Posts tagged with ‘pew internet’
A few things to explore ahead of today’s Apple announcements:
- Mobile tech indicators
- How the internet has woven itself into American life
- Expert predictions on the rise of wearables
As of January 2014:
- 90% of American adults have a cell phone
- 58% of American adults have a smartphone
- 32% of American adults own an e-reader
- 42% of American adults own a tablet computer
Note that tablets have the fastest rise of any of these innovations (and ebook readers could be considered as a minimal subset of tablets, which would make the rise of tablets even more steep).
Stowe Boyd, Pew Internet Digital Life in 2025
Amy Webb, Pew Internet Digital Life in 2025
Stowe Boyd, Pew Internet’s Digital Life In 2025
Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie, Digital Life in 20125: Net Threats
As Internet experts look to the future of the Web, they have a number of concerns. This is not to say they are pessimistic: The majority of respondents to this 2014 Future of the Internet canvassing say they hope that by 2025 there will not be significant changes for the worse and hindrances to the ways in which people get and share content online today. And they said they expect that technology innovation will continue to afford more new opportunities for people to connect.
Still, some express wide levels of concern that this yearning for an open Internet will be challenged by trends that could sharply disrupt the way the Internet works for many users today as a source of largely unfettered content flows.
The Net Threats These Experts Fear
1) Actions by nation-states to maintain security and political control will lead to more blocking, filtering, segmentation, and balkanization of the Internet.
2) Trust will evaporate in the wake of revelations about government and corporate surveillance and likely greater surveillance in the future.
3) Commercial pressures affecting everything from Internet architecture to the flow of information will endanger the open structure of online life.
4) Efforts to fix the TMI (too much information) problem might over-compensate and actually thwart content sharing.
A few excerpts:
Paul Saffo, managing director at Discern Analytics and consulting associate professor at Stanford University, said, “The pressures to balkanize the global Internet will continue and create new uncertainties. Governments will become more skilled at blocking access to unwelcome sites.”
danah boyd, a research scientist for Microsoft, responded, “Because of governance issues (and the international implications of the NSA reveals), data sharing will get geographically fragmented in challenging ways. The next few years are going to be about control.”
Glenn Edens, director of research in networking, security, and distributed systems at PARC, said, “Network operators’ desire to monetize their assets to the detriment of progress represents the biggest potential problem. Enabling content creators to easily and directly reach audiences, better search tools, better promotion mechanisms and curation tools—continuing to dismantle the ‘middle men’ is key.”
The chief counsel for a major foundation wrote, “Collusive and anti-competitive practices by telecommunications operators threaten the re-creation of an Internet controlled by people.” A post-doctoral researcher wrote, “We are seeing an increase in walled gardens created by giants like Facebook and Apple… Commercialization of the Internet, paradoxically, is the biggest challenge to the growth of the Internet. Communication networks’ lobbying against Net neutrality is the biggest example of this.”
Leah Lievrouw, a professor of information studies at the University of California-Los Angeles, wrote, “There are too many institutional players interested in restricting, controlling, and directing ‘ordinary’ people’s ability to make, access, and share knowledge and creative works online—intellectual property rights holders, law enforcement and security agencies, religious and cultural censors, political movements and parties, etc. For a long time I’ve felt that the utopianism, libertarianism, and sheer technological skill of both professional and amateur programmers and engineers would remain the strongest counterbalance to these restrictive institutional pressures, but I’m increasingly unsure as the technologists themselves and their skills are being increasingly restricted, marginalized, and even criminalized.”
Josh Calder, a futurist with the Foresight Alliance, expressed confidence that threats to Net neutrality will be routed around. He responded, “Splintering based on corporate control of content and pipelines appears to be the greatest danger, at least in the developed world. It seems likely that steps will be taken to avoid barriers like an end to Net neutrality and the further erection of ‘walled gardens,’ and to keep the dangers of cybercrime sufficiently in check so that accessing content will not be significantly hindered.”
