Intelligent connected machines and services that surround us – effectively known as the “Internet of Things” (IoT) – will become a $309 billion business by 2020, new research from Gartner shows (via ZDNet). To use Samsung’s famous tag line for promoting mobile devices, IoT will become “the next big thing” in the years to come, as more and more devices will get Internet connectivity, smart features and some sort of awareness. The firm says that IoT devices in use will grow from 900 million units today to 26 billion units by 2020, at a significantly higher rate than smartphones, tablets and PCs, which will reach about 7.3 billion combined units by the same year. More →
Last month, we shared a report from Walker Sands which showed an enormous leap in mobile website traffic, up 18% from 2012. Although the results aren’t quite as eye-popping, Computerworld has shared the latest data from StatCounter, a Dublin-based website analytics company, which puts November’s mobile browser usage share at 20%. In other words, one-fifth of the pages viewed online were visited via a mobile browser. This leap in mobile traffic is not only a sign that smartphones and tablets are becoming the go-to devices for browsing, it’s also a sign of the sharp decline in the desktop segment, which includes desktop PCs and notebooks. Although different sources are reaching different conclusions, there’s no question that mobile traffic is on the rise. StatCounter’s chart showing mobile traffic growth follows below. More →
“We now live in a world where there is no downtime.”
Today, I made a choice. I made a choice to carve out a chunk of time to write this article, but I did so at the expense of communication. I very intentionally decided to cast my eyes in the other direction by ignoring a deluge of inbound inquiries, and to be honest, I’m still unsure as to whether it was the right decision. Five years ago, I might have suggested that those employed in the digital industry would understand where I was coming from, but today, I’m more inclined to believe that everyone in a developed country would get the gist. This is the era where personal time becomes a relic, silence is the new distraction, and 24/7 expectations bleed from petrol stations into every possible aspect of your life. Consider this: how many requests are you presently ignoring by taking the time to read these words?
Late last month we shared a report from Pew Internet which stated that 15% of American adults do not use the Internet. Expanding on those figures, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has released a report which predicts over 40% of the world will be online by the end of 2013. The ITU estimates that 2.7 billion people will be connected to the Internet while 4.4 billion will remain unconnected. The report also claims that by the end of this year, “there will be 6.8 billion total mobile-cellular subscriptions – almost as many as there are people on the planet.” The amount of people accessing the Internet continues to climb as broadband gets faster and more affordable, and cellular infrastructure spreads throughout the developing world.
Considering just how much time we spend online every day, it’s hard to fathom a life completely devoid of an Internet connection. Yet according to a recent poll by Pew Internet, “15% of American adults ages 18 and older do not use the internet or email.” Pew went on to ask why these adults didn’t get online, and only 19% of non-internet users cited the cost of a computer or an internet subscription as the primary cause. Most people, as many as 34%, said the Internet is just not relevant to their interests — they have better things to do. The second most popular reason was usability. 32% of non-users say that the Internet is complicated and frustrating, or that they just don’t feel physically comfortable attempting to maneuver cyberspace. The full chart from Pew Internet can be found below. More →
Today marks a hugely important day in the history of the Internet: On April 30th, 1993, Al Gore published the world’s first ever public website. Ok, so perhaps Mr. Gore wasn’t involved, but today is indeed the 20th anniversary of the World Wide Web becoming available to the public. Tim Berners-Lee and his team at CERN headed the WWW project and published the world’s first public web page at http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html. To celebrate the 20-year milestone, CERN decided to bring the page back online in its original form. The resurrection of the world’s first web page is part of a larger effort at CERN to revive the web’s early history, and the page is now live for everyone to enjoy.
A study published this week by the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future found that young adults don’t care as much about online privacy as older Internet users. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 34, known as Millennials, were found to be more willing to hand over their personal data or web behavior to online businesses. Although 70% of young adults agreed that companies should never be allowed to access their personal data, compared to 77% by those older than 35, Millennials were more willing to give up some privacy if they benefited from it, such as receiving coupons or other business deals. More →
One of the Internet’s founding fathers envisions a bright future that one day may involve communicating with animals and even aliens using the Web. During a speech given at the annual TED conference, Internet pioneer Vint Cerf described how technology can be used to communicate with other species, explaining that the Internet isn’t just a way of connecting machines but a way for people to interact. More →
The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently formed a new unit tasked with developing technologies that enable more effective means of monitoring Internet, mobile and VoIP communications, CNET reported. The secretive new unit, reportedly called the Domestic Communications Assistance Center, aims to develop new surveillance technologies that make it easier for law enforcement to spy on suspects as they communicate using modern technology. Joined by agents from the U.S. Marshals Service and the Drug Enforcement Agency, the FBI reportedly formed the DCAC because it believes technology has developed too quickly, leaving law enforcement without the tools necessary to effectively monitor these new communications channels. More →
Facebook on Wednesday announced it will be launching a new App Center in the coming weeks on the Web, iOS and Android. The company hopes the center will give developers a way to more effectively distribute apps and create new opportunities for more types of apps to be successful. “The App Center is designed to grow mobile apps that use Facebook – whether they’re on iOS, Android or the mobile web,” the company said. “From the mobile App Center, users can browse apps that are compatible with their device, and if a mobile app requires installation, they will be sent to download the app from the App Store or Google Play.” The social networking site is more to more than 900 million users and seems like a natural fit for app developers looking for the maximum amount of exposure. More →
According to CEO Joe Kennedy, Pandora has surpassed 150 million users in the United States and is the second most downloaded app in the history of Apple’s App Store, CNET reported on Wednesday. The Internet radio service has big plans for the future and is working with automakers to integrate the service into virtually all future vehicles. “We truly believe this is just the beginning,” Kennedy said at the CTIA Wireless trade show in New Orleans. Over the past year, the company has faced increased competition from streaming service Spotify, however it doesn’t seem to have affected Pandora’s continued growth. More →
The number of people accessing the Web through mobile devices has doubled since 2010 and now accounts for 10% of worldwide Internet usage. According to numbers compiled by Pingdom, Asia’s mobile usage amounted for 17.84% of the country’s total Internet usage, a 192.5% increase over the past 18 months. Africa’s mobile usage placed the region in second with 14.85%, usage in North America sat at 7.96%, followed by Australia, Europe and South America at 7.55%, 5.13% and 2.86% respectively. Pingdom notes that while worldwide mobile usage may only account for 10% of Web access, the number is growing at an extremely fast rate, and some countries’ Internet usage, such as India, is already nearing 50% from mobile devices. More →
As service providers and government officials in the United States seemingly look to further limit Internet freedoms, Dutch lawmakers have passed Europe’s first net neutrality bill, digital rights advocate Bits of Freedom reported on Tuesday. The legislation prohibits Internet service providers from throttling users or disconnecting their access unless in extreme circumstances. The bill also includes an anti-wiretapping provision, which restricts Internet providers from using invasive wiretapping technologies to monitor its users, although wiretapping is permitted with a warrant. A technical error in the law might still be corrected in a vote scheduled for May 15th. More →