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The Internet

Internet Use Grows to 69 Percent of US Adults 245

NickABusey writes "According to Harris Interactive, more than two-thirds, or 69 percent of American adults were internet users last year. This is up from only 56 percent in 1999 and a measley 9 percent in 1995. Perhaps more noteworthy is the increase in users with high-speed Internet connections. In 2001 is was 22 percent, now it is up to 37 percent."
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Internet Use Grows to 69 Percent of US Adults

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  • by (1337) God ( 653941 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:04PM (#8021920)

    69 percent of US adults use the Internet. Sounds good, right? Here's the problem...

    Most of these people probably do not use the Internet for something truly worthwhile. By that I claim that instead of doing research or reading various news sources to gain an unbiased perspective on the world around us, people mostly are just forwarding silly emails, chatting mindlessly with their peers, searching for pornography, and downloading crappy quality pirated music files.

    The Internet has changed my life. I have a news source for each aspect of life that I must keep up on. I can read the NY Times, Slashdot, live Associated Press feeds, and much more. I don't have to rely on biased news sources (FOX, anyone?) to brainwash me into a Republican prosumer.

    I also used the Internet to first teach myself about programming. A few years ago, I found an Open-Source project and just jumped right in. Using the Web interface, IRC, etc., I was able to teach myself proper C++ coding and Linux system software design. I started my own Linux company last year.

    What I'm saying is just that I wish people truly knew what they were doing more with respect to computers and the Internet. I fear that 30% of this 69% sample group probably doesn't even know how to use Google to find Web sites, USENET postings, pictures, news articles, etc. That's truly sad.

    I don't mean to champion intellectual pursuits too much. I do agree that the Web and Internet as a whole has a lot to offer in the way of social progress, but as I see test scores continue to drop and standards get lowered for our next generation of children, I can't help but wonder if little things like these could be changed to make all of our futures better and brighter.

    Thanks for reading, friend.
    • by AvantLegion ( 595806 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:12PM (#8022013) Journal
      I can read the NY Times, Slashdot, live Associated Press feeds, and much more. I don't have to rely on biased news sources (FOX, anyone?)

      Right. Because the New York Times, fabricated stories and all, has no bias. *jerk-off motion with hand*

    • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:12PM (#8022022) Homepage Journal
      Most of these people probably do not use the Internet for something truly worthwhile. By that I claim that instead of doing research or reading various news sources to gain an unbiased perspective on the world around us, people mostly are just forwarding silly emails, chatting mindlessly with their peers, searching for pornography, and downloading crappy quality pirated music files.

      Or reading and posting on slashdot, but yeah, I see your point.

      Here's a point for you to consider: who judges what use is use rather than just fiddling around?

      The other interesting bit is how much of this 'use' happens at work...

    • As more people use the net, of course there will be more stupid people using it to communicate with each other in stupid ways. This is because there are many many stupid people in this world and it's only natural that the net reflects this. What can anyone do about it? Should anyone do anything about it? What are you proposing?
    • Most of these people probably do not use the Internet for something truly worthwhile.

      100% of those polled when informed of your response replied:

      And who the hell is this guy to tell us what is "worth while"?
      • It's like the Mac vs PC numbers.

        Sure, if you take out all those PC's that do menial tasks like handling bar code info for retailers, process orders at Burger King or even crunch numbers at your accountants office, the ratio of Macs to PC's would be way higher.

        But for some reason every single PC in existence is added to the equation, which doesn't really reflect the ratio of computers that are actually being used by people doing worthwhile things.
    • by Ranger96 ( 452365 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:15PM (#8022067)
      I think it's rather naive to say you get your news from NY Times, AP, Slashdot, etc. rather than biased sources like Fox. ALL news sources of some degree of bias. If you think a news source is un-biased, that just means you agree with whatever bias they demonstrate.

      I find it helpful to get news from a variety of sources of all types. The most interesting comparison to me is to see what stories are not covered by a news outlet.

      Ranger96
      • >> ALL news sources of some degree of bias.

        But in the case of FOX news, its the highest degree and simply unacceptable for most of the people. You can see many articles(or comments) which support microsoft in slashdot. You can also see many articles which criticize US actions in Iraq but almost none in FOX. Thats the difference.

