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Communications United States IT

US's Slow Embrace of Information Technology 210

mattnyc99 writes "To motivate his new column, Popular Mechanics' Glenn Derene takes research data from a discussion here of his last column. He analyzes a new study released this week — revealing that fully 49 percent of Americans 'only occasionally use modern gadgetry' — to compare the rise of the PC with that of the TV and ask a big question: What keeps the most important and powerful communication tool since the telephone from being universally embraced?"
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US's Slow Embrace of Information Technology

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  • Blindingly obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fatduck ( 961824 ) * on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:42AM (#19065641)
    Are we really comparing the rate of TV adoption to computer adoption? When is the last time you had to do more than press the ON button to operate your television? There's no learning curve, and no risk. People are afraid of computers, and as usual are unwilling to overcome even the most modest of barriers to learn a new skill.
    • by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:48AM (#19065701)
      And that's exactly the conclusion he comes to at the end of the column...
      • by fatduck ( 961824 ) * on Thursday May 10, 2007 @09:10AM (#19065931)
        So if this Harvard professor had submitted his question to Ask Slashdot, he would have saved himself a lot of research.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Huh Huh

      Money is one factor, event though you can get a cheap computer fro under 700$ or even a seconds machine for under 300$ you still have to hook it up to the internet,

      For some people that is a;ready too much money and also the fact that a lot of user have computers at work and fell like they dont need to buy one since they do everything at work (unfortunately)

      You can still have a full life without being an internet addict, they are still BOOKS out there.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by hoojus ( 935220 )

        You can still have a full life without being an internet addict, they are still BOOKS out there.
        Sacralige you can't spout that nonsense. Go wash your mouth out with soap (actually wash your hands as they typed this nonsense!).
    • Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sheldon ( 2322 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @09:43AM (#19066427)
      My father was an engineer at Zenith, back in 60's and 70's... We had one of the first color televisions in the neighborhood. It also just happened to be a engineering prototype. But don't worry! My father had the schematics!

      So in my family, we had what we called the yearly "Fix the Television" event. This would be somewhat akin to reinstalling the OS in your computer. It involved taking the back off the television and with a combination of compressed air and a vacuum, removing most of the dust. Sometimes it involved replacing weak solder joints. But it always involved replacing worn out vacuum tubes.

      Each vacuum tube, of which there were perhaps 20 total, was removed one at a time and carefully wrapped in kleenex and placed in a box. This box then was taken down to Radio Shack where each tube was placed into the tube tester to verify it's performance characteristics.

      After buying the new tubes to replace the old ones, back home we came to reassemble the television.

      People today lament about how there is no longer a need for television repair men. Instead people keep their televisions for 10-15 years and when they die they throw them away. Some day people will be complaining about how you don't need a help desk, and desktop support teams.

      That day can't come soon enough for me.
      • People today lament about how there is no longer a need for television repair men.

        Digital TV is fixing that problem. My TV needed a firmware upgrade applied by a TV repair man. Before that we had to reboot it every day.

        (No, I'm not kidding, sadly. I predict that in 10 years' time, you'll be rebooting your toaster.)

      • >Some day people will be complaining about how you don't need a help desk, and desktop support teams.

        Dunno about that. The computer is a programmable device, thus its always changing (running different apps). The TV runs one app (the tv) and has very simple functions (on/off, channel change) etc. Its interesting to see the low levels of tech adoption when it comes to tivo, 5.1 or HDTV. A lot of people dont care for the added complexity of a TV system, a PC system a 100x worse. I think its osmething
    • by rlp ( 11898 )
      When is the last time you had to do more than press the ON button to operate your television?

