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Happy bday! SMS txt msgs turn 20

December 03, 2012 By: seeta Category: Science/Technology

From ComputerWorld:

In the fast moving world of technology, there are perhaps few things that have proved as resistant to change as the simple SMS text message.

While a dizzying number of options exist today to interconnect people, the text message remains a 160 character deliverer of news, gossip, laughs, alerts, and all manner of other information. It connects more people than Facebook and Twitter, has brought down governments, and in so much of the world still holds the ability to change lives.

Dec. 3 is the 20th anniversary of the sending of the first SMS text message.

Today, upwards of 7 trillion text messages are sent every year — that’s more than 200,000 per second — but the technology had humble beginnings.

Its origins can be traced back to a Danish pizzeria in 1984. Matti Makkonen, a Finnish engineer, was in Copenhagen for a mobile telecom conference and began discussing with two colleagues the idea of a messaging system on the GSM digital cellular system. At the time GSM was a Nordic technology, becoming a European standard later.

Nearly Half of American Adults Are Smartphone Owners

March 17, 2012 By: seeta Category: Science/Technology

From Pew Internet:

Nearly half (46%) of American adults are smartphone owners as of February 2012, an increase of 11 percentage points over the 35% of Americans who owned a smartphone last May. Two in five adults (41%) own a cell phone that is not a smartphone, meaning that smartphone owners are now more prevalent within the overall population than owners of more basic mobile phones.

Nearly every major demographic group—men and women, younger and middle-aged adults, urban and rural residents, the wealthy and the less well-off—experienced a notable uptick in smartphone penetration over the last year. Overall adoption levels are at 60% or more within several cohorts, such as college graduates, 18-35 year olds and those with an annual household income of $75,000 or more.

Although this overall increase in smartphone ownership is relatively widespread, several groups saw modest or non-existent growth in the last year. Chief among these are seniors, as just 13% of those ages 65 and older now own a smartphone.