SBC Survey Looks At World Wide Web's Past, Present And Future On 10-Year Anniversary;
Survey Findings Offer Insights for Parents During Peak PC Purchasing, Upgrading Season
SAN ANTONIO--(HISPANIC PR WIRE - BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 20, 2001--As Santa starts to think about arranging his sack to accommodate the gifts he'll bring all "good little girls and boys," he may want to keep in mind one new holiday truth: While toys may rule, it's the Internet that's cool.
Consumers are expected to purchase more than 10 million PCs by the end of 2001. According to the Yankee Group, more than nine out of 10 PC-owning households in the United States have and take advantage of online access, making the Internet more important than a printer in most PC-owning households. Yet the World Wide Web, which has become synonymous with the Internet, is only 10 years old this month. To commemorate this milestone, SBC Internet Services(a), a company of SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) , commissioned a survey to gauge Americans' attitudes about the past, present and future of the technology.
"The survey revealed that the Web has become an integral part of our everyday lives, as accepted and integrated into our daily routines as the telephone or the microwave," said DSL product marketing vice president B.J. Mamuzic. "We have witnessed the evolution of the Internet from a gadget for surfing to an essential tool - connecting families and providing immediate access to information - especially as more Americans gain access to high-speed broadband Internet service. As the nation's leading provider of DSL Internet access service, SBC companies have seen first-hand how broadband has helped revolutionize the still very young Web."
Creating Social Bonds
An overwhelming 93 percent of Americans surveyed agree that 10 years from now, the Internet will help families stay connected and will be the most important tool they need to communicate with friends, family and colleagues. With 95 percent of survey respondents saying they use e-mail, and more than half using instant messaging, the communications
tools enabled by the development of the Internet also are expected to play an increasingly important role in the future.
"The survey found that people believe the Internet doesn't interfere with family time," said Tiffany Shlain, founder of The Webby Awards and Internet culture expert whom SBC invited to interpret the survey results and help recognize the Internet's anniversary. "Instead, the
Web is viewed as a positive force that can keep people connected instead of isolating them, and with more people staying close to home this holiday season, the importance of connecting families through Internet-enabled means - e-mail, photos, videos and the like - is more apparent than ever before."
Moving to New Uses for The Internet
Even at 10 years old, the Internet is still in its infancy when compared with the birth and adoption of other technologies, such as the television and telephone. Looking ahead, Americans believe there are improvements to be made, and issues to resolve.
The majority of those surveyed said they believe faster downloads and uninterrupted connections are the most important improvements that can be made to the way the Internet operates. Men are more interested in faster downloads (29 percent), while women believe uninterrupted connections (24 percent) and better search engines (17 percent) would
improve their Internet use.
"The survey findings support the demand for broadband Internet access, which enables consumers to use the Internet in a way that matches their lifestyle, and delivers solid benefits throughout the course of an ordinary day," said Mamuzic. "By serving the largest number of DSL
Internet customers today, we know that using high-speed Internet access service can dramatically deliver the true value of the Web."
As Internet performance improves with advancing technology, Americans believe the Internet could be the only source for some of today's more traditional services. In the next 50 years, survey respondents believe the Internet could replace postal services (62 percent), the television
(59 percent), retail stores (63 percent) and business offices (69 percent).
Putting 'Information' in the Information Age
Although today's consumers are able to choose among hundreds of cable channels, as well as newspapers, books and radio stations for information, more consumers are relying on the convenience and speed of the Internet to obtain the information they need. More than half of the survey respondents ranked the Internet as the best learning and information source today, and 46 percent of participants described the Internet as their library.
Specifically, survey respondents ranked the following information and learning sources in order of importance:
· Internet (53 percent)
· Books (19 percent)
· Television (14 percent)
· Newspapers and magazines (10 percent)
· Radio (2 percent)
"Interestingly, Americans over the age of 25 tend to think of the Internet in terms of its utility, while younger Americans are inclined to view the Internet in more social and emotional terms - one in five young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 surveyed described the Internet as their 'best friend,'" said Shlain. "In addition, one in three survey respondents cite the Web as their personal assistant, 23 percent describe the Internet as their shopping mall, and 21 percent think of the Web as their travel agent."
Shlain notes that in looking ahead 10 years, most Americans surveyed said they see the Internet serving as a combination of utilitarian and social functions, holding the promise to improve society in the following areas:
· Education and training (45 percent)
· Communication (36 percent)
· Medicine and healthcare (7 percent)
· Entertainment (3 percent)
· Shopping (3 percent)
· Politics and government (2 percent)
An Eye on the Internet - and the Kids
As parents purchase new computers and set up Internet access for their children during the holidays, one-fourth of the survey respondents believe that safeguarding children while using the Internet is a concern now and for the future.
They hold firm beliefs about the age when children should begin using the Internet, as well as the age children should begin using the Internet without supervision. Specifically, the survey found:
· Forty percent of respondents believe children should learn to use the Internet at an early age - between five and seven years old - with adult supervision, which is about the same time that most children learn to read and write.
