Most of you reading this have probably opened up a Facebook account, right along with 500 million others. But are you happy with the social networking site's customer service?
According to a new study from ForeSee Results, Facebook isn't doing so hot at keeping its members happy, scoring a 64 out of 100. That ranks as one of the lowest scores of all businesses measured, putting the social networking site in the company of airlines and cable outfits.
"Facebook is a phenomenal success, so we were not expecting to see it score so poorly with consumers," Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results, said in a statement. "At the same time, our research shows that privacy concerns, frequent changes to the website, and commercialization and advertising adversely affect the consumer experience."
This is the first time ForeSee Results has included social networking sites, and the scores were pretty bad across the board. Compared to other social sites, here's how it all breaks down:
All Others: 72
While Facebook's score is nothing to brag about, the social networking site isn't oblivious to the need for improvement.
"We haven't reviewed the survey methodology in detail, but clearly we have room to improve," a Facebook spokesperson told CNet. "Building a simple, useful service is the best way to earn and sustain the trust people put in us. That's why we spend so much of our time and energy focused on improving the products we offer and introducing new ones. We look forward to the next survey."
How do you feel about Facebook, or social sites in general?
According to Cyber-Ark's fourth annual "Trust, Security, and Passwords" survey, IT staff are finding it increasingly difficult to avoid the temptation to snoop other people's PCs.
The survey pinged 400 IT professionals from all corners of the U.S. and U.K., most of which work for enterprise-size businesses. Of those, 67 percent said they access confidential information not relevant to their jobs.
But that isn't all. Some 41 percent of those surveyed admitted to abusing administrative passwords to spy on sensitive or confidential information, up from 31 percent over the last two years, Cyber-Ark says. IT staff in the U.S. said they're most interested in peeking at the customer database, while those in the U.K. were more concerned with looking at their internal HR records.
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.
After July 13, Windows XP users still using Service Pack 2 or earlier "will no longer receive software updates from Windows Update. These include security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software." Surely everyone has upgraded by now, right?
In a word, 'no.' According to recent PC Advisor poll, 15.1 percent of XP users are still clinging to SP2 or earlier. That's probably higher than most would expect, but on the plus side, that only breaks down to less than 6 percent of the total sample of XP users who particpated in the poll.
Still, these users are running out of time to upgrade, either to SP3 (free) or to a later version of Windows (not free). If you're one of those users, you're down to less than a week to decide before you're on your own.
It doesn't take a survey to prove that Facebook is popular, but if we're to put a testosterone-filled slant on the study released this week by Oxygen Media, the social networking site might be a great way to meet women.
Oxygen Media studied the habits of 1,605 adults using social media between May and June of this year, asking them several questions in the process. In doing so, the study's authors found that 21 percent of women between the age of 18-34 check Facebook in the middle of the night. Here's where things get interesting.
Again focusing just on the women, 39 percent classified themselves as Facebook addicts, while 57 percent said they talk to people online more than in person. Some other stats to slant however you see fit:
42 percent have no problem posting pics of themselves intoxicated
79 percent don't take to issue to kissing in photos
50 percent are open to being Facebook friends with complete strangers
Make of those numbers what you will, knowing that if you strike out with a complete stranger, the next one you hit up is likely to add you as a friend. Play your cards right and she'll eventually post a pic of you two swapping spit while intoxicated.
If you live in the fast lane of bleeding-edge tech, you probably believe physical media’s on its deathbed – just a couple coughs and a close-eyed “ahhh” away from casting off its mortal coil. That impassioned eulogy you’ve been working on, however, might be a little premature, according to a survey from Ipsos MediaCT. The survey, which fell into the hands of over a thousand people, found that a whopping 64 percent of gamers still like their media the way we like our women: tangible.
“I believe the preference for physical discs amongst next gen gamers reflects the potential value they derive from the pre-owned market, which is holding up the preference for physical – this is unlike the music and film markets,” said Ipsos MediaCT director Ian Bramley.
The same survey found that music and film’s digital rejection rates were at 45 and 51 percent, respectively.
“Physical games discs have a long and well-established history, which is a deep mindset to change – particularly when gamers build a physical collection as they fear losing digital versions. And in-store browsing is also important to buyers,” Bramley added.
Gamers’ fears, we might add, aren’t unjustified. Multiplayer server shutdowns have become commonplace on consoles, and PC DRM has – in some cases – turned “ownership” of a game into a total farce. The digital revolution is one of convenience, no doubt, but at some point, we’re forced to ask: how much are we willing to give up for convenience’s sake?
