Even in the richest countries on the planet such as the U.S., not everyone has easy access to this cornucopia of connectivity, the Internet. The Internet is a tremendous growth engine, responsible for 21% of economic growth in the more advanced countries in the world, according to a McKinsey study . While those of us in the United States complain about how we have to pay more for Internet service that’s slower than those of other first-world countries, within the United States there’s a gaping chasm between the haves and the have-nots. In this infographic by OnlineITdegree.net , an ad-free website describing itself as “an online informational resource for individuals looking to pursue IT degree of related education and careers,” you’ll find surprising information about the differences in Internet access in the United States. There are vast gaps between Internet accessibility in cities and rural areas, racial disparities in Internet access (which isn’t as pronounced as it was a decade ago), and the growing gap between rich and poor and its influence on who goes without computers or Internet access. Beyond that, you’ll see more information about how the U.S. lags behind other countries in Internet technology, broadband speed and access. This is the part that has us scratching our heads. Why do you think the United States lags behind less-wealthy countries when it comes to Internet access? Do find that as frustrating as we do? What do you think should be done about this persistent digital divide? Let us know in the comments. Infographic courtesy OnlineITDegree.net More About: digital divide , infographic , internet , trending For more Tech coverage: Follow Mashable Tech on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook Subscribe to the Tech channel Download our free apps for Android , Mac , iPhone and iPad
Digital Divide: If You’re Reading This, You’re One of the Lucky Ones [INFOGRAPHIC]
Gorilla Glass manufacturer Corning has unveiled a follow-up YouTube video to its wildly successful “A Day Made of Glass,” providing another look into what the future could be like with the growth of glass touchscreen interfaces, from innovative chalkboards and activity tables in classrooms to uses for it in hospitals. Corning released two versions of “A Day Made of Glass 2″ — one with a narrator and another, abbreviated version without commentary — the video follows the life of young Amy and her family as they go through their day using various products made of glass. Amy does classwork on a glass tablet, controls the temperature of the car from the backseat and even attends a field trip at the Redwood Forrest with an interactive signage that brings learning to life. Her teacher also works with students on interactive touchscreen activity tables. Corning expects these activity tables to be rolled out in the near future. Last year’s video , which followed the same family, brought in over 17 million hits on YouTube and left many in awe of Corning’s interpretation of what’s possible with photovoltaic glass, LCD TV glass, architectural display and surface glass, among others. However, many left comments on YouTube asking which technology is actually possible with today’s resources and pricing. This time around, though, new technologies and applications are highlighted, such as glass tablets, multitouch-enabled desks, solar panels, augmented reality, electronic medical records and anti-microbial medical equipment. Corning may be making headlines these days for its Gorilla Glass product — a super-strong, lightweight glass which can withstand drops and mistreatment — but it’s hardly a new company and no stranger to innovation. In fact, the 160-year-old business even worked with Thomas Edison to create inexpensive glass for his lightbulbs. However, Corning noted at the press screening that there are several challenges the company is facing this year, largely due to lower LCD glass prices, higher corporate tax rates and declining equity earnings, which have combined to lower Corning’s profitability. Although LCD glass sales are likely to be flat through 2014, the company said it will remain profitable and continue to generate large amounts of cash. Last week, Corning announced that it raked in record 2011 sales of $7.9 billion and plans to grow profits to $10 billion by 2014. The company also recently announced that it is joining forces with Samsung Mobile to manufacture Lotus Glass for Galaxy-branded smartphones and Super OLED TVs. Corning’s ultra-slim, eco-friendly Lotus Glass is known for strong performance and withstanding higher-processing temperatures. Although Corning’s first “A Day Made of Glass” video was unveiled a week ago this year, Corning’s vice chairman and CFO James Flaws told Mashable that he couldn’t comment on whether or not the clips will become an annual tradition. “You can expect more from us though,” Flaws said. More About: Corning , gorilla glass , smartphones , tablets , trending , TVs , YouTube For more Social Media coverage: Follow Mashable Social Media on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook Subscribe to the Social Media channel Download our free apps for Android , Mac , iPhone and iPad