      • by glinden ( 56181 ) * on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:32PM (#8022239) Homepage Journal
        It's a bit of a pain to get news from a wide variety of sources though. Takes quite a bit of time. I've found a couple resources to be useful for this.

        Google News [google.com] and Technorati [technorati.com] pick from a wide variety of sources and allow you to search news articles. But I sometimes find it hard to find what I want in all the clutter. Plastic [plastic.com] provides moderation and discussion of news, but doesn't have broad coverage. Various RSS aggregators [blogspace.com] allow me to create your own news feed, but they don't have good coverage of mainstream news sources and they're a bit of a pain to set up. There's a couple recent attempts at personalized news -- Findory News [findory.com] is one -- that try to pull news from a broad variety of sources targetted to your interests.

        What do you use?
        • I found this link [baltimorechronicle.com] to a court case on truth (or lack of) in journalism.

          "In a written decision, the Court held that the Federal Communications Commission position against news distortion is only a "policy," not a promulgated law, rule, or regulation."

          The topic? BHA. The media agency just happened to be Fox Television.
        • Your comment "It's a bit of a pain to get news from a wide variety of sources...." really hits home. I hate fumbling around the internet, jumping from site to site, looking for info. I prefer sites that offer a wide spectrum of choices, something for everyone, and will take you whereever you want to go with a single click. One such site is Refdesk [refdesk.com]. I found it a while back when I read that it's Colin Powell's favorite site. I couldn't resist the temptation to check it out. I'm glad I did.
        • What do you use?

          My Yahoo! - seriously... I get the top stories from multiple news sources, collected into a single page. Downside is that you don't see all of the other stories that a particular news outlet is publishing.

          Supplemented by a bunch of e-mail newsletters (BBC, CNN, technical rags) and catching up on the latest at Slashdot.
      • MOD PARENT UP (Score:5, Insightful)

        by GuyMannDude ( 574364 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:35PM (#8022275) Journal

        I think it's rather naive to say you get your news from NY Times, AP, Slashdot, etc. rather than biased sources like Fox. ALL news sources of some degree of bias. If you think a news source is un-biased, that just means you agree with whatever bias they demonstrate.

        Well said. I almost coughed up my coke when I read the grandparent's assertion that he is getting unbiased news and then proceeds to list a number of American-centric news sources.

        Ranger96 is right: all news has some bias. The only thing you can really do is to read news from several widly different sources. And consider including some non-US sources of info such as Al-Jazeera [aljazeera.net] and the BBC [bbc.co.uk]. I'm sure someone will complain that Al-Jazeera is nothing more than a hate-mongering rag but the fact of the matter is that a large portion of the Arab world listens to it. If you want to understand the world, you'd better know what other people are reading because it will shape their worldview.

        The most interesting comparison to me is to see what stories are not covered by a news outlet.

        That's true but the only way you find out about these articles is through the 'activist' websites of the issue that got ignored. And let's face it: those aren't exactly unbiased sources of info either. I think what you have to do is get as much info as possible and then use some good old fashioned critical thinking to figure out what's REALLY going on. And that's admittedly pretty tough.

        GMD

        • Re:MOD PARENT UP (Score:5, Insightful)

          by proj_2501 ( 78149 ) <mkb@ele.uri.edu> on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:38PM (#8022314) Journal
          "the fact of the matter is that a large portion of the Arab world listens to it. "

          The fact of the matter is that several, if not most, Arab governments think that Al-Jazeera is a shill for the Americans.
    • by Ra5pu7in ( 603513 ) <ra5pu7in.gmail@com> on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:17PM (#8022082) Journal
      Some people use their television to keep abreast of current affairs and learn about the world around them. Others use it to watch sitcoms, soaps, and/or game shows (and, of course, porn). The degree of market penetration of the television would not be where it is today if it had been only seen as a medium for education and news. Instead, the entertainment side is what drew the average Joe Sixpack.

      Likewise, some of us utilize the Internet for research and keeping abreast of current affairs. Others use it to chat, download files, and play games. We wouldn't see the market penetration we have here without those kinds of features - the entertainment sector, you could say.

