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30% of Americans Aren't Ready For the Next Generation of Technology

Soulskill posted about a month and a half ago | from the controlling-potatoes-with-your-brain dept.

United States 191

sciencehabit writes: "Thanks to a decade of programs geared toward giving people access to the necessary technology, by 2013 some 85% of Americans were surfing the World Wide Web. But how effectively are they using it? A new survey suggests that the digital divide has been replaced by a gap in digital readiness. It found that nearly 30% of Americans either aren't digitally literate or don't trust the Internet. That subgroup tended to be less educated, poorer, and older than the average American."

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We all know that... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364239)

technology is always progress, and never, ever, going backwards in any possible way.

Re: We all know that... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364521)

Except in the case of Win8.

Re: We all know that... (0)

jsepeta (412566) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364629)

or Win 8.1 update 1 (start button? not start menu? wtf Microsoft? they truly don't get it.

or OSX Mavericks (anyone ever test mail.app before fucking up your customers' emails? and to make labels dots to the far right of files and folders is FAR less convenient than coloring the actual files and folders themselves. Just like how apple fucked up labels when they took them out of OSX, then re-added them wrongly.

Re: We all know that... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365191)

Don't blame apple for googles crappy IMAP hack.

Re:We all know that... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364903)

Of course it is, but it's how you use it that counts.

Funny (5, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364265)

Because in my circles, it's the smart people who don't trust the Internet.

I tepidly disagree... (2)

Slartibartfast (3395) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364299)

Your comment is way funnier the way you put it, but I trust the Internet as a transmission medium -- so long as I'm using solid encryption. Unfortunately, between reports of NSA backdoors in NIST encryption algorithms, and SSL bugs, "solid" has become a somewhat relative term.

Excuse me. Time to fire up my Tor client over OpenVPN using pufferfish through an SSL tunnel.

Re: I tepidly disagree... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47365091)

Pff I just incognito tabs.

Re:I tepidly disagree... (4, Insightful)

fisted (2295862) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365153)

I trust the Internet as a transmission medium -- so long as I'm using solid encryption.

So you do not trust the Internet as a transmission medium.

Re:I tepidly disagree... (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365189)

He trusts the internet will deliver the packets. He doesn't trust that someone else won't try and read them along the way.

Re:Funny (5, Interesting)

dougmc (70836) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364309)

There's a difference between blindly trusting random crap you find on the Internet and not ever using it at all.

At least in my circles, the truly smart people fit into neither category. That said, if you must pick one or the other ... the latter is preferable.

But that's a false dichotomy ... even better is being able and willing to find things on the Internet, but having the wisdom to tell what's crap and what might be crap (and therefore needs to be confirmed) and what's probably accurate (but keep in mind, it still might not be.)

Re:Funny (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364483)

It's not just about information you find. It's also about the technology itself.

Computers these days come with browser that have default-enabled Javascript, Flash, Silverlight, Unity[1], Java, and who-knows-what-else. You can get 0wned just by clicking on a link, even an advertisement on an otherwise legitimate site.

Some people are fluent in computers, and trust them. Other people are wary because they don't understand comptuers. But, experts are wary because they do understand computers.

[1]Unity Web Player didn't exist back when I switched from Windows to Linux, so actually I don't know how prominent it is today.

Re:Funny (3, Funny)

vandelais (164490) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364487)

You must be new here.

Re:Funny (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364907)

This is why I laugh so hard at the guy at work, who refuses to write procedures or tools to do critical tasks. "Just look it up on Google" is his answer to everything.

It's most fun when he looks up the answer on Google, claims he has it, and I explain that he doesn't have it. He argues, and I make him scroll down to who actually *wrote* the top answer that Google provides, and show him where he misread what I wrote there.

This.... just makes my day when it happens. It happens less often now, he's learned to check the attributions and to take my claims more seriously. But it's awfully fun.

Re:Funny (3, Insightful)

Oligonicella (659917) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365043)

More fun, reading AC comments claiming to be authorities.

Re:Funny (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364969)

having the wisdom to tell what's crap and what might be crap

Reminds me of an article I read about seagulls, both parent birds spend up to two years teaching their offspring what they can and can't eat at the local tip. Despite their efforts a significant number still die trying to eat plastic bags, batteries, bottle tops, etc.

Re:Funny (5, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365305)

My kids' school, they ban using Wiki for research.

(Personally, I'd think that a perfect jumping-off point for teaching the difference between primary and secondary sources, critical reading, and source evaluation. But hey, what do I know, I'm not a teacher.)

