Two-thirds of cell phone owners go online with their smartphone

As smartphones become more widespread, so does Internet use on cell phones.

According to a new report from Pew Research Center, 63 percent of US adult mobile phone owners use their devices to go online, which is double the amount of cell Internet usage since 2009. And not only are more people surfing the Web and checking e-mail from their phones, but 21 percent of adult cell owners use their smartphone more than a computer to go online.

"A majority of the public now owns a smartphone, and mobile devices are playing an increasingly central role in the way … Read more

3 percent of American adults still cling to dial-up Internet

Dial-up Internet was the first online access many people ever knew. It's just that most of them weren't content to stick with it as faster options emerged over time. There are, however, a few dial-up stalwarts still out there. A new home broadband report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 3 percent of American adults get online at home using dial-up.

Those same 3 percent of people are probably the only ones to not illegally download "Game of Thrones." One group that outnumbers the dial-up users (other than the 70 percent of people with broadband), are the 20 percent of people with no home broadband and no smartphone.… Read more

Teenage mobile users do worry about privacy, says Pew

Teenagers who use mobile apps do take steps to safeguard their privacy, according to a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project.

Among the teenage app users polled for the study, 51 percent said they've avoided certain apps after learning that they'd have to share personal information to use them. Teens 12 to 13 years of age were more likely to avoid such apps than were those 14 to 17 years old.

Further, 26 percent of the teens said they've uninstalled an app because they discovered it was collecting personal … Read more

Social networking corrals 72 percent of U.S. adults

Social networks are continuing to attract new members in the U.S., especially among older users, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Monday. After a drop across most age groups in December 2012, usage was up between 5 percent and 10 percent in May 2013. Total usage among U.S. adults rose to 72 percent in May 2013 from 67 percent in December 2012.

The survey results were based on data from telephone interviews of 2,252 adults, age 18 and older, conducted from April 17 to May 19, 2013.

In a February 2013 survey, Pew found that … Read more

Mozilla, EFF, ACLU rally public against electronic surveillance

Incensed at revelations of U.S. government surveillance programs, Mozilla, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, Reddit, and others have launched an effort called StopWatching.Us to marshal opposition to the secret programs.

"The revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights," the site says. "We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA's spying programs."

The site includes a petition that people can sign and send electronically. Other participants in the initiative include the American Library … Read more

More than half polled OK with NSA tracking to catch terrorists

The battle between privacy and security has reared its head again with the news that the National Security Agency gained access to the phone records of U.S. citizens. But a majority of people polled think this practice is reasonable.

Among 1,005 Americans surveyed by the Pew Research Center and The Washington Post, 56 percent said they believe that tracking phone records is an "acceptable way" to investigate terrorists. Taking the opposite view, 41 percent consider the practice unacceptable, while 2 percent weren't sure.

Drilling further, 62 percent believe it's important for the government to … Read more

One in three Americans are toting tablets now -- study

One out of every three people in the U.S. is a tablet owner now, with the prevalence of the devices nearly doubling in the last year, a report from the Pew Internet Project says.

The study, released Monday, found 34 percent of U.S. adults now own a tablet, up from about 18 percent who owned one a year earlier.

Tablet owners tend to be older and more well-heeled than demographics for other consumer electronics. The majority of tablet owners, or 56 percent of respondents, are people living in households earning at least $75,000 a year. Nearly half, … Read more

Smartphone ownership reaches critical mass in the U.S.

While debate rages over whether Android devices, iPhones, BlackBerrys, or Windows Phones are better, there's no question that people increasingly prefer smartphones to feature phones.

And the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project just released the numbers to back that up.

In the U.S., 56 percent of adults are now smartphone owners, according to a study published Wednesday by Pew. This is the first time since Pew began tracking the numbers that the majority of the population owns a smartphone.

Currently 91 percent of people in the U.S. own a cell phone and 35 … Read more

Teens: Facebook is just, like, too much drama

When your hormones are harassing you to within an eyebrow-width of your sanity, all you want is a simple life.

You want to be able to curl up with the kind of social network that understands you and doesn't give you headaches.

That kind of social network is, increasingly, not Facebook.

At least this is what teens seem to have told the Pew Research Center during its latest study.

Indeed, the teens surveyed were disturbed by the increased presence of adults and the increased tendency of other teens to angst-ridden self-expression on Mark Zuckerberg's site.

There is, as … Read more

Survey: Most teens take steps to protect their privacy (podcast)

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project and Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society has mostly good news about how teens approach privacy issues on social-networking services.

While "teens are sharing more information about themselves on social media sites than they did in the past," according to the study, "few teens embrace a fully public approach to social media," but "take an array of steps to restrict and prune their profiles." Here's the full report.

The study also found that:

Teen Twitter use has … Read more