      Without the housewife chatting with her pals, the kids playing games online, and the hubby downloading his porn, we may not have seen any push to get high-speed lines installed in many areas.
    • To each his own... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kneecarrot ( 646291 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:19PM (#8022100)
      I do agree that many people do not use the the Internet to its full potential.

      However, who are we to judge? My grandmother just turned 82 this year. Her husband also just passed away. I got her a computer and taught her to use the Internet. Right now she knows how to send email, chat over MSN, do her banking, and perform simple google searches. That's all. She isn't churning out homegrown linux apps or discussing religion on usenet, in fact, I'm quite sure she couldn't change the resolution on her monitor. However, it's her lifeline to the outside world. It's given her a reason to not just give up on life.

      So, what I'm trying to say that the beauty of the Internet is how it can be so many different things to so many different people.

    • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:20PM (#8022111) Homepage
      Is it a problem that people used movable type to read Richardson's "Pamela" rather than the Bible?

      Is it a problem that people went to the movies to watch Rudolph Valentino kiss Theda Bara instead of "Greed?"

      Is it a problem that people used radio to listen to Amos 'n Andy rather than to the speeches of great statesmen?

      Is it a problem that people used advances in color printing technology to subscribe to "Playboy" rather than "American Heritage?"

      Is it a problem that people used vinyl LP's to listen to Elvis Presley albums instead of "Die Meistersinger von Nurnburg?"

      Is it a problem that people used cable TV to watch MTV instead of C-SPAN?

      Because, if these are problems... boy, have we got problems.
      • by NoData ( 9132 ) <_NoData_.yahoo@com> on Monday January 19, 2004 @01:57PM (#8023133)
        Because, if these are problems... boy, have we got problems.

        We got problems.

        Ignorance, lack of intellectual curiousity, or outright anti-intellectualism are, and have been for a long time, big problems.

        They get worse the more "democratic" a society becomes.

        Ray Bradbury warned us about this more than 50 years ago. ("Fahrenheit 451--which is really less about censorship than it is about the dumbing down of society, and the rising resentment of the power of knowledge by anti-intellectualists).

        However, I agree with your implied point that the Internet is far from the only "underutilized" medium.
    • >probably doesn't even know how to use Google to find Web sites,

      How hard is this? Go to Google.com, enter key words, enter, enjoy! And why do I "have" to know how to do this? Couldn't I use an another search engine?

      >USENET postings,

      Yes, Usenet, that treasure trove of insightful commentary. People have moved on to bloggs and websites like this one. Usenet, while excellent for binaries, still has a horrific signal to noise.

      >pictures, news articles, etc.

      How does one use pictures?
    • by jgalun ( 8930 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:33PM (#8022249) Homepage
      Jesus Christ, come off your high-horse.

      The Internet is fantastic. It has changed my life too: I have made friends over the Internet; I have the career I have because I fell in love with web design; I started two online magazines; and I spend probably two hours per day reading news and commentary from around the world. It still blows my mind how much better informed I can be thanks to the fact that I can read blogs from Iran, newspapers from India, etc.

      But I also use the Internet to forward silly emails, chat mindlessly with peers, to search for pornography, and download crappy quality music files. In other words, to have fun.

      It's great to be engaged intellectually with things that interest you, but it's also a fundamental human right to goof off.

      No matter what technologies we invent, not everyone is going to want to program, read the news all day, or found a business. People have other interests, and that's fine.

      Listen, I'm horrible at sports, I don't know the first thing about plumbing, I have no idea how to fix a car, and I'd rather buy take-out than learn to cook. Does this make me a bad person? Am I a lesser person because I am not engaged enough to learn how a car works? No, of course not! It just means that I have different interests from others, and I should be able to follow my interests just as much as they can follow theirs.

      Note 1: Your case would be a lot more convincing if you didn't make it while posting to Slashdot! Shouldn't you be coding or informing yourself, rather than goofing off?

