Your Generation, Your Gadget

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The Pew Research Center released a report last week based on polling that asked adult respondents what tech gadgets, computers, and consoles they owned. The survey results are broken down among six generations and include devices ranging from cell phones to tablet computers. The report in a nutshell: The younger you are, the more devices you are likely to own. No surprise there. But seeing the numbers through a generational perspective, well, makes me feel old. Ages 18 to 34, the so-called Millennials, are substantially less likely to own a desktop computer than people ages 35 to 66, the Gen X’ers (me, sorta) and Baby Boomers. Millennials are more likely to have a laptop, MP3 player, gaming console than a desktop computer. I love my desktop. It’s like my homebase for global operations. At the other end of the tech-savvy spectrum, 9 percent of adults have none of the devices listed. Major media outlets reporting on the research focused on the broadest results. CNN’s headline read: “Report: 90% of Americans own a computerized gadget.” Agence France-Presse read: “85 percent of US adults own cellphone: survey.” I’m fascinated that 3 percent of adults 75 and older have a game console. You’re never too old to play games. Just look at these folks.

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Facebook for Dumb Phones

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I used to think if a phone wasn’t a Smart Phone, then it was a Dumb Phone. Just like many people still say Cell Phone, even though businesses instruct them to say Mobile Phone, or better yet, Mobile Device. Now I have learned that Dumb Phones are called “Feature Phones.” They have features! I learned this because Facebook announced it was launching out a mobile version of Facebook for Feature Phones. That means hundreds of millions of people who don’t have an iPhone or Android device will be able to access their Facebook accounts on the most basic non-smart phone, like the lovely Kyocera Domino. So Facebook continues its campaign of global domination and analysts and pundits continue to speculate as to whether the company is worth $50 billion, $100 billion, or potentially $1 trillion. I once thought Microsoft would dominate the world some day. No one thinks that anymore, and I am skeptical about any company ever doing that. Except for Cyberdyne Systems.