Media and Technology Stats and Studies – July 22, 2013

A Pew Internet Life survey of 2,462 Advanced Placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers finds that digital technologies are shaping student writing in myriad ways and have also become helpful tools for teaching writing to middle and high school students. These teachers see the internet and digital technologies – such as social networking sites, cell phones, and texting – generally facilitating teens’ personal expression and creativity, broadening the audience for their written material, and encouraging teens to write more often in more formats than may have been the case in prior generations. Overall, AP and NWP teachers see digital technologies benefiting student writing in several ways. The study found that 96% agree that digital technologies “allow students to share their work with a wider and more varied audience”, 79% agree that these tools “encourage greater collaboration among students”, and 78% agree that digital technologies “encourage student creativity and personal expression.” By contrast, NTIA’s recent report Exploring the Digital Nation found 62% of African Americans and 63% of Hispanics own a computer at home compared to 80% of white households.

African Americans are overwhelmingly satisfied with their wireless servicesaccording to a recent study by McLaughlin & Associates and Penn Schoen Berland on behalf of The national survey representing a bi-partisan cross-section of African Americans reveals that 94% of all consumers eighteen and older are satisfied with their wireless service. Seventy-eight percent of those surveyed believe their service is of either good or excellent value given the price they pay for their services. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 93% of African Americans own a cell phone while 64% own smartphones.

A study released this week by Brigham Young University says parents who connect with their kids on Facebook and other social networks are likely to build a stronger connection with them in real life. These teens also have higher rates of “pro social behavior,” meaning they are more generous, kind, and helpful to others, according to the study. The study involved 491 families with teens ages 12 to 17, with most in the 14 to 16 range. The participants were from Seattle and were selected randomly.

A Harris Interactive survey found that of the 59% of U.S. commercial-watching viewers “having some degree of likelihood to act on a commercial they watch,” the best results come when watching on a computer — some 29%, according to research. Television was next at 24%, followed by smartphones at 21%, tablets with 21%, and smart TV at 4%. The survey was conducted online in the U.S. by Harris Interactive from June 24-26 among 2,029 adults ages 18 and older, of whom 1,958 watch TV programming.

According to SamKnows data, cable broadband service on average is much faster than DSL, with DSL connections averaging 5.4 Mbps, while cable broadband connections average 13.5 Mbps. But, according to the NIST research, DSL connections on average deliver “…download speeds above 80% of the assigned speed tier more than 80% of the time. By contrast, a significant fraction of cable connections received less than 80% of their assigned speed tier more than 20% of the time.”

The rates at which American cell phone users have traded in their devices for more advanced models have declined over the last few years, according to analysts at UBS AGThese rates turned negative last year, when about 68 million people upgraded their phones in the U.S., down more than 9% since 2011. UBS predicts upgrades will fall again this year. AT&T and T-Mobile US Inc. have recently introduced plans in to make it easier for subscribers to trade up to new phones if they are willing to forgo the usual carrier subsidies. It remains to be seen whether customers will bite.

A report by Privacy Rights Clearinghouse evaluated 43 free and paid apps for privacy practices, finding that many apps lack privacy policies, send information without encryption, and transmit user data to third-parties (like advertisers, ad networks and analytics companies) without informing users. According to the report, 13 percent of free apps and 10 percent of paid apps encrypt all data connections and transmissions between the app and the developer’s website, 39 percent free apps and 30 percent of paid apps send data to someone not referenced by the developer in the app or privacy policy, 26 percent of free apps and 40 percent of paid apps did not have a privacy policy, and 43 percent of free apps and 25 percent of paid apps provided a link from the app to a privacy policy on the developer’s site. The study focused on the top 20 paid apps in the health and fitness categories in Google Play and Apple’s App Store, as well as 23 of the most popular free wellness apps on both platforms. Not surprisingly, paid apps – which don’t rely on advertiser dollars and therefore depend less on tracking data – were found to be more secure than free apps.

According to AppNation, the app marketplace will likely be worth around $151 billion in 2017. Transactions for 2013 have already amounted to $72 billion. The largest segment in the so-called app economy is sales of app-enabled physical goods and services, which made up about $45 billion in the app economy’s value at the beginning of this year. Interestingly, AppNation said paid app downloads are a sliver of the total, accounting for less than $1 billion in 2013. AppEconomy surveyed 2,500 U.S. online consumers, finding that mobile users under 45 are using video apps twice a week. Also, most consumers say that they find new apps through word of mouth.

China’s population of Internet users has grown to 591 million, driven by a 20 percent rise over the past year in the number of people who surf the Web from smartphones and other wireless devices. The end-of-June figures from the China Internet Network Information Center represent a 10 percent rise in total Internet use over a year earlier. The number of wireless users rose to 464 million.

The number of do-not-call telemarketing violations has jumped 54% to almost 4 million in 2012. In 2011, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received about 2.6 million complaints about do-not-call violations. Despite consumers having registered a phone line with the FTC as a telemarketer-free zone, a growing number of consumers are saying that some businesses are ignoring their stated preference and calling anyway.


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