Feeds

Poor left stranded by digital divide

Still, they've got women and old people for company

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Income, education and age as the biggest factors in creating the digital divide, according to a European Union report. It reveals that women are taking to technology in greater numbers than ever, and the over-55s are also gaining computer skills. But poor, badly educated people are still lagging behind.

Just to recap: the research has uncovered that people who can't afford a computer, or don't know how to use one, are much less likely to be online that anyone else. Just as well someone found out, really.

The report, eInclusion revisited: the local dimension of the Information Society, concludes that computer skills can help people avoid poverty, and warns that without action, Europe will become increasingly polarised between what it calls the e-included and the e-excluded.

Part of the problem, it says, is that the internet requires literacy, and lots of the content is aimed at highly educated people. It concludes that many people trying to pick up computer skills give up on their courses because none of the content is of interest.

Since it is possible to find almost anything on the net, we are a little perplexed by this conclusion. To horribly misquote Samuel Johnson, we argue that if someone can't find anything interesting online, they are probably not going to be interested in much at all. But the report is quite serious about its conclusions, and warns that being excluded from the online world compounds the difficulties faced by the poor and the long-term unemployed.

Still, the proportion of the European population using the net has not been badly affected by the addition of ten new member states. Before enlargement 43.5 per cent of the population was online. This has fallen to 41.4 per cent. All the new member states have at least 25 per cent of their populations switched on to the web, better than both Greece and Portugal. ®

Related stories

BT warns of broadband divide ahead of Ofcom review
US netizens: white, wealthy and full of it - shock!
'Sophisticated' UK sprints ahead in ICT race

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.