This afternoon the River Thames will play host to the 163rd Boat Race and the 72nd Women's Boat race.  In excess of 250,000 people are expected to line the river banks and cram the pubs along the route hoping to cheer on the 'Light Blues' or 'Dark Blues'; or simply enjoy a beer or two in the sunshine.  For the crews the race is the culmination of a brutal training regime that started back in September and will have seen them clock up hours of hard time on both the ergometer and on the water.  Today therefore marks the moment of truth.  Or does it?  A suspected WWII bomb has apparently spent the night lurking under the water somewhere near Putney Bridge (the official start line) and the final decision on the race will only be made this morning.  Talk about bad timing!  Still, crews in the past have had to cope with sinkings, protest swimmers and even a mutiny, so it will hopefully take more than some 70 year old munitions to stop them!

Are traditional property agents in danger of extinction??  The new generation of 'Proptech' companies are convinced that the future is all about the "virtual marketplace", leaving little room for the middle-man.   The likes of online letting platform Hubble are set on creating comprehensive online data bases that have the potential to revolutionise how occupiers and landlords market, or search for space.  Proptech entrepreneur Rohan Silva even went as far as predicting that in 2017, "the most intelligent agent in London will be a machine, not a human"!  The Weekly, however, is far from convinced.  Technology can certainly enhance the process, but given that every property isn't homogeneous, simple "data" feels like a blunt instrument.  Really understanding an occupier's needs, building trust, and negotiating best terms surely aren't skills that can be carried out by an online platform?  Leasing agents (and by default pub landlords!) can therefore rest easy - machine and agent are not mutually exclusive!  It just seems that in future the best agents may be the ones that embrace the tech rather than fight against it. 

Sticking with the technology theme, an article published in the Economist this week drew a strong link between the proliferation of video games and unemployment.  Over the last 15 years the employment rate for men in their 20s without a college education has dropped by 10%, whilst over the same period the video-gaming industry has taken off.  But can we really blame a rise in unemployment amongst young men on the addictive qualities of "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare"?!  Surely there are some other factors impacting employment rates - changes in the labour market for instance?  But ignoring the potential flaws linking "cause" and "effect", The Weekly still believes the study has its merits.  Not least, if your 25 year old, live-at-home son is lounging on your sofa, game console in-hand, you are now wholly justified in lobbing the console out of the window and pointing him politely in the direction of the local job centre!  

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