      Ummm, yesterday. New TV's support multiple input devices (Game consoles, PVR's, DVD player / recorders, cable boxes, PC's), multiple aspect ratios, etc. We've got an all-in-one remote that turns devices on off, changes settings, depending on what you want to do. It even works, most of the time ...
    • by Malc ( 1751 )
      I think it's more interesting comparing technology in other places, such as the kitchen or cars. It's quite shocking coming from Europe and living in N. American homes and being confronted by stoves out of the 50's (and further: why isn't the oven divided? Why do I have to heat a small pizza in the space big enough to cook a 30lb turkey?), washing machines that barely work and cars from the big three that are immensely irritating. After a decade, I'm mostly used to it, but when I go back to visit my pare
    • by treeves ( 963993 )
      Right. Computers can be entertaining, but it takes a little work. It's not a matter of sitting down in front of the thing with a beer and some Cheetos and being passively entertained, like a TV does.
  • by beavis88 ( 25983 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:43AM (#19065645)
    Maybe it's because, at the end of the day, both computer hardware and software are generally troublesome pieces of shit.
    • by benjcurry ( 754899 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:54AM (#19065783) Homepage

      Maybe it's because, at the end of the day, both computer hardware and software are generally troublesome pieces of shit.
      I was going to say "Windows," but I see you beat me to it.
    • Oh, to have my mod points back for you.

      It's more than that, though. Once you buy a TV, you're pretty much done for the next 10 years until you buy a new one. Sure, you can susbscribe to cable or satellite, but that's been a creeping cost that people have gently learned to accept.

      With computers, everything is a la carte. Of course, MS and Apple have tried to add in everything you need, but the embedded programs are generally highly restricted. Sit down fanbois - show me an _embedded_ app that lets you rip an
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mangu ( 126918 )
        if you do go out into the field to get the most popular apps, you're looking at many times the purchase price of the computer for a set of the full versions, and they usually lower the overall system responsiveness

        And the answer to this problem is ... Linux!

        Computers are still the automobile of the 1920s, or the private aircraft of today. They work, but it's hardly something the average person can really understand and use without a significant investment in both time and money.

        An interesting parallel, ta

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Overzeetop ( 214511 )
          And the answer to this problem is ... Linux!

          Trust me. It's not. Linux makes Windows look like a TV. A dysfunctional, expensive, TV that should be replaced every 6 to 12 months. Linux is that 3 CRT front projection TV you picked up by the side of the road during the town's spring clean up because it "just might work" and a couple of trips to the junk yard might just net you the four or five tubes you need to fire that baby up. Oh, sure, with a CS degree and a few hundred free hours to kill you might end up w
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by quibbler ( 175041 )
      Yep, basically one word: Windows. Microsoft fanboys take a chair, please. Microsoft has single-handedly changed the image of computers from a 1950s/60's/70's "modern marvel" into a troublesome piece of shit. I love my computer(s), and I know many who do, the funny thing is that there's a strong correlation between Windows use and perception that computers "suck". Put simply, because of Microsoft people do not trust their computers. People need to feel secure to adopt new things, and Microsoft has never pr
  • Difficult (Score:3, Informative)

    by gambit3 ( 463693 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:44AM (#19065653) Homepage Journal
    Cuz it can be difficult, frustrating, and a pain in the ass? Whereas TV consisted once of only three channels and a power button? One of my great-uncles didn't even use the power button, he's just unplug the set.

    Plus, TV is completely passive. You just have to turn it on, and it entertains you. Even when it's online, a PC is not that passive and easy to use.

  • by Moggyboy ( 949119 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:45AM (#19065663)
    Terrorism.
  • by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:47AM (#19065691)
    It takes ages and it's a PITA.
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:50AM (#19065727) Homepage Journal
    Who are 10 years behind the rest of the world in bandwidth and services and cost. Blame the cable monopolies who are only a little less horrible than record companies in the rape and pillage the consumers department. Blame Microsoft who, let's face facts, sees you as a wallet. They don't really care how well their crap works and their prices go up not down in contradiction to everything we've ever been promised about the 'digital age.'

    I would have thought the neo-Libertarians here would be cheering for state controlled corporatism. Isn't that what you've been working for?
    • by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:52AM (#19065763)
      But whatever you do, absolutely don't blame the people who aren't using computers...
      • by gelfling ( 6534 )
        Why would they? What incentive is there for them to do that? I was listening to some idiot on NPR yesterday who actually said that people will soon PREFER to watch movies on their PC's soon. Yeah. Staring at a jerky image on a 19" monitor. Sounds like paradise to me. This kind of thinking is why consumers tell the tech companies to go pound sand.

