Adults aren't the only demographic concerned about privacy
Trying to imagine a teenager without a cell phone or tablet is like envisioning a PETA supporter wearing a Michael Vick jersey. We're sure they both exist, they're just extremely rare specimens that are easily the exception to the norm. Teens love their mobile gadgets, though despite their rabid infatuation with texting, Snapchatting, and other mobile activities, they're surprisingly cognizant of privacy issues.
Google raised a lot of eyebrows when it introduced the Google+-infused Search Plus Your World personal results to its bread and butter Search results, but the most publicized criticisms have come from big name social competitors like Twitter and Facebook. What does Joe Everyman think about personalized search results? A new survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project asked 2,000 people that very question -- and most say that hand-tailored results are a "Bad thing."
So how do you spend your typical day on the Internet? If you spend most of your time trying out new Chrome extensions, trolling forums or debating the pros and cons of one computer chassis over another, congratulations; you've taking the Maximum PC ethos to heart. Even so, you're probably forgetting just how often you shoot off emails or sift through Google search results. A new report says that those two activities are still the most popular time-sucks online. Shocker, huh?
A new study by Pew Internet finds that nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Internet users have paid to download or access online content of some kind, whether it's buying music or paying for a news subscription to everything in between.
The survey pinged 755 Internet users between October 28 and November 1 of this year. They were asked about 15 different kinds of online goods or services that could be purchased or accessed only after a payment.
There was a tie for the top spot between digital music and software, both of which had been paid for at some point by 33 percent of respondents. After that, mobile apps proved the most popular with 21 percent. Down at the bottom of the list was adult content, with only 2 percent fessing up to having paid for it.
All told, Internet users spend nearly $50/month on average to download or access material, Pew Internet says.
Broadband growth in the United States over the past year was the weakest since 2004, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. Around 66 percent of the American adult population was found to have broadband access at home. Although broadband penetration among the adult population grew year-over-year, the rate of change was just 5 percent. It seems trivial compared to recent years when it hovered between 12 and 17 percent.
Another key finding is that a large number of people do not think that the issue of broadband penetration is important enough to figure prominently on the government's list of priorities. About 53 percent of those surveyed don't want the government to spend its resources on broadband.
As for factors responsible for slowing broadband growth, Aaron Smith, the report's author, blames “economic hard times, combined with a lot of barriers and general reluctance on the part of nonadopters.”
"The pool of people available to become adopters ... don't see a lot of relevance to online content and they're not particularly comfortable using the technology," Smith said. "The remaining people who don't have it are a little bit tougher sell at this point."
There was a silver lining, though. Broadband adoption among African-American adults increased considerably during the past year. It rose from 46 percent in April 2009 to 56 percent in May 2010.
We're almost at the point where we can consider landlines to be old school, or so suggests a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. According to Pew, 59 percent of Americans hop online wirelessly using their mobile phones or laptop.
To come up with that figure, Pew surveyed 2,252 American adults, 47 percent of which said they surf the Internet through Wi-Fi or a mobile broadband card. Another 40 percent said they surf, fire off emails, and IM friends and co-workers on their mobile phones, up from 32 percent one year ago.
"The growing functionality of mobile phones makes them ever-more powerful devices for on-the-go communications and computing," said Aaron Smith, a research specialist at Pew. "Cell phones have become for many owners an all-purpose chat-text-gaming-photo-sharing media hub that is an essential utility for work and a really fancy toy for fun."
It's not really young adults, either. While adults between the age of 18 to 29 use the Web more than anyone else, those who fall into the 30 to 49 age bracket are now "significantly more likely" to take pics, send texts, and surf the Web, record video, use email, and perform other online tasks with their mobile phones.
The majority of web using adults have browsed and watched videos online, and according to a new survey released this week, most of those users would rather get their laugh on than watch news clips.
Half of all adults in the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project said they have viewed comedy videos online, a significant jump from 31 percent in 2007. Meanwhile, 43 percent said they have viewed news clip on the Internet, up from 37 percent. That means comedy clips have eclipsed news clips as the most popular videos online.
Interestingly, only about one in 10 video watchers, or 7 percent of all Internet users, said they've paid to watch or download a video, although that number's up from 4 percent in 2007.
"We are seeing a surge in online video watching," said Kristen Purcell, a Pew associate director for research. "Untold numbers of websites now showcase online video as part of their content."