· Three out of four respondents believe children's Internet use should be supervised until they are in junior high - over 13 years old.
As reliance on the Internet continues to grow, Americans also are faced with new issues brought forth by technology. Nearly 45 percent of survey respondents believe that protecting consumer privacy and security is the biggest challenge society faces as more Americans
depend on the Internet.
"The survey findings highlight a number of issues - privacy, security and parental supervision - that we are actively involved in addressing to help ensure that our customers have peace-of-mind when they're online," said Mamuzic.
Everybody Loves Raymond's Mother
Even as the Internet matures into a valuable communication and information source, it continues to keep Americans entertained. When asked which television stars survey respondents would most like to have on their instant messaging "buddy list," Carrie Bradshaw from "Sex and the:City" and President Jed Bartlett from "The West Wing" topped the list overall. While men favored adding Bradshaw to their personal lists, women chose Raymond's mother Marie from "Everybody Loves Raymond" as their favorite choice from the following selections
· Carrie Bradshaw, "Sex and the City" (15 percent)
· President Jed Bartlett, "The West Wing" (15 percent)
· Raymond's mother Marie, "Everybody Loves Raymond" (14 percent)
· Tony Soprano, "The Sopranos" (12 percent)
As the Internet matures into adulthood in the next 10 years, the role of this technology in American lives is expected to grow.
"One in four Americans surveyed began using the Internet after 1999, and this technology has already reached nearly two-thirds of American households," said Mamuzic. "At SBC, we want to help provide the tools consumers need to get the most out of the Internet as it plays a larger
role in helping them manage their lives and connect with their loved ones."
SOURCE: SBC Communications
CITIGROUP SHUTS DOWN ARTISTS WEB SITES
Overreacting to a satire of its web site, Citigroup has issued a notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act claiming copyright infringement and demanding that the satirical site be shut down. The notice also applies to a satire of the web site of its subsidiary Citibank. In response to the notice, Hostpro, the company hosting the satirical sites, has blocked the sites from being viewed on the internet and has de-activated the email accounts of the artists responsible.
The sites, work of the artists collective Together We Can Defeat Capitalism (TWCDC), were designed as part of the April 11th worldwide day of action against Citigroup's socially reckless practices organized by the Rain Forest Action Network (RAN, http://www.ran.org). RAN is not directly involved with the satires. The sites were to stay on the internet indefinitely as public monuments to corporate greed and hypocrisy.
TWCDC made the satirical artworks by cloning the web sites CITIBANK.COM and CITIGROUP.COM and simply putting them back on the internet under the domain names CITIBANK-GLOBAL-DOMINATION.COM and CITIGROUP-GLOBAL-DOMINATION.COM.
The only changes to the sites were the addition of several links to web sites documenting Citibank's investments in environmental destruction, unfair labor practices, involvement in predatory lending practices, money laundering, etc. For example, a link for Citibank credit cards took customers to a "cut up your Citibank credit card page" at RAN; a link for "private banking" took customers to moneylaundering.com.
Apart from such links, the sites were fully functional and customers could even open legitimate bank accounts with the actual Citibank. TWCDC liked the idea that the Citi web sites would provide customers with the information to make informed choices rather than the illusion of choice presented by the real Citi sites.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, A TWCDC spokesperson explained that the web site action was in fact doing Citibank a favor as now Citigroup had domain names more in line with its actual business plan. The spokesperson added that, "Citigroup is acting aggressively towards our artwork because it has a guilty conscience about its reckless practices. Citigroup's action shows how big corporations can just stamp out free speech because they can afford the expensive lawyers. But we refuse to be bullied by greed."
Copyright law allows "fair use" of copyrighted material for criticism and comment, particularly for non-commercial usage (Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 107: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html ). TWCDC believes its sites are legal under this definition and the group is seeking to reclaim its rightful space in the public realm.
TWCDC previously tangled with Citibank over a parody advertising campaign the group ran in San Francisco in 1997. San Francisco State University had given permission for its parodies of Citibank ads to be displayed in kiosks on campus property, but Citibank strong-armed the university into removing them on threat of legal action.
Citigroup's most recent action against the group underlines how the bottom line now dominates everything, everywhere and how difficult it is to disseminate any contrary views to capitalism which now dominates globally. You could find out more about Together We Can Defeat Capitalism's controversial projects at http://www.TWCDC.com were it not currently being blocked by Hostpro.
Together We Can Defeat Capitalism
firstname.lastname@example.org (temporary during de-activation, preferred contact is phone)
Mark Rodgers, Director of Public Relations
Citigroup New York
Citigroup Legal Counsel
Mark D. Rasch, Esq.
Rain Forest Action Network
Heather Barnes, Abuse Department
P.O. Box 40130
San Francisco, CA 94140 USA
Video Activist Network