By Christian Hamaker
‘Dead’ Languages? Not Any Longer
Hundreds of the 6,909 catalogued languages won’t be passed on to the next generation, but that number is not as high as it might be were it not for the cellphone—especially in rural parts of countries outside of North America.
The U.N. says the adult literacy rate is 39% in major cities, although the rate dips substantially in rural areas. In Africa, the fastest-growing cellphone market in the world, texting has become the preferred mode of communications. People have an incentive to learn to read so that they can text.
A case in point: The N’Ko language, spoken in eight West African countries, was thought to be an endangered language. Now it can be recognized for emails, tweets and websites, even displaying on iPhones, increasing the likelihood N’Ko will survive well into the future.
Could Mail Cutbacks and Netflix Streaming Break The Internet?
The chief executive officer of Netflix has predicted a slow decline in the company’s DVD mail-delivery service. As the company’s customers move toward streaming options for their Netflix subscriptions, the impact on the Internet could be significant. Thomas Barnett, senior manager of thought leadership marketing at Cisco, predicts that online traffic will increase 50%, and that’s on top of the 30%–40% annual data increases network providers are currently experiencing.
Those percentages are eye-popping, but Barnett isn’t worried. He says current network capacity is sufficient to handle the increased demand.
Top 10 Wireless Predictions for 2012
Source: Juniper Research
Top 9 Rural Small Business Trends for 2012
We Like Ourselves! We Really Like Ourselves!
Researchers who followed the Facebook pages and networks of approximately 1,000 students at one college over four years learned that the strongest factor in Facebook friendship was shared cultural tastes—although not in all cases.
People who were classified as preferring lite/classic rock music and classical/jazz were much more likely to form and maintain friendships on Facebook. Those who enjoyed darkly satirical films were similarly drawn to each other on the social media site.
No other music categories or film genres showed similar predictive patterns in terms of Facebook friendships.
College Degree Required? Think Agriculture, not Architecture
Students headed for college in the fall might be surprised by the findings of a recent study on college degrees and their worth in the current market.
Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce said that those with bachelor’s degrees in the arts (11.1%) and the humanities (9.4%) are among those with the highest unemployment rates. More shocking is that those with architecture degrees are even worse off (13.9%).
Who fares best? Those with degrees in health (5.4%), education (5.4%) and agriculture and natural resources (7%).
Four ‘Don’ts’ for Email Copywriting
Tablet Ownership Doubles. Are Your Websites Ready?
The number of tablet owners nearly doubled over the holidays, rising from 10% to 19% of Americans. A report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project also said that men and women are equally likely to own tablets.
2011 MOBILE YEAR IN REVIEW
In the world of mobile telecom, 2011 saw:
A large increase in app creation and downloads
! 1 billion apps downloaded worldwide each month
A surge in the use of social media mobile platforms
! 166% increase in Facebook mobile users in the first half of 2011 alone
A continuing explosion in data traffic
! 8 trillion texts were sent—up 1.1 trillion from 2010
Competition and choice
! More smartphones purchased than PCs in the United States