Stowe Boyd, lead researcher for GigaOM Research, said, “The continued economic mess of the postnormal will be accelerated by the ephemeralization of work and the mounting costs of countering global warming, and governments will have too much to deal with to effectively slow the Internet’s oozing into every corner of every part of the economy. The cost pressure will be too great to slow anything. The stalling of the telephone and cable monopolies on high-speed broadband and cellular will lead to fast defection to services offered by Amazon and Google (and a few others), who will buy up or build around the telecommunications companies.”
Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lenz. founders of the online community Awakening Technology, based in Portland, Oregon, wrote, “In a 1958 speech, the late Edward R. Murrow said: ‘This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference. This weapon of television could be useful.’
“The Internet was commercialized in 1995, opening the floodgates to e-commerce, advertising, scams, identity theft and similar crimes, pay-for-play applications, pornography and much more. According to Wikipedia, some 80 to 85% of all the e-mail on the Internet is spam, and Incapsula says that in 2013, less than 40% of Internet activity was conducted by humans. Some 30% of Internet bandwidth goes to pornography, and according to the Huffington Post in 2013, porn sites get more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined.
“All of this makes it more difficult for people to get and share content online, and without social policy and technology changes, it’s likely to get worse by 2025. Unless people rise up nonviolently to take charge of their local systems and demand public technology and governance oversight and universal, affordable access to the Internet as a whole, humankind will remain captive to the likes of corporations, spammers, hackers, and online criminals. What would it take to re-envision our use of the Internet by 2025 to fulfill the dreams of its early creators and pioneers? Television provides a cautionary tale.”
The point/counterpoint of the techno optimists and the less optimistic is fascinating reading.
COMPOSE, or Collaborative Open Market to Place Objects at your *lowercase your* Service
In the new Pew Internet report on the Internet of Things in 2025 I was cited for inventing the term ‘computication’:
Desktop computers will be in museums, although a certain cadre will not give up their keyboards and will resist learning how to subvocalize or sign. People who talk to their goggles are considered infantile, since most people give up on that technique before starting school. Most people have wrist or finger devices that talk with their goggles, even when the goggles are off (in bed, exercising, in the shower, etc.), giving notifications, and allowing a subset of computication capability.
Some work objects — and other social objects — will become partly animate, capable of communicating with each other and us. Sensors, AIs, intelligent documents — all will demonstrate the characteristics of Bruce Sterling’s spimes. They will have ‘lifetimes’ and they will persist. They will have relationships with us and other spimes. They will computicate.
Our work graphs will be richer for that, but today’s tools are organized around inanimate and flimsy work objects. Beefing that up is one of the major trends for the next five years in the enterprise.
We’re not the only ones claiming that wearables and connected devices will be huge, it looks like experts are agreeing on it as well. (from: Experts: Internet of Things and Wearables Will Dominate by 2025)
UMD Newsdesk (02/21/14) Tom Ventsias; Lee Tune
University of Maryland professor Ben Shneiderman, working with researchers from the Pew Research Internet Project, the Social Media Research Foundation, and the University of Georgia, has found that most of the information being discussed on Twitter falls into six distinct patterns or networks. Their study analyzed tens of thousands of Twitter conversations over the past four years and developed a “topographical map” of these patterns based on the topic being discussed, the information and influencers driving the conversation, and the social network structures of the participants. The six network patterns the researchers found are polarized crowds, tight crowds, brand clusters, community clusters, broadcast networks, and support networks. “What we’ve done is to provide a visual map of the Twitterverse that will ultimately help others to better interpret the trends, topics, and implications of these new communication technologies,” Shneiderman says. The researchers used NodeXL, an open source program, to interpret the data. NodeXL enables researchers to examine the combination of tweets, retweets, and the social networks Twitter users. “It could eventually have a large impact on our understanding of everything from health to community safety, from business innovation to citizen science, and from civic engagement to sustainable energy programs,” Shneiderman says.
As of December 2012, 87% of American adults have a cell phone, and 45% have a smartphone. As of January 2013, 26% of American adults own an e-book reader, and 31% own a tablet computer. (more)
I dislike the term gadget, and prefer gear. Gear is stuff you need to accomplish things. Gadgets are fussy little gizmos that promise more than they provide.