Re:Funny (1)

pooh666 (624584) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365569)

This needs mod up.. This is the most important thing to learn.

Re:Funny (4, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364335)

Depends on what you mean by trust... if you mean you think you should encrypt sensitive information and observe security precautions when dealing with money, personal information, etc... then that's just prudent.

However, there are some that don't trust the internet as a medium in and of itself. And I would argue that that is a problem.

Re:Funny (2)

Jeremi (14640) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365599)

However, there are some that don't trust the internet as a medium in and of itself. And I would argue that that is a problem.

A problem for whom? If they don't mind the inconvenience of never using the Internet, that's their decision, and living without using the Internet is no less doable now than it was for the previous 5,000 generations.

Re:Funny (5, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364393)

It reminds me of a quote from The Godfather II:

Frank Pentangeli: Your father did business with Hyman Roth, he respected Hyman Roth... but he never *trusted* Hyman Roth!

. . . just replace Hyman Roth with The Internet . . .

Re:Funny (3, Informative)

freeze128 (544774) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364771)

It's getting harder and harder to even RESPECT the internet....

Re:Funny (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364925)

I stopped trusting the internet when I first got trolled by a goatse picture. How long ago was that? 1999

If a random person can screw you over that badly I knew that companies would stop even asking for lube.

Re:Funny (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365361)

If a random person can screw you over that badly I knew that companies would stop even asking for lube.

Well, not to be pedantic, but I'm not... sure... the goatse guy really needed lube. I mean, well, he was just so dilated.

I'm sorry. I felt it needed to be said.

Re:Funny (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364397)

Yes, It seems to me the two categories should add up to 100%.

Re:Funny (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364505)

Because in my circles, it's the smart people who don't trust the Internet.

I bet you read that on the internet.

Amusing (2)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364547)

Because In my circles, its the people that understand that trust isn't absolute that are the smart people.

Re:Funny (4, Interesting)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364669)

It is more like a U shape, with Distrust on the vertical and Knowledge on the horizontal axis.

One end does not trust the internet because they don't know what is out there,

the other end does not trust the internet because they know what is out there.

Those in the middle are just knowledgeable enough to be dangerous.

Re:Funny (2)

hackus (159037) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364685)

I would like to add that the people who I will describe as the old guard, who brought up the internet have a generally different point of view on the topic of advanced technology. For example, none of us use social networking, either for professional contacts, customers or even general communication.

Ideas like Facebook, and LinkedIn are something akin to nosey email. Further more we in the old guard as it were see it for what it really is, just a way to sell your information and ripping you off, for really not so good reasons.

Now if I could charge everyone too look at my kitty pictures on Facebook, along with my personal information, that would be different! Hell I would even give zuckerberg, NSA and god knows who else a cut.

But they do not even do that. So why even bother.

Re:Funny (0)

peragrin (659227) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364917)

So your are the idiot still using google + stop it will you so google will back off the rest of us.

Re:Funny (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364943)

So your are the idiot still using google

Given your phrasing, it's interesting that you refer to someone else as an idiot....

Re:Funny (2)

CODiNE (27417) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364927)

Guess they're not prepared to buy the next thing the internet tells them to. For shame.

Re:Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47365141)

Absolutely! It's the dumb ones who blindly think the Internet is completely safe. And the paranoids were right, it isn't.

Granted, some encryption mitigates some of the problems, but not all.

Re:Funny (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365345)

Because in my circles, it's the smart people who don't trust the Internet.

Yeah, like we're going to believe that you actually use Google Plus.

The "Next Generation"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364269)

We aren't even using this generation of technology properly already! All those hopes for a world transformed by ubiquitous access to the sum total of human civilization were dashed by regulation and censorship. What was supposed to bring us together has only driven us further apart.

or don't trust the Internet (3, Insightful)

darkain (749283) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364275)

And those who are extremely educated fall into the "don't trust the Internet" group quite easily. How many security exploits do we need before people stop trusting in various internet services? But not trusting it doesn't mean we stop USING it! We simply alter our actions on the internet.

Re:or don't trust the Internet (2)

Tehrasha (624164) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364413)

I don't trust the internet, and I use it 12hrs per day... 20 years of internet have made me the jaded cynic that I am today.

Re:or don't trust the Internet (3, Insightful)

dublin (31215) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364535)

Only a fool "trusts the Internet" - especially Wikipedia.

