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On Facebook a little while ago, I asked "what irritates you most about flying?"

It was a slightly disingenuous question, a test of my colleague Katie Notopoulos's theories about how the new Facebook algorithm works and how to take advantage of it. And it worked! It generated more comments than anything I've ever posted to Facebook.

I chose the question specifically because air travel is something people have very strong, very negative feelings about. The question "what irritates you most about flying" is one of those things you wouldn't even have to think about to answer (you're probably thinking about what irritates you right now). Everyone has a horror story.

But despite the reasons behind the question, the responses were illuminating. The biggest shared pet peeve? The inefficiencies of flying, from check in to security to the boarding process. (Other top answers were "people who stand up right as the plane comes to the gate" and "being trapped in a metal death tube high in the sky with no sense of control," which: Very fair!)

Any airline that could figure out how to make even one of the steps of air travel significantly better would have a huge advantage. For instance: a well-designed and useful app, that actually communicated important updates, made checking in easier, could guide me to my gate, and maybe even had useful information about the airports themselves. Beyond electronic tickets, the air travel industry hasn't figured out a way to use technology to improve the experience of flying. It's a huge missed opportunity.

The thing I hate most about flying? Restaurants in the gate with fixed iPads at each seat that you can use for ordering and...I'm not actually sure what else they do? Show you sports scores? They're exactly the kind of thing I'd expect to see in a Black Mirror episode about near-future travel. I find them infinitely depressing.


Bustle is launching a UK edition in May, with a team of 10 (split between editorial and commercial) based in London. (Digiday)

The Washington Post is opening two new international bureaus in Rome and Hong Kong. (Washington Post)

Vogue launched its 23rd edition in Poland in a licensing deal with Polish publisher Visteria.  (FT)

Disney announced a licensing deal in China with Youku, an on-demand streaming video service owned by Alibaba. (Deadline)

Vice is evolving its branded translation strategy in Europe, moving from simple translation to strategic adaptation. (Digiday)

YouTubeGo, a version of the video app designed specifically for emerging markets, recently expanded to over 130 countires. (TechCrunch)

Netflix is set to spend $8 billion on content in 2018. (Variety)

A stat from the most recent Mobile World Congress that stood out to me: Global smartphone sales have slowed for the first time ever, falling 5.6% in the last quarter of 2017. (CNet)


Travel quiz: The New York Times is doing quizzes these days! Wonders never cease. This one asks "How Smart A Traveler Are You?" (New York Times)
A semi-regular roundup of links, images and other HTML of note about trends and ideas in global digital media, put together by Scott Lamb.

About the name:
i18n is a numeronym, per Wikipedia, "where 18 stands for the number of letters between the first i and the last n in the word 'internationalization.'"
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