        And how is that paranoia working out that the tech companies are helping to foster? Use a PC and terrorists will rape your kids on the internet while stealing your
        • Perhaps you should get yourself an Apple except for using the lame Media Players that Linux has to offer. **DUCKS**
    • by anjin-san 3 ( 983912 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @09:08AM (#19065915)
      You're blaming Microsoft for the slow adoption of computers inside the U.S.? What operating system do you think they use outside of America?
    • by operagost ( 62405 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @10:10AM (#19066879) Homepage Journal
      I don't know who coined that term "neo-libertarian" (I'm guessing you) but we already have a word for someone who wants to entwine corporations with government: "fascist." Don't make up some grabage term just because you don't like libertarians. Libertarians are opposed to most forms of government control of corporations, positive and negative.
      • I don't know who coined that term "neo-libertarian" (I'm guessing you) but we already have a word for someone who wants to entwine corporations with government: "fascist." Don't make up some grabage term just because you don't like libertarians.

        I wouldn't take him to task for making up/misusing a word - since you have no idea what facist [wikipedia.org] means.
    • I would have thought the neo-Libertarians here would be cheering for state controlled corporatism. Isn't that what you've been working for?


      I would think Libertarians would not want anything state controlled - since they believe in limited government and all.

      You are thinking of Facists (state controlled corporatism).
    • I just don't get it. Corporations exist for one reason, to bring value to their shareholders. Selling you a product is just a side effect of that. If people continue to buy a product that is crappy and broken the corporations does not care. I work for a bank and I greatly feel we do a dis-service to our customers. the right5 thing to do it to close up ship and tell them you could get a better banking experience ANYWHERE else. But we do not, we lie and cheat them and they give us money.

      Once you get over "cor
    • Blame Microsoft who, let's face facts, sees you as a wallet. They don't really care how well their crap works and their prices go up not down in contradiction to everything we've ever been promised about the 'digital age.'

      Someday - perhaps - the geek may learn this lesson:

      No one in the consumer market gives a damn about the price of OEM Windows -what they do give a damn about is the price of the latest mass market OEM Windows system bundle.

      With specs that look damn good even if you have been out of the

  • Incredible! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:51AM (#19065735) Homepage
    Comparing a product that takes an IQ of 12 to understand and use to a product that honestly take above average IQ to use and wondering why the Computer and Internet is not beign adopted as fast as the item everyone calls the "idiot box"?

    Tv is passive, I can sit there and drool at it watching the guy getting kicked in the crotch show all day long. The computer takes not only knowledge and mental ability, but the worst part it takes EFFORT to use.

    • Comparing a product that takes an IQ of 12 to understand

      ...and keeps it that way.

      rj

  • is that the television JustWorks (tm). You just turn the damn thing on, switch channels as required, and that's it. No worries about stealing your banking details, no BSOD, and the closest it gets to viruses are some of those horrible ads (come to think of it, I'd rather have the virus :-P ).
  • 1. For the most part, they all work the same way.
    2. They are an appliance, if you break one all you need is to do is replace it.
    3. The user interface is very simple: punch in three to ten numbers and then talk to the person you called.
    4. Why do most people need a new way of communicating when they are perfectly happy with the phone?

    My guess is that the big reason is there is no great pressure to adopt digital communication, you can do everything you need without a computer.
  • by qwijibo ( 101731 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:53AM (#19065769)
    Television is easy. You turn it on, maybe select a channel, and you can sit there for hours. You can change the channel if you really care about what you're watching, but it's also ok to select one channel and leave it on forever. Television doesn't care if you walk away or lay down. It will dutifully drone on in case you happen to be there. Broadcasters are even nice enough to increase the volume on the commercials to make sure that you get exposed to advertising, even if you're in the kitchen cooking dinner.

    It's much harder to use a computer the same way. It's a much more interactive experience. Not only do you have to have some basic knowledge of how they work, you have to click on stuff or something. Take poor people in third world countries as an example - how long would it take to teach them to use a computer well enough to keep themselves entertained? Compare that with the level of training needed to use a television.

    In both cases, the vast majority of users utilize the technology for entertainment. There are a lot of educational uses available for both technologies, but most users have no interest in that. Mindless entertainment is TV. Interactive entertainment is games/web browsing.