It's funny, the other day, I was hanging out with a group that included several pretty top-level IT and networking folks, including some leading CS academics. Not one of us uses internet banking, or allows access of any kind to any of our financial accounts over the net. On the rare occasions that companies force the use of the Internet, the general response is to enable access only long enough to do the job, then destroy the Inet access account (best), disable net access (2nd best), or set the password to random gibberish that even we don't know or keep a record of. This forces a long, manual process to "reenable" the acccount that cannot as easily be done by an impostor. None of us "trust" the Internet, I guess.

That was a real eye-opener for some of the younger "Internet-savvy" group, who all of a sudden realized that maybe they were opening themselves up far more than they realized, especially in a world where every WiFi network, even with WPA2, is now as open as the one at Starbucks...

Re:or don't trust the Internet (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364793)

"Not one of us uses internet banking"

I have sad news for you: your data is exposed whether you use it or you don't. If you've paid attention, all the big bank exploits recently have been through their back-end systems, not through desktop malware or browser exploits. Browsers have become sophisticated enough, especially Chrome, that they're no longer the low-hanging fruit.

So unless you use a bank that somehow manages two completely different ledger and account systems, one which takes networked transactions and one which doesn't, you're only inconveniencing yourself. You should be far more worried about your server at restaurant copying your credit card number. And _please_ don't tell me that you use your debit card as a credit card. Now _that_ would be stupid, if you're trying to avoid the hassle of recouping stolen funds.

Re:or don't trust the Internet (5, Insightful)

AudioEfex (637163) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364887)

Precisely.

If you don't pay your bills on the Internet, you are a fool. Why? Because your bills are being paid online anyway, even if you are idiot enough to send a check, which is the most dangerous thing you can do with your financial info.

You write a check, with all the info needed on it to completely wipe out your checking account (and savings, too, if you have overdraft "protection") on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope that couldn't more clearly scream "THERE IS A CHECK IN HERE" unless you literally wrote that on the outside, and it goes through many hands before getting to its destination which isn't even the company you are paying. If you look at most national account bills (credit cards, cell companies, cable providers, etc.) they all go to the same few places (usually somewhere in the middle of the country like IL) called "lock boxes" where a minimum wage worker opens your envelope, scans your check digitally, transmits the info to the respective banks, and completes the transaction electronically anyway. Oh, and they are supposed to shred it afterwards. You hope.

The real problem is attacks on back end systems, or assault on terminals, like what happened to Target. Most of the time (almost all) fraud that happens on indivdual online accounts is by someone they know - usually a spouse or child. So if you don't trust them, or can't outwit them with passwords on your system, you have a much larger personal issue than lack of security on the Internet.

Re:or don't trust the Internet (3, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365047)

Where were you hanging out, the paranoia ward at the local hospital? - And get off my lawn before I call my luddite attack dogs.

Re:or don't trust the Internet (1)

pooh666 (624584) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365581)

Why the bloody hell does ANYONE DO ANYTHING but drink coffee at Starbucks? All of these god damn log me out in 10 min apps drive me nuts and it is all because of dumbasses at Starbucks...

And this surprises... who? (1)

Slartibartfast (3395) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364281)

I mean, really. We *know* that (most) grandmas ain't exactly surfin' like crazy. They're terrified of viruses, and all the other associated buzzwords, and were uncomfortable around new technology before that. Certainly there are exceptions -- but I'm not at all surprised to hear that the demographic mentioned isn't exactly spearheading the digital revolution.

Re:And this surprises... who? (4, Informative)

dougmc (70836) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364333)

Many "grandmas" have embraced the Internet.

For example, this study from two years ago says that more than half of senior citizens now use it [bizjournals.com] . They often don't know how to use it well, granted, but they're using it. And many of them *do* know how to use it well.

Re:And this surprises... who? (4, Interesting)

SydShamino (547793) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364809)

Most senior citizens (those 65 or older) became senior citizens since 1995, when the web started taking off. Many became senior citizens after 2005, when it had mostly saturated middle-class households.

It's not so much that granny embraced the internet, it's that she embraced the internet and then aged into being "granny".

Re:And this surprises... who? (1)

dougmc (70836) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365325)

I'm not sure "grandma" is synomous with senior citizens, but I guess it's as close as we're going to get real data on.

But either way, even if they "aged into being a senior citizen" ... there's still more of them using the Internet than not. Yes, they are often terrified of viruses and the like, and if they aren't they should be ... and I recall fixing up my mother in law's computer on a regular basis because it was riddled with crap ... but she still used it. She loved it.

