Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, July 03, 2021

Who still uses dial-up for their Interneting pleasure? Quite a few people, actually, according to the latest Pew Internet & American Life findings: About 15 percent of home users still use the phone line, and they see little or no reason to jump to broadband.

Only 14 percent of dial-up users say they’re stuck with the older, slower connection technology because they can’t get broadband in their neighborhoods, Pew reported Wednesday.

Thirty-five percent say they’re still on dial-up because broadband prices are too high, while another 19 percent say nothing would persuade them to upgrade. The remainder have other reasons or do not know.

“That suggests that solving the supply problem where there are availability gaps is only going to go so far,” said John Horrigan, the study’s author. “It’s going to have to be a process of getting people more engaged with information technology and demonstrating to people it’s worth it for them to make the investment of time and money.”

I know the feeling, as I hung onto dial-up well after the high-speed pipes became routine. The “killer app” that prompted me to upgrade: A frequency of hi-res photos that friends would email to me. These days, I’d guess the ability to watch YouTube would do the trick.

The other thing that comes to mind: How much longer are standard-issue personal computers even going to be dial-up capable? I’m pretty sure Apple’s already done away with modems in many of its models, and they’re the harbingers of broader PC trends. Inside of a couple of years, I’m guessing dial-up won’t even be an option.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/03/2021 10:21:59 PM
Category: Internet, Society
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Here’s another reason why Howard Stern won’t be making less money after his satellite radio deal expires: His industry colleague Rush Limbaugh just agreed to an eight-year, $400-million-plus extension with Clear Channel to stay on the air. Limbaugh’s deal includes an upfront $100-million signing bonus, which means the annualized average salary will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $37 million through 2016.

No, it’s not excessive. Because Limbaugh is pretty much the only radio personality — along with Stern — who can guarantee pulling in a large national audience. Clear Channel will make back at least tenfold what it’s paying Limbaugh, via on-air ad sales and other avenues. Who says radio’s dying?

And so, if Clear Channel’s in good enough shape to toss that kind of money to Limbaugh, it’s a sure bet that Stern will be able to cash in similarly if the merged XM-Sirius tries to lowball him come renewal time. I’d argue that Limbaugh has a higher valuation, simply because his audience is more tightly-focused; but Stern would come in a close second if/when he’s back on terrestrial radio, even considering the apples-to-oranges comparisons in content.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/03/2021 09:20:15 PM
Category: Radio
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With global positioning software becoming more commonplace in cellphones, the future’s looking grim for those standalone car-mounted GPS units.

So it’s time to go with the novelty/nostalgia pitch as a killer app. Mio Technology commissioned William Daniels to reprise his role as KITT to produce the voice audio for Knight Rider GPS. No 1982 Pontiac Firebird required!

Obviously, Mio is banking on the secret desire of Generation X geeks to pretend they’re David Hasselhoff while behind the wheel. And apparently, the fanboys approve.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/03/2021 05:30:25 PM
Category: TV, Tech
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