Is This The Future of Touchscreen Tech? New Video Will Blow Your Mind
Via The Guardian:
It may not have the nightlife but as a way of accessing a flexible, quality education, I’ve found the Open University can’t be beaten He was a flying goth with rocker looks. I was a new Open University tutor researching a play. I ventured into the OU room in Second Life , and after a few introductions (He: F04 R08 . AL? Me: Yep. A363 . R11), we had a long chat about non-Euclidean geometry. Call me strange, but I found this amazingly thrilling. Living in a rural area, you don’t come across many Gauss experts. Vast academic libraries, with international journals on tap, books and courses to get your brain cranking, people who enjoy a good barney about Shakespeare’s sonnets: the OU has brought all that to my doorstep, and it’s been an absolute joy. A quick straw poll reveals quite a few of my friends are closet OU students – they just haven’t mentioned it. All over the country, distance learning is helping students overcome not just geography, but also disability, culture, financial and family circumstances. Susanne Lockie, a full-time mother to three children, told me the mental stimulation has made it a lifesaver: “I need to keep my skills ticking over, but I couldn’t study to a high level without that flexibility. I’ve been able to get credit for my previous full-time study in nursing, which was interrupted when I had a family. I’ve finished my Open degree now, but I need to spend more time with my parents at the moment, so I’m taking a year out before starting on honours.” Employers tend to be supportive of OU study, knowing that OU students are likely to be unusually determined and committed. That’s why it’s all the more disappointing when you hear lazy “not a real degree, then” comments and ancient stereotypes of tweedy tutors and chalk-and-talk TV. I’ve found the quality of OU learning materials outstanding. The modular structure means you cover the ground systematically, with a clear understanding of context. Elsewhere (I studied at Oxford), I’ve found the learning experience equally stimulating, but much more haphazard.
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Open University learning is a joy | Jules Horne
Patrick Moorhead is president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, a highly regarded high-tech industry analyst firm focused on the disruptive ecosystems of smartphones, tablets, personal computers, living room devices and social media. New social media service Path promises to bring your true friends (not just acquaintances) together in a much more personal way. However, neither Path, nor Facebook, nor Google+ have fully comprehended that personal circles vary by context, and that context changes rapidly and infinitely.
In the end, while services like Path get us closer to “personal,” they are still very much “broadcast” versions of social media. Ultimately, new services will arise that will allow the user to easily and naturally build relationships, physically meet and communicate with one’s rapidly morphing groups of true friends.
How Humans Interact To fully understand how structured broadcast and personal social models differ, we need to look at real life. First and foremost, people segment friends and groups based on a specific context. To put it simply, there are people we are very close with, people we may have never heard of, but who seem “safe,” then there are thousands of groups in-between. And that context only changes more over time. Even though it sounds confusing, we build and segment groups because the action has been hard-wired into our brains.
The “Broadcast” Social Media Problem The Facebook, Google+ and Path networks liken online interaction to shouting in different-sized movie theaters, each of which contains a different combination of close friends, family members and acquaintances. Most people in the movie theater aren’t even listening; others listen but ignore; and an even smaller group reacts to what’s being said. For most people on the receiving end, a post is typically out of context, irrelevant, doesn’t require a response or was just plain missed. For example, some children aren’t on Facebook during school hours, and many older demographics don’t check notifications on a regular basis, or else they use their accounts for very specific purposes only. What Defines “Personal” Today? I outlined the challenges that come with a “broadcast” model of social media. So what do I mean by “personal?” Quite simply, personal reflects how we interact in the physical world. The infinite number of groups we encounter in the everyday world communicate in a way you would expect: over the phone, through text, BlackBerry Messenger, face to face and via email. However, some of the tools we employ — even in today’s fast-paced digital environment — are slow, inefficient or even inaccessible.
For example, three families may want to go out to dinner after the eighth grade basketball game. Let’s assume there are six parents total and kids don’t get a vote. Just imagine how many texts it will take to arrange this.
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Why Social Media Needs to Get More Personal