And the "riddled with crap" problem isn't restricted to senior citizens. My children's computers have similar problems, and that's why I refuse to even let them use mine and set them up with their own ...

That said, if I had it all to do again today ... I might have set my mother in law up with a Chromebook or tablet or something instead, something that's pretty resistant to all the crap. I think it would do most of the stuff she wanted to do. My kids are digital natives and they want more than a tablet or Chromebook will provide -- but even so, that covers much of what they want too.

Re:And this surprises... who? (1)

fermion (181285) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364529)

Yes, most anyone over the age of 40. I know people in their mid 40s who can't figure out how to get a USB printer to work. OTOH, my mother who was born more than 20 years before the invention of the transistor had to learn to use to use a CRT terminal to look up information to help patrons, then a microcomputer, then had a computer in retirement for investments, email, and general web surfing. I think the difference is the expectation of education. If you just learn basic skills in high school, if you go to college just looking to get trained for a better job, then when new stuff comes around you aren't prepared to deal with it. There are people, however, who realize that during your high school years you can really learn general skills and processes, and in college you can use your core classes to learn to think deeply about things, and I think these people are the ones who can deal when something totally new comes along, with hardly blinking an eye. Of course some people have such skills more innately than others.

Re:And this surprises... who? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364705)

For that group it is all in the technological difference between a computer hooked to the internet that is capable of doing a positively huge number of different and varied things to an appliance that hooks to the phone.

Forget selling them a computer and the internet, sell the a touch screen voice activated terminal with a remote tablet. Push button to call, say name, read details on screen to confirm. A terminal that can learn the users pronunciations and enunciations with some really broad fuzzy logic interpretation of instructions to cover a range of commands.

The KISS (keep it simple stupid) range of appliances for the SS range of customers, to be brutally blunt. Not to forget people grow old, through a life of continual changes, they simply only want to deal with the exact same thing today as yesterday or a simple easy change. Voice control will be the bridge to the last 30%, give them a computer that can talk back and that can take a varied range of verbal instructions to carry out a limited range of commands, with some touch screen activity to confirm and clarify.

Re:And this surprises... who? (1)

flappinbooger (574405) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365049)

I mean, really. We *know* that (most) grandmas ain't exactly surfin' like crazy. They're terrified of viruses, and all the other associated buzzwords, and were uncomfortable around new technology before that. Certainly there are exceptions -- but I'm not at all surprised to hear that the demographic mentioned isn't exactly spearheading the digital revolution.

This 30% number is going to go down over time -- as these people die.

Divides, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364287)

Lousy kids, get off my LAN.

/. included ! (1)

redelm (54142) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364293)

Who around here trusts "The Internet" ???

Wouldn't blind trust be considered digital illiteracy?

Re:/. included ! (1)

steak (145650) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364331)

this man speaketh the truth.

Re:/. included ! (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364459)

It's only ones and zeroes, how bad can it be?

Re:/. included ! (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364585)

If you line all those ones and zeros up in the proper order they can be pretty bad...

Re:/. included ! (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364533)

Yeah, no shit. The first thing I told my mother when she wanted to become 'digitally literate' is to never trust the internet.

Never trust it's telling you the truth, never trust it cares about your interests, and never trust that someone might not be out to rip you off.

Then I'll show you how to actually get to it.

Not trusting the internet is a damned good starting point.

Re:/. included ! (1)

briancox2 (2417470) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364555)

Considering that this article seems to be a precursor to "The Internet of Things" acceptability campaign, I think I agree with your sentiment the most.

Wait, wait a second.... (2)

bmo (77928) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364325)

nearly 30% of Americans either aren't digitally literate or don't trust the Internet.

I have been out here in e-space for decades.

You are a fool if you trust any kind of technology blindly, especially a technology that gives every moron with free access to a terminal somewhere. This goes for the POTS too.

Because I'm sure going to trust that guy with the east-Indian accent telling me over the phone to install a remote access tool to my computer. Which actually happened to me 3 something weeks ago.

You are digitally illiterate if you "trust the Internet."

--
BMO

Re:Wait, wait a second.... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364473)

Because I'm sure going to trust that guy with the east-Indian accent telling me over the phone to install a remote access tool to my computer.

Indeed. Why go through the hassle of following the manual instructions of an Indian guy, when an American guy at NSA can install a remote access tool to my computer automatically. :P

Re:Wait, wait a second.... (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365479)

The NSA guy wants your secrets. The Indian guy wants your money.

