remarkable about this study is that it was paid for by newspapers, which presumably hoped not to see its rather brutal result. Read the rest

The millennials are all right, and so are their sex games

The sneering condescension and pearl-clutching panic about young people's relationship to sex and technology willfully misses the fruits of an impressive creative movement.

Euroteens embarrassed to be seen on Facebook

But their parents insist they use it, so their personal lives can be scrutinized by the olds. They'd prefer to be on Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat. "Facebook is basically dead and buried," says Daniel Miller, who led the extensive study. Read the rest