    Not everyone wants interactive entertainment. There are a lot of people who get up, go to work, perform some dull, repetetive task, come home and want to continue their zombie lifestyle with a few beers and some background noise/visual stimulation. There's no way for interactive media like computers to compete with television in the zombie market segment.
    • Indeed. Hot and cool media [wikipedia.org]. Marshall McLuhan [wikipedia.org] was way ahead of his time.
    • That may be true, but I would think Zombies (and their extreme cousins those infected with the 28-days-later virus) would be far more effective at finding prey if they only were able to utilize the computer more effectively in their search (their hyperactive blood-scent ability notwithstanding).
      • by qwijibo ( 101731 )
        Sure they would benefit, but who's going to train them to post "Wanted: Brains" on craigslist? Just like business people, zombies see IT people and want to chew them up and spit them out. That natural reflex prevents them from getting the support needed to establish a viable IT infrastructure that would pay them back tenfold down the road.
  • by Silver Sloth ( 770927 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:53AM (#19065771)
    Comparing the PC with the TV is not really valid.

    The TV is a single use, passive, entertainment medium whereas the PC is a multi use, active, tool. In other terms the TV is 'lean back' technology whereas the PC is 'lean forward' technology. Whichever way you put it they are not the same.
  • Complexity. We'll have to wait a generation or two before the US gets kicked into technological overdrive - We have an aging population of boomers, most of whom are unwilling, unable, or generally uninterested. Someone who's lived an entire lifetime without a computer generally won't see the true value in such a device. Couple that with the fact that there's no idealogical analog upon which computers are built (contrast: cell phones), and you have the double whammy. Cell phones are so popular because you
    • Many of the boomers (and I'm near age) have lived their life without such things. I think it speaks to a larger fact of life; technology isn't necessary (yet) to sustain civilization, just nice to have.

      Many successful people today have had little anything to do with information systems or a computer, at least in the sense of interactivity attributes. I am not a luddite, but in fact, there is no *need* for most of these technologies, just nice to have available. Just consider how others got work done in the
  • Duh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CriminalNerd ( 882826 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:59AM (#19065839)
    What keeps the most important and powerful communication tool since the telephone from being universally embraced?

    Simple. Human stupidity and laziness, especially the reluctance to take the time to learn key concepts such as computer security and e-mail attachment limits.

    I don't blame the ones who are truly unable to adapt and learn to work with the new technology, but the ones who are clearly capable, but ignorant enough to not care, are the ones who contribute to a nation-wide, condescending attitude towards the technologically-trained. Some could say that technology has pampered the public enough to the point that they expect computers to do everything for them and denounce it if they cannot open a bootleg copy of Spiderman 3 because of a lack of video codecs.
  • by arthurpaliden ( 939626 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @09:00AM (#19065851)
    A computer is just a tool like a chain saw or a sewing machine. If I need the tool I will get it and use it. If I don't need it, and for day to day living it is really not required, I will not get it. Unless I am a normal guy then I will buy one a put it on the shelf next to the combo-wrench-screwdriver-hammer I bought last week.
  • Well first people have a Mental Block, If they are not good with computers then why bother embracing the technology because it will only reconferm their faults. So "I am not a computer wiz, so I will avoid this."

    Bad Software Computer OS's and Software are designed in the most part to try to do everything. Which creates a horible interface (Apples Included). For many people the Apple II were so much easier then modern systems. You put the disk in for the program you want to run and your turn the computer O
  • it's voluntary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Speare ( 84249 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @09:03AM (#19065885) Homepage Journal

    Everyone else pointed to the relative complexity, but I think it's more than that.

    There are not many televisions in the workplace-- it's a toy for your leisure.

    There are often more computers than desired at the workplace-- it's a tool of commerce. Many people just don't want that sort of thing to be prominent in their home lives too.

  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @09:04AM (#19065893) Homepage Journal
    Look, outside of work, if I really wanted to, I could live without my computer. Hell I can live without a cell phone too. It just takes discipline. I lived through the 70s and 80s without the access I have these days as did my parents and their parents before them.

    Rural America has more pressing issues than the net, let alone the people with manual labor type jobs. Don't classify them as ignorant either. Many of them do a far better job at raising their families than the so called "educated elite". They don't need the net as a subsitute for life and friends. They don't need TV shows for entertainment, let alone care to see the violence in big cities portrayed in fiction and fact.