Re:Wait, wait a second.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47365167)

He called my wife, too. She was on vacation elsewhere. Her Macbook was off. I asked the guy if he could tell it was on, and he said yes. Then he proceeded to tell me to open Internet Explorer. I pretended it was on, and said, it's a mac, so it doesn't have Internet Explorer, although he could probably see that. He said he could see it, but I should open IE anyway. After jerking around for a while, I finally said, "Look, I know it's a scam. Go bother someone else...or better yet, get a job that isn't a scam before you end up in jail."

Re:Wait, wait a second.... (1)

sribe (304414) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365169)

Because I'm sure going to trust that guy with the east-Indian accent telling me over the phone to install a remote access tool to my computer. Which actually happened to me 3 something weeks ago.

I had one that when I informed how that I knew how the scam worked, assured me that it was not a scam. When I continued to refuse, but did not hang up just because I was curious, he got really authoritative with me and ORDERED me to do what he was telling me to. Lord, did I curse then.

We Are The Borg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364337)

God forbid the hive-mind doesn't assimilate 100% of the population. Internet is nice, but not fundamentally essential.

Re:We Are The Borg (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364479)

but the ring, the ring must be completed!

Re: We Are The Borg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364569)

It was essential to let us know your opinion that is not essential.

Re:We Are The Borg (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365487)

Resistance is futile.

70% of science writers are... (2)

hurfy (735314) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364351)

I'll let you fill in your own descriptions.

WTF, How are those two descriptions combined into one group of people to count ?

30% lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364361)

84% of statistics are made up on the spot. 79% of people know THAT!

Re:30% lol (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364825)

84% of statistics are made up on the spot. 79% of people know THAT!

Wow, that high? I would have expected it to be lower.

NextGen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364369)

Those same 30% are not even ready for current technology.

It's all Lies! (1)

digitalPhant0m (1424687) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364425)

How can you trust the internet? It keeps telling me it will make my penis bigger yet has failed to deliver.

Re:It's all Lies! (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364471)

You're masturbating wrong.

I'm not digitally ready. (4, Insightful)

edibobb (113989) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364433)

I'm not ready to embrace new Windows 8 technology. I'm not ready to manage my finances on an insecure Android phone. I'm not ready to spend uncounted hours ingesting inane trash on social networks (unless there's a member of the opposite sex involved, naturally). I'm not ready to browse a web dominated by animated ads and twisted news. I am a obviously a Luddite.

Re:I'm not digitally ready. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365493)

Either that or you are addicted to porn.

Who cares? (2)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364491)

The majority of that 30% of Americans will either be dead soon, or from a social-economic background in far greater need of being addressed than their lack of technological savvy.

Re:Who cares? (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364647)

well, in the USA they vote....just about all of them. every time.

Re:Who cares? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365501)

Hell, they still vote after they're dead!

News at 11... NSA Recording All Internet Activity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364499)

So, how does the "average" user "trust" the internet? With constant media scares around cyber-terrorism, constantly hacked accounts (including financial institutions), identity theft, and even our own government recording virtually everything we do online is it any wonder there is a group of individuals that don't trust the internet / being online? Imagine what it would be like if it was actually secure and trustworthy... oh... wait... this is the real world isn't it?

Not much Info here (1)

tquasar (1405457) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364503)

"A survey....." by whom? The ITIF: a think tank, "As a result, the mission of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is to help policy makers at the federal and state levels to better understand the nature of the new innovation economy and the types of public policies needed to drive innovation, productivity and broad-based prosperity for all Americans." , and "Prior to joining the FCC, Mr. Horrigan was Associate Director, Research, with the Pew Internet & American Life Project for nine years, where he studied the online behavior of broadband internet users, mobile internet users, and consumers of other leading edge information technology. "Earlier in his career, Horrigan was a staff officer for the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy at the National Research Council. He also served as press secretary and senior legislative assistant to U.S. Congressman Jake Pickle (D-Texas)." QED. Links? look it up..... In closing, there are unmotivated people in the US? Really?

I lol'd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364525)

If old ladies are scared of the internet, I'd like to know why they click on EVERY SINGLE FLASHING ADVERT

Re:I lol'd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364725)

Old people will do anything if it seems to lead them to a bright light at the end of the tunnel...

That's okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364537)

Those 30% will be dead before "next generation" is truly available anyway.

why would anyone trust the internet? (1)

jsepeta (412566) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364603)

the internet is made up of people, and people inherently cannot be trusted.

