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.
Do we really need a study to tell us that teenagers like to send each other text messages? Apparently yes, because not only are teens into texting, but it's their go-to method of communication, says ChaCha, a text messaging question and answer service.
ChaCha polled nearly 1,500 teens and young adult users asking them: "What's your favorite way to communicate?" Here's how the answers stacked up.
Mobile Text: 67.53 percent
Other: 11.24 percent
Mobile Call/Voice: 9.22 percent
Facebook: 8.84 percent
Instant Message: 2.88 percent
Email: 0.29 percent
The highest percentage answer for "Other" was "In Person," so we do take some solace knowing that it was at least the second most preferred method of communication, but who are we kidding here, calling it a distant second would like be describing Godzilla as a lizard.
On a related note, teens and young adults said they'd miss their mobile phone the most if it was taken away (60.69 percent), followed by their PC (17.75 percent), radio (11 percent), and television (10.56 percent).
"Teens rely on their mobile devices as their primary medium, and they ask ChaCha over a million questions each day providing insights on their brand attitudes and actions," says Scott Jones, CEO of ChaCha."
Those in charge of finances at technology companies are feeling a little more optimistic about the future than was previously the case, suggests a new study by accounting firm Grant Thornton.
Grant Thornton surveyed 496 chief financial officers (CFOs) on a variety of economic and business topics, 53 of which worked for technology companies. Of those, some 37 percent said they expect to hire more staff in the next six months, compared with 29 percent in all other industries. Moreover, only 2 percent of tech CFOs have plans to reduce staff.
It wasn't all rose colored glasses, however. While a good number of CFOs plan to hire more help, only 11 percent said raises are in the cards for employees. That's significantly less than one year ago, when 32 percent said they plan on handing out raises.
If your sex life isn't what it used to be, perhaps you should put away your BlackBerry and put on some soft music instead. While you're at it, turn off your iPad, unplug your PC, and turn off any other Internet-connected devices in your home, particularly handheld gadgets. According to 28 percent of women polled by pharmaceutical firm Bayer, online activities like checking email are spoiling potentially intimate moments.
Internet addicts aren't the only ones neglecting their partners. Bayer also said that long working hours, tiredness, and being too busy were all factors, while one in ten women say their fear of pregnancy inhibits them in the bedroom. Interestingly enough, one in five women admitted they shun contraception.
All of these are valid complaints, but hey, it isn't easy being a guy. While Bayer's study has the female population blaming email for their poor sex life, a survey commissioned by Intel in 2008 revealed that 46 percent of women would rather put their sex drive on hold for two weeks than to go without Internet access for that long.
Mixed messages aside, what we really want to know is where are these research firms finding respondents who rank shagging behind surfing the Web?
Facebook is fond of saying that Twitter is "in the rear-view mirror", and according to some new survey numbers from Edison Research/Arbitron Internet & Multimedia Study, it might be true. The study shows the massive growth in awareness of Twitter over the last few years, but indicates that very few people actually use it.
In 2008, only 5% of Americans had ever heard of Twitter. By 2010, that number was 87%. Facebook's current awareness is at 88%. The stark difference is in usage numbers. A whopping 41% of Americans have a Facebook page, while only 7% use Twitter. By its very nature, Twitter is more of an ordeal to use. You have to interact with people to get any value out of it. With Facebook, many people just set up their page, and play Farmville.
This illustrates Twitter's adoption problem. Many people might hit a profile page on Twitter to see what someone is saying, but they aren't necessarily going to sign up and start tweeting themselves. The authors of the report suggest Twitter may beable to overcome this by reemphasizing SMS status updates. As the mobile app has become the hot way to use twitter, SMS has fallen by the wayside despite being important in Twitter's early days. How do you think Twitter can get past this problem?
Things aren't so rosy in the financial services sector, at least for IT staff. According to a new survey, some 77 percent of IT staff employed in the financial services field would like nothing more than to change jobs within the next year.
The survey pinged 540 permanent and contract IT staff in March, over two-thirds of which said they will begin looking for employment elsewhere within the next three months, with 41 percent citing salary as the main reason why.
"Salary freezes, increased workloads, and redundancies have resulted in decreased loyalty from employees, which has contributed to feelings of unrest," said Sam Corcoran, director at Hays Finance Technology.
According to Hays, 28 percent of staff believed that the financial crisis had caused increased stress. Another 25 percent said they now work longer hours, while nearly half (48 percent) of IT professionals believe that the recession had decreased job security.
Also leading to a feeling of discontent is the lack of bonuses. More than half of respondents said they didn't receive a bonus in 2009, while 42 percent said that a bonuses should make up at least 20 percent of their annual package.
In a survey titled "Meetings Dos and Don'ts," PGI, a provider of meeting and collaboration solutions, found that IT professionals and small to medium-size business (SMB) owners have a few gripes with video conferencing, most of which center around etiquette.
What's interesting about this is that both IT and SMB survey respondents admitted to the same behavior that they find annoying in others, like checking email, searching sports scores, or leaving the room altogether. More than half of those that took the survey said they multitask during meetings, while relatively few admitted to getting caught.
"While people want total attention when they are leading a meeting, everyone also demands the freedom to multitask as needed," said Boland Jones, CEO and Chairman of PGI. "No matter where people are in th world, technology makes it possible to replicate a face-to-face meeting over the Web, while liberating attendees from the strict decorum expected when people sit in the same room. As meeting experts, we know firsthand that people thrive when together, virtually or physically."
Ranking as the No. 1 irritant among SMB owners and IT professionals is when others engage in side conversations, followed by checking personal emails.
Comscore has released its March U.S. search engine market share numbers, and the results might surprise you. While the vast majority of the Internet still turns to Google for search (65.1%), Bing has posted an aggressive share gain hitting a record 11.7%. What's even more interesting is that it turns out most of the hit came from ex-googler's as Yahoo's fortunes also nudged up ever so slightly to 16.9%.
Microsoft's growth in the search engine market has been slow and steady since the Bing rebranding, but its refreshing to see their might actually be some competition left in the search market. Its hard to imagine that this trend could continue indefinitely, but as we all know healthy competition is great news no matter which way you look at it. For those keeping score this is also the tenth straight month of share gains for Bing.
Cloud computing has become one of the hottest tech phrases around in recent times, but despite the potential for cutting costs, is working in the cloud just too risky?
That's what ISACA wanted to find out, who surveyed over 1,800 IT professionals living in th U.S., all of which are members of the group. Of them, 45 percent said that the risks associated with cloud computing overshadow any potential upsides.
"The cloud represents a major change in how computing resources are utilized, so it's not surprising that IT professionals have concerns about risk vs. reward," said Robert Stroud, vice president of ISACA, in a statement. "If cloud computing is treated as a major initiative involving many stakeholders, it has the potential to yield benefits that can equal or outweigh the risks."
The ISCA found that only 10 percent of respondents plan to use cloud computing for mission-critical IT services, while 15 percent will use it just for low-risk services. Another 26 percent said they don't plan to stick their heads in the cloud at all.
It wasn't even a close victory, but one in which Apple dominated the competition -- including HTC, Nokia, RIM, Palm, and Samsung -- by coming out first in almost all categories, save for "battery function."
In four out of the five categories, respondents said the iPhone was "among the best," while every other competitor scored no higher than an "average" mark, often times ranking as "below average." In terms of points, Apple scored 810 out of a possible 1000, enough for a comfortable lead over RIM, which took second place with 741 points.