      Note 2: Your case would also be a lot more convincing if you didn't make the argument that the Internet is a failure because it hasn't shown everyone that the Republicans are bad. One of the great advantages for me of the Internet is that it has expanded my news sources past the traditional left-wing sources that I read on paper (like the New York Times) to centrist (Washington Post) and conservative sources (like the National Review and Weekly Standard). I've become more, not less conservative, as the result of reading the Internet. It is objectively true that the Internet expands the range of sources we have our fingertips, but it is extremely subjective to say that having access to more sources makes you more liberal.
    • I fear that 30% of this 69% sample group probably doesn't even know how to use Google to find Web sites, USENET postings, pictures, news articles, etc. That's truly sad.

      Where are these numbers coming from? 30 % of 69 %, yea and i'm 76.3 % sure your figure is off. i agree, it's fair to say that there are varing degrees of internet savy, but that's usually determined by users needs. think about it, does a cow really need google? no, it needs grass and water(sorry about the cow metaphor, i'm from wi).
    • by lwagner ( 230491 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:35PM (#8022283)
      Within those paragraphs, there was a nugget of truth.

      Instead of turning on the 5:00 news report, most of us pick and choose who we go to for our news.

      I do not think that your assertion that FOX News is any more biased than the NY Times is correct. It is ignorant and naive to think that any newsmedia is objective.

      The Europeans have known this for years; what is wrong with the Americans that we have this notion that the press is somehow objective (or should be objective)?

      Is Slashdot objective? No! But, we read it because we like it and it entertains us. Same thing with the newsmedia.

      You now have the ability to pick what you want, when you want it, how you want it, from the perspective you want, etc.

      News has become a commodity and the means of producing it have diversified.
    • Who cares if they use it for anything useful? The more Americans (or Canadians, in my case) that are using the internet, the more companies are going to decide providing internet service is lucrative, the cheaper my internet service is going to get. "Useful" is a pretty loaded term anyway. Chatting and emailing frivolous messages can be useful, just to stay connected to people we wouldn't talk to otherwise. Downloading pornography is useful in that it provides a much more discreet way to obtain it, ther
    • 69 percent of US adults use the Internet. Sounds good, right? Here's the problem... Most of these people probably do not use the Internet for something truly worthwhile.

      An interesting point of view, but... so what? 99% of households in the US have a television receiver and access to programming. Most of those people do not use their television exclusively for something truly worthwhile. 97% of households in the US have telephone service. Most of those people do not use their telephone exclusively for

    • All news sources are biased. Ny Times and AP have a democrate leaning, Fox has a republican one. Degrees are there over course, I won't argue that. However you are presenting things as if you don't question AP and NyTimes, and that is dangerious. Everyone has an agenda, and it is impossibal to avoid it. There is no way to be unbiased, not presenting a fringe side is biased, while presenting it may give it far too much credit.

      If the above are biases you can live with, that is just fine, but always r

    • "I can read the NY Times, Slashdot, live Associated Press feeds, and much more. I don't have to rely on biased news sources (FOX, anyone?)"

      I hope you're not getting your Microsoft news here.
    • The Internet has changed my life. I have a news source for each aspect of life that I must keep up on. I can read the NY Times, Slashdot, live Associated Press feeds, and much more. I don't have to rely on biased news sources (FOX, anyone?) to brainwash me into a Republican prosumer.

      I agree with everything you said, except for the quote above. It really bugs me when people complain about biased news-sources. Of course they're biased, everyone is biased, no one approaches anything nuetrally. The best way t

    • Most of these people probably do not use the Internet for something truly worthwhile. By that I claim that instead of doing research or reading various news sources to gain an unbiased perspective on the world around us, people mostly are just forwarding silly emails, chatting mindlessly with their peers, searching for pornography, and downloading crappy quality pirated music files.

      And many of these are the same people that have denigrated the telephone. Rather than using it for noble purposes, they call
    • Most of these people probably do not use the Internet for something truly worthwhile. By that I claim that instead of doing research or reading various news sources to gain an unbiased perspective on the world around us, people mostly are just forwarding silly emails, chatting mindlessly with their peers, searching for pornography, and downloading crappy quality pirated music files.

      And? This is still an example of how the open source nature of the internet makes more things possible, and more effective t

  • by BigDork1001 ( 683341 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:05PM (#8021923) Homepage
    Perhaps more noteworthy is the increase in users with high-speed Internet connections. In 2001 is was 22 percent, now it is up to 37 percent."