The glass is half full! (3, Insightful)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364689)

70% of Americans are ready for the next generation of technology!

really? this could actually mean ... (1)

znrt (2424692) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364711)

nearly 30% of Americans either aren't digitally literate or don't trust the Internet.

... that less than 30% of Americans are mature enough to use the Internet.

In other news ... (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364719)

... 50 % of americans are below average. Oh noes!

On average, average is a crappy metric. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364869)

If you don't know, that isn't necessarily always the case. The average of 1, 1, 1, 2, 10 is 3. In that case, 80% are below average.

Re:On average, average is a crappy metric. (2)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365365)

If you don't know, that isn't necessarily always the case. The average of 1, 1, 1, 2, 10 is 3. In that case, 80% are below average.

Well yeah, I do know. Because I went to school and stuff. Your pulled-out-of-your-posterior-to-make-some-sort-of-vague-point sample set is 5. The population of the U. S. is currently hovering around 316,165,718. The distribution you posit would suggest that 80% of the population ranks below earthworms. Any idiot knows a sufficiently large sample set is necessary to derive any meaning from the concept of average. Your suggestion is ridiculous. I wonder which side of the line you fall on? :-)

666 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364785)

It found that nearly 30% of Americans either aren't digitally literate or don't trust the Internet

A=6, b=12, c=18.. z=156
Applying this number system to the english alphabet and adding up the individual letters corresponding value to "c-o-m-p-u-t-e-r" and that total may be why they don't trust the internet.

That statistic can't possibly be valid (5, Insightful)

Eric Smith (4379) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364827)

nearly 30% of Americans either aren't digitally literate or don't trust the Internet

For that to be true, over 70% of Americans must be BOTH digitally literate AND trust the Internet, which is impossible since anyone who trusts the Internet is not digitally literate.

Re:That statistic can't possibly be valid (1)

ebyrob (165903) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365029)

Exactly! Thanks for saving me from having to write that myself ;-)

Re:That statistic can't possibly be valid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47365295)

Yeah, but you're missing the point of the study.

If you divide the two groups out, you might find that a significant number of those who say they "don't trust" the internet are highly technically literate and in no need of the kinds of "services" that the people who did this study are hoping to get government funding to provide.

To bolster their case, they want to make the headline statistic as high as possible. Hence the conflating two (potentially) very different groups.

To be fair, it is possible that the figure is genuine, and "don't trust" in this case means something altogether less sophisticated than we're talking about here. But decades of looking at press releases like this have made me kinda jaded.

The Next Generation technology (1)

rossdee (243626) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364831)

Will people ever be ready for stuff like replicators, site to site transporters and Holodecks? Let alone going to far off civilizations at speeds faster than light and meeting wierd aliens.

I guess they could cope with com-badges

I don't trust the Internet (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a month and a half ago | (#47364919)

I for one, don't trust the Internet, and haven't since they let you civilians on to it back in the 1970s.

But I do trust Internet2, which we don't let you on, and bask in it's fiery 100 GB/s pipes and 40 GB/s outlets while you squabble in the dark in sub 20 MB/s speeds.

Ya think, RC66U Router and IPv6 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47364973)

I'll be damn if I can figure out how to configure that thing, IPv4 not a problem, IPv6 not a chance.

Who cares! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47365013)

The world doesn't revolve around the USA, at least not anymore.

and 20% can't find the US on a map (1)

tomhath (637240) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365045)

Just ask Miss Teen South Carolina [youtube.com]

I fully trust the Internet... (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | about a month and a half ago | (#47365069)

...to send everything it knows about me to government agents and hackers. My primary security practice is being too boring to care about.

I found the reason why: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47365339)

"That subgroup tended to be less educated, poorer, and older than the average American."

(This is why they don't trust the Internet.)

Internet/WWW is "Next Generation Tech"? Whoa. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47365589)

They hit mainstream society in a big way back in 1995, when Netscape Navigator 2 was released, bundled with a Java applet engine, JavaScript, SSL, browser frames, and cookies. A stunned Bill Gates sent out "The Internet Tidal Wave" memo to the troops; MS bought out the Spyglass browser, and Netscape's IPO the following year made billionaires out of Andressen and Clark. That was just about 20 years ago, or a full generation.

From TFH I thought we'd see a story about thirty- and forty-somethings facing the reality of Net-tethered wearables and consumer robotics, bitcoin, drones and auto-driving cars, stuff like that.

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