    Its America stupid, we are not one giant homogenized horde. We are little tight knit groups spread out across a large area all enjoying the freedom this country affords, and that freedom can and does mean not doing what everyone thinks you should be doing. Hell there are times I wish I could live back on the farm, work 12 to 14 hour days, and never see a computer. Somethings the simpler life is actually better.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      But then again, the crux of your argument is that life would be simpler, but not that enlightening. While I did grow up in a fairly rural town, I wouldn't care to do it again. Having a close knit group of people you can rely upon is good, but it's not everything. It leads to a stagnation of thought and personal growth as you become homogenized to your group. And a lot of the time, most people see that as a negative instead of a positive. Yes, you're in a group, but you're alone in that group.

      This shows
      • Variety is indeed the spice of life, and simply living with people that you adapt your values to in exchange for feeling a sense of belonging is a false one.

        You don't think this is a problem on the 'net? There are thousands of little groups that hang out with each other, online, because they re-enforce each other's beliefs. Look at profiles on MySpace or other sites and see how many people are looking for a "safe" place to talk about things. I see that as code for "think like I do".

        All that the Internet has enabled is that people can now hang out with other people just like them - Regardless of Geography.

        • There are thousands of little groups that hang out with each other, online, because they re-enforce each other's beliefs. Look at profiles on MySpace or other sites and see how many people are looking for a "safe" place to talk about things. I see that as code for "think like I do".

          Like slashdot?

    • I got rid of my cell phone about 5 months ago and after a week I was wondering why I ever thought I needed it. It's just one more unnecessary thing to worry about. I don't know how I'd feel about losing my dsl though - I'm not ready to find out. I guess you have to take this "off the grid" thing in baby steps.
  • Who cares... when the the old generation(s) die off, problem solved. A significant portion of generation is included here.

    Not a whippersnapper,
    -M
  • by GoChickenFat ( 743372 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @09:15AM (#19065993)
    IT gadgets are ultimately not that important in the overall pursuit of happiness. What's the point of keeping up with all of the IT gadgets if all it ever does is give you a constant chore of learning the next new (questionably useless) thing? The general public is not interested in being under a constant challenge to keep up with gadgets that have little affect on their personal lives. Most people don't need a PDA, or a GPS, or a video iPod. The happiest people I know have limited to no access to IT gadgets outside of cell phones. The most stressed and unhappy (add broke and unhealthy) people I know are the ones that are constantly trying to keep up with the latest in technology. A TV is easy...if you're not making a living in IT you just don't need all of the gadgets.
  • People don't use computers willingly because they require that you not be stupid in order to use them proficiently. The American culture coddles and protects the stupid while marginalizing and sabotaging the intelligent. Deception and exploitation of those who have an IQ above room temperature drives the economy, while those whose only talents are passing the buck, blaming others, and using influence gotten through subterfuge and blackmail can ascend to the Presidency, if their fathers are the right peopl
  • ...and you get just a tiny bit closer in relative complexity. But really, whoever publishes something that thinks comparing a TV to a computer has any validity whatsoever, should really just stick to watching the TV.
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @09:38AM (#19066349)
    I've been writing software since 1970 and still paid very well for it - vertical applications in video game graphics. I have a MIT degree and had a email address since 1974 and computer newsgroups sicne 1984. I have not bought my own computer yet, bought my first TV and car age 35. Didnt buy a cell phone until last year when when payphones went nearly extinct, and only use it for travel. I sweat from confusion of choices when going into a circuit city.
  • list of reasons (Score:5, Interesting)

    by egburr ( 141740 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @09:41AM (#19066395) Homepage
    What keeps the most important and powerful communication tool since the telephone from being universally embraced?

    • Price - hundreds to thousands of dollars for a computer versus tens of dollars for a phone
    • Ease of use - I can make and complete a phone call in less time than my computer takes to boot
    • Ease of maintainability - virus checking, defragmentation, spyware, trojans, etc. Need I say more?
    • Expected lifespan - Growing up, we had the same phone for 15 years. Even the cheap phones last 5 usually. How long is it until a computer is obsolete? Two years? Unusable in four?
  • Old People (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    What keeps the most important and powerful communication tool since the telephone from being universally embraced?