    Well yeah, looking at porn sucks with dial up.

  • by archeopterix ( 594938 ) * on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:05PM (#8021926) Journal

    Norvig's Law [norvig.com]!!!
    Any technology that surpasses 50% penetration
    will never double again
    (in any number of months).
  • One Word (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Music.
  • High Speed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Durin_Deathless ( 668544 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:06PM (#8021947) Homepage
    Is it suprising that high speed use increased so much? AOHell is offering it now, and in this area, SBC DSL is like $2 more a month than plain old AOHell dialup. This is what I expected to happen.
    • I was thinking the same thing. It seems with the price points of adding broadband to a household's existing cable service and the SBC Yahoo! DSL service I would have thought the number would be much, much higher.

      But, keeping things in perspective, the SBC and AOL deals are relatively young and if this same study is done in a couple years I would expect more then 50% to be on high speed connections. The downfall of course is that this puts even more infected Windows machines on connections that will allow

  • by niom ( 638987 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:07PM (#8021971)
    Considering the nature of the most abundant content in the Internet, it's oddly appropriate.
  • I wish there was more data in that article so one could analyze it and find trends, so the precentage of people with high speed intertnet has grown 15% in 2 years. is that a linear growth, and exponential growth. Is that trend going to continue or level out.

    Lot more could be done if you had a more info
  • by KingJoshi ( 615691 ) <slashdot@joshi.tk> on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:10PM (#8021998) Homepage
    Some 93 percent of users gave their ages at less than 65 years, and 60 percent were university students.

    It's not surprising that 60% are college students. Considering the root of the internet to academic insitutions.

    And while it's not surprising only 7% are over 65, considering that constitutes over 10 million, I'd say that there are plenty of old people using the internet. Granted, that might still be a small percentage of the number of old people alive in the US, but 10M is nothing to scoff at.

    Considering that many old people tend to be conservative and how many people online use email and get porn spam, I'm surprised the politicians don't take a firmer stand. I would assume this based would really support tougher legislation than what's being proposed.

    • It's not surprising that 60% are college students. Considering the root of the internet to academic insitutions.

      Highest consumer of porn, baby.

    • Like my father. At 75 he uses the net quite a bit. For e-mail (mainly as part of his job, editing), purchasing stuff online (he lives in a small town, online is easier than driving three hours to the city), and checking out the news.

      He's also a New Deal Democrat.

  • by Corbie ( 685225 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:12PM (#8022017) Homepage
    Percent of useful content on the internet continues to drop.
    • Not neccesarily, the older users(previously clueless newbies) might actually, agains all odds, have learned something useful that they wish to share with their fellow comrades. Trolls might actually belong to this group(no offense, fellow trolls, I know it's not really true!).
  • More Statistics (Score:3, Informative)

    by Leffe ( 686621 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:13PM (#8022030)
    The CIA World Factbook [cia.gov] is a nice place to go for information like this. (Communications->Internet users for example)

    Here [cia.gov]'s a list of how many internet users there are in each county. No percentages though, which would have been more interesting.
    • # internet users / total country's population = percentage. You're welcome.
    • This may sound foolish, but I wonder what changes are in store for us. I mean, the web and many internet related technology is mostly English and US centric. But with us getting to 70% of the population and realizing that China, Japan and India have so much more to go (and they'll get there), I wonder how that'll change things (if at all).

      Those three nations combined make up over 100M but still about 50M less people. That could easily change within a year or two. Could we see more integration, or will
  • by bbowers ( 596225 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:15PM (#8022053) Journal
    Yes I agree, and I'll also be one to admit, porn on dialup SUCKS... (not just people in the pictures :P) On a general college network/networks porn is a large issue... I'd say 90% of the bandwidth I use is outgoing on DC++ for people downloading some of my 30 or so gigs of porn. Music is another 5% to 10%... if you want proof have a look here.. http://www.tyrantanic.net/mrtg/aiwa/aiwa.tyrantani c.net_2.html (keep in mind thats a 10mbit connection to the rest of the network, just 100mbit local on the switch)

    Also if you take into account all those popup ads advertising porn, or increasing penis size or what have you, you'd bet that MOST internet traffic is download of some sort, I'd guess porn. However there are plenty of other useful things to waste your bandwidth on.. like uhhmm... ok lets see here. For example when you hmm.. nevermind. I can't think of anything.
  • Content vs. Image (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Curare ( 601307 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:17PM (#8022087)
    It's obvious that the internet is evolving toward high-speed connections. Many websites now use flash-enhanced, high-speed centered interfaces. It can take you three or four minutes just to watch the intro on yourfavoritecompany.com.