Cloud computing has proved to be more than a passing fad, and though the common perception is that public clouds are where it's at, private clouds hold a slight edge, according to a recent survey.
Market research firm IDC pinged IT executives about their penchant for cloud computing, and somewhat surprisingly, 55 percent said that a private cloud was more desireable than a public one. By comparison, only 22 percent said they found both types equally appealing.
"If you scoff at the idea of a private cloud, you're in peril," said Frank Gens, an IDC chief analyst. "But public clouds will drive a lot of solutions, so don't be too cocky if you're a private- cloud evangelist. Virtually every customer, at least from the midmarket up, will have a mix of both."
Cloud computing is a booming market, and will continue to grow, said IDC. In 2009, revenue from IT cloud services climbed above $16 billion, and is expected to reach $55.5 billion in 2014.
Forrester analyst JP Gownder was all praise for Microsoft Office 2010 in a recent blog post. He believes that the productivity suite has the unenviable task of providing ballast to the fast drowning packaged software industry. But he is confident that it will not disappoint.
Gownder rubbished the idea of Google Docs being a worthy Office rival, even calling it a failure “ in terms of usage and penetration.” According to Forrester’s Consumer Technographics PC and Gaming survey, only 4 percent of respondents admitted to using Google Docs regularly.
“Let’s think about that for a second: We’re talking about a free software-as-a-service offering from one of the top brand names in technology, Gownder wrote. “The offering has been available for over three years from Google (and two more years if you count Writely before Google purchased Upstartle). And yet only 4% of consumers are onboard.”
On the other hand, he has high hopes of Office 2010 becoming a “success in the consumer market” just like previous versions. He imputes its impending success to a combination of factors: valuable consumer input that has gone into developing it; its popularity among enterprises; and the introduction of Office Web.
Around this time last month, Valve officially opened up its Steam platform to the Mac community, and in doing so helped chip away at the argument that Macs suck for gaming. What they also did was reveal some interesting statistics about the machines their users are running.
As Steampowered forum member and Mac user "90rmbrown" points out, "facts are facts," and according to the latest Steam Hardware Survey, the average Steam gamer running an Apple computer has a beefier system than those running a Windows-based PC, at least in some areas. Mac users, for example, have more RAM (4GB vs 2GB) on average, while half of those running a Mac have an Internet connection of 2Mbps or higher, compared to 28 percent of PC users. Mac users are also more likely to have a dual-core processor running at 2.3GHz to 2.69GHz, or higher.
Before you whip out the pitchforks and light the torches, there are some things to note here. The sample size of Mac users is significantly smaller than that of PC users, so the hardware breakdown is dubious at best. And where it really counts for gaming -- in the graphics department -- PC gamers have more video RAM, and probably beefier videocards as well.
So what can we take from all this? As Sean Portnoy at ZDNet writes, PC gamers are still getting by with older hardware, while the early influx of Mac users with refreshed hardware could benefit from better graphics. Other than that, there isn't a whole lot to say -- we'll still take a PC over a Mac any day, especially when it comes to gaming.
What hardware are you running? Hit the jump and post your specs.
The folks at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) quite clearly possess two passions, and two passions alone: ensuring broadband access for every American and sporadically astonishing everyone with the most incredible facts about broadband usage in the country. Last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had claimed in a report that actual broadband speeds in the US trailed promised speeds by at least 50%. Now, a survey commissioned by the FCC has revealed that nearly 80% of broadband users are unaware of their connection's speed.
The survey conducted by the Abt/SRBI and Princeton Survey Research Associates International polled 3,005 adults. Men fared a little better than women, with a “whopping” 29% of male respondents aware of their broadband connection's speed as compared to only 10% of the women that were surveyed. When categorized based on their age, respondents aged 65 years or more were found to be the most ignorant of the lot.
“Today, most people just know that their home broadband speed is supposed to be ‘blazing fast.’ They need more meaningful information to know exactly what speed they need for the applications they want to run, and what provider and plan is their best choice,” said Joel Gurin, chief of the consumer and governmental affairs bureau of the FCC.
The FCC is enlisting the help of UK's SamKnows Limited to more accurately measure actual broadband speeds. In fact, SamKnows is currently on the lookout for up to 10,000 volunteers for this ambitious project. Each volunteer will have their broadband connection monitored using a special set-top box installed by the UK-based company. All those interested in volunteering can apply here.