    Answer: an aging population. [nationalatlas.gov]
  • by bockelboy ( 824282 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @09:50AM (#19066541)
    I appreciate the fact that most posters and the article writer seem to blame the difference on the fact that TVs are so much easier to use than computers.

    Those people obviously aren't looking far enough into the future.

    I see a world with a mess of cords behind each and every TV; one where HDMI gets half-adapted as the "one true solution" for each component, before 3 new incompatible versions of the cord come out.

    I see a world of MS Media Center. A world where it takes a day or two to set up your TV. A world which requires firmware updates to DVRs, firmware updates to DVD players, firmware updates to BluRay / HD-DVD players, HDCP updates to TVs -- without which none of the above components will work. Dare I even say that the first non-computer electronics virus will come within the next 2 years?

    I see a world of TV remotes with full-sized keyboards so you can buy Pay-Per-View movies directly from the internet, and view them the next day when they download. I see a world where the bootup time for your setup is measured in minutes, not seconds.

    Perhaps, some day in the future, after work we will go home to watch some TV to relax. Then we will all go outside in order to relax from watching TV.
  • by mlush ( 620447 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @09:52AM (#19066581)
    I have always wished for my computer to be as easy to use as my telephone; my wish has come true because I can no longer figure out how to use my telephone. Bjarne Stroustrup
  • ....who can understand it that has been dumbed down?

    And that is the answer. Industry dumbing down of the users!
  • Come on... like Manuel Labor needs to use a PC all day. There's tons of people working all sorts of jobs that require no interaction with a computer what--so--ever!

    Consuela doesn't need to get on the internet to turn the bedsheets at the Holiday Inn.
  • TV is everywhere. Everyone has one. Well, almost. You know what I mean.

    Because, as it's been said numerous times now, it's easy. Push a button, there's Jerry. Push another one, here's Jonny. And if you wait long enough, there's your porn. It's easy, it's comfortable and it doesn't take an IQ above room temperature to operate one. Not even in Minnesota with a broken heating.

    VOD requires a bit more "work". You have to select the program, you have to figure out what buttons to press in what order to get your m
  • At least one third of the alleged refuseniks do use modern gadgets, for example the 15% of the total described as follows. So

    "Light but Satisfied" [users of whom] "The vast majority has call phones but their phones are not feature-rich."
    So basically this report is not talking about the use of modern gadgets, but the ownership of expensive fashion-accessories.
  • What keeps the most important and powerful communication tool since the telephone from being universally embraced?

    1. Cost is a red herring. Telephones and televisions cost a lot too until the technology became ubiquitous... And today's $500 PCs aren't especially more expensive than the $300 TVs.

    2. Complexity is a red herring. With early TVs you danced with the antenna and tweaked the tuner to get a decent signal. Computers are a little more diffcult, but only a little.

    3. Intrusion. The rise of telemarketing
  • It's the stupidity, stupid.

    When a sizeable portion of people believe the earth is 6000 years old (if not flat),

    when a sizeable portion of people go to church every sunday,

    when a sizeable portion of people think that condoms are evil,

    when a sizeable portion of people think that atheists are the tool of satan,

    when a sizeable portion of people think that guns reduce crime,

    it means that the general level of stupidity is too high to have everyone to be able to use a computer, because computers are logic.

  • Quick, someone call the US embassy and let them know there's a world out here! Mystery
  • Civilization should have stopped once we invented Laz-y-Boys, cigars, beer, football, and TV.
  • The simple solution is to provide an slightly more functional version of the internet appliance that Just Works (tm). Something like a Wii with a keyboard and AbiWord would be perfect-- an interface that is idiot-proof, comes out secure by default, uses a remote for navigation, and all you have to do is plug it into your TV and its Ethernet port. Most people already have a television set and free RCA jacks-- there's no need to buy a whole separate set of peripherals to watch YouTube and type emails to Aun
  • by NatteringNabob ( 829042 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @01:05PM (#19070075)
    [What keeps the most important and powerful communication tool since the telephone from being universally embraced?] Windows.
  • Its ... (Score:3, Funny)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @02:14PM (#19071479)

    What keeps the most important and powerful communication tool since the telephone from being universally embraced?

    Patch Tuesday.

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