    But for all this marketing-driven drivel, it seems that little substance has been added to the internet. Think about how much text-based content you could download, compared to the fancy ill-designed un-navigatable front page so many companies use now.

    It's symbiotic. More people get high-speed to see the pretty pictures, and more companies use pretty pictures to appease the high-speed people.

    • I don't know what you're talking about. We have more information than ever. I remember when companies either didn't have a website, or didn't understand what they were for. It's the rare company now that can afford to have a useless website. I buy almost all my stuff online. A few years ago, we were arguing over whether that would really happen, because we had a hard time even conceiving of it..

      The other day I was looking at mini-ipods on the apple site. You can download PDF stat sheets, a few high-res
  • How long till Moore's law concerning Internet stops working just because Internet usage reaches 100% humanity and further growth will be held by number of humans able to use the net - living on this planet? ...unless we count that once 100% is reached, enough people will buy "second computer", install "second internet service", keeping the "double size in 10 months" rate?
    • Since Moore's law is about processing power (not the % of people using a technology) I don't think it as any relevance here.
  • 47.5% of all statistics are made up on the spot...
  • Score 1 for the porn industry!
  • Jokes (Score:3, Funny)

    by savagedome ( 742194 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:23PM (#8022145)
    Damn all of you quick fingered bastards typing out those 69 jokes in a jiffy. I thought I might be the first one to notice. Not even close. Damn all of you. No Funny for me. Damn all of you again.
  • who are these 31% (Score:3, Interesting)

    by treat ( 84622 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:24PM (#8022157)
    I don't know anyone who doesn't use the net. I even know crack whores and bums that use the net. Who are the 31% that don't use the net? Maybe that's the 31% of America that is illiterate, or the 31% of America that is in prison.
  • Hrm... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by conebrid ( 324421 )
    ...69 percent of American adults were internet users last year. This is up from only 56 percent in 1999 and a measley 9 percent in 1995.

    Sounds to me like the non-adults using the net in '95 have grown up and are now counted as adults. :P
  • 9 percent seems high (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 )
    and a measley 9 percent in 1995.

    That seems a little high. The internet was still a hard-core geek-toy in 95. Most people interested in on-line stuff used proprietary services like CompuServe, AOL, Prodigy, etc. Perhaps they are counting office email.
    • And of the 69% of Adults who use the Internet, probably 80% of them use AOheLl from home to access the Internet. This means that 55% of all adults use AOL when accessing the Internet (especially from Home). This explains why over 80% of the Internet is filled with inane, vapid and hollow content.

  • by handy_vandal ( 606174 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:37PM (#8022304) Homepage Journal
    According to Harris Interactive, more than two-thirds, or 69 percent of American adults were internet users last year.

    Alas, only 63% of adults were grown-ups last year.

    -kgj
  • Wooo (Score:5, Funny)

    by Remlik ( 654872 ) on Monday January 19, 2004 @12:38PM (#8022312) Homepage
    Yea go USA! My father in law is one of those 69%...just this weekend I spent about two hours removing 12 viruses/trojans and another 6 or so spyware programs from his computer. All gotten from some evil pr0n sites (well he is divorced and single..).

    Last month I installed a firewall and updated his anti-virus. I asked him why he had them both disabled, he said "My favorite web site requires me to have these turned off at all times."

    With my wife (his daughter) in the room I didn't really say anything, but before we left I explained to him in private that his favorite web site has been installing viruses and spyware on his PC...then I gave him a few tips on how to find reputable pr0n.

    I hope next year 99% of all US citizens are online, I'm going to be starting up a zombie network to punish evil terrorists and i'll need the boxen.

  • everyone is so quick to point out the 69%.
    so cool!

    i'm trying to figure out the other 31%. three out of ten adults have never used the internet.

    "Yeah, that whole internet thing... i mean, i've heard about it, but don't really know what it's all about. something about some dots and coms. the whole thing just seems too confusing to me!" Annie Jenkins, domestic engineer, 37 y.o. - part of the other 31%.
  • What? You mean Adults use the Internet? Does anyone here know where do they hang out?
  • I must admit, I was in shock the day my 70 something year old grandmother started forwarding me dumb emails. Thanks for giving her my addy Mom! (grumble grumble)

    Not to mention when recently I discovered the guy almost beating me at a railgun level in Quake2 was 61!

    The internet isn't just for us darned bbs'ing kids to idle on irc and download warez anymore... *sigh*
  • About the 30% without Internet connections. That seems really high. You don't suppose they're actually out doing things in meatspace? In person. *shudder* Horrible to contemplate.
  • by slappyjack ( 196918 ) <slappyjack@gmail.com> on Monday January 19, 2004 @01:39PM (#8022926) Homepage Journal
    of these numbers are the important ones. Of those 69% of adults that use the internet ....
    • < 1% have /. accounts
    • 1.15% have posted stuff on /. as an AC, then never cane back again
    • 4% actually care that Microsoft is dropping support for Win98
    • 15% understand the concept of an Email Client
    • 18% are using a machine 6+ years old, and spend 3 hours a week calling tech support complaining how "their stupid software doesnt work"
    • 29% have seen goatse.cx
    • 37% use high speed connections
    • 43% Call their kids to ask them "Did you get the email I just sent you?"
    • 45% have emailled a newsgroup and yelled at them for using filthy curse words
    • 48% don't understand the difference between "download" and "install"
      • 15% are pretty sure they've "downloaded the internet"
      • 65% Think they need to "install the internet"

    • 50% are afraid to use their credit cards online, but will gladly give it over the phone to someone they've never met
    • 57% Have searched for the Paris Hilton Sex Video
      • 3% Were actually capable of finding it

    • 68% "accidentally" got one of them porn-modem-dailer-trojans "through no fault of their own"
    • 72% have lists of over 100 people to whom they forward jokes to
      • 6% actually strip out all hte greater-than symbols and format the emails nicely
      • 18% send jokes multiple times a day
      • 88% have sent the "god kills kittens" picture
      • 97% do not understand why people are angered by this

    • 85% Think Outlook IS email, and MSIE IS the internet
    • 92% Send 4 Mb images to their friends that are still using modems
    • 95% Still Double-Click submit buttons
    • 98% are complete morons, and will never learn how to use their machines properly.

    Progress, baby!
  • One way to use the internet more is to develop hopefully free uses (free voip) applications and applications where you can interface your windoz and linux boxes to all the other items in your house to the internet...it would be nice also, if people would complain that they can't have their machines serve as web servers themselves..doesn't the new internet standard do this?
  • is that still around?
  • by alispguru ( 72689 ) <bane.gst@com> on Monday January 19, 2004 @03:25PM (#8024088) Journal
    ... is how many people have more than one choice in broadband providers. We won't see serious changes in costs and terms of service until a lot more people have alternatives.

    In my neighborhood (Bowie, MD, USA) DSL doesn't work (we're behind a digital switch - hell, normal dialup never goes over 28 kbaud), so our broadband options are Comcast or satellite. Satellite has unacceptable latency for my purposes (ssh), so it's Comcast. Their terms of service suck - servers of any kind are illegal (currently tolerated by the network, but they could change that anytime). I'd vote with my feet, but there's no alternative short of my own T1.
    • so our broadband options are Comcast or satellite. Satellite has unacceptable latency for my purposes (ssh), so it's Comcast.

      You don't need high-speed for ssh. You don't need low latency for most web pages or file transfers.

      I've got to get a satellite connection because sat and dialup are my only options, but I'll be building a linux box in pretty short order to do dial-on-demand for ssh connections. Everything else gets routed over the sat. With Earthlink you get 10 hours or so of dial-up included w

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