Posts Tagged ‘Usage’

Valve Reveals First Month of Steam Linux Gains

January 5th, 2013 01:34 admin View Comments

Operating Systems

An anonymous reader writes with news that Valve has updated its Hardware & Software Survey for December 2012, which reflects the first month of the platform being available for Linux. Even though the project is still in a beta test, players on Ubuntu already account for 0.8% of Steam usage. The 64-bit clients for Ubuntu 12.10 and 12.04.1 showed about double the share of the 32-bit versions. MacOS use also showed growth, rising to about 3.7%. Windows 7′s usage share dropped by over 2%, but balanced by the growth of Windows 8, which is now at just under 7%. The total share for Windows is still about 95%.

Source: Valve Reveals First Month of Steam Linux Gains

Windows 8 Even Less Popular Than Vista

January 1st, 2013 01:02 admin View Comments


New submitter NettiWelho writes with even more bad news for Microsoft. From the article: “Windows 8 usage uptake has slipped behind Vista’s in the same point in its release. Windows 8 online usage share is around 1.6% of all Windows PC’s which is a href=””>less than the 2.2% share that Windows Vista commanded at the same two month mark after release. Net Applications monitor operating system usage by recording OS version for around 40,000 sites it monitors for clients. The slowdown for Windows 8 adoption is a bad sign for Microsoft who experienced great success with the release of Windows 7. Data was measured up to the 22nd of December, so there is still time by the end of the month for Windows 8 to claim a higher percentage of the user base.”

Source: Windows 8 Even Less Popular Than Vista

iOS 6 Streaming Bug Sends Data Usage Skyrocketing

November 16th, 2012 11:50 admin View Comments


MojoKid writes “iOS 6, by all appearances, has a streaming problem. This is separate from the network issues that led Verizon to state that it wouldn’t bill people for overages that were caused by spotty Wi-Fi connectivity. The issue has been detailed at with information on how the team saw a huge spike in bandwidth usage after the release of iOS 6, and then carefully tested the behavior of devices and its own app to narrow the possible cause. In one case, the playback of a single 30MB episode caused the transfer of over 100MB of data. It is believed that the issue was solved with the release of iOS 6.0.1, but anecdotal evidence from readers points to continued incidents of high data usage, even after updating. If you own an iPhone 5 or upgraded to iOS 6 on an older device, it is strongly recommend to check your usage over the past two months, update to iOS 6.0.1, and plan for a lengthy discussion with your carrier if it turns out your data use went through the roof.”

Source: iOS 6 Streaming Bug Sends Data Usage Skyrocketing

Ask Slashdot: AT&T’s Data Usage Definition Proprietary?

November 14th, 2012 11:13 admin View Comments


stox writes “As many of you know, AT&T has implemented caps on DSL usage. When this was implemented, I started getting emails letting me know my usage as likely to exceed the cap. After consulting their Internet Usage web page, I felt the numbers just weren’t right. With the help of Tomato on my router, I started measuring my usage, and ended up with numbers substantially below what AT&T was reporting on a day-to-day basis. Typically around 20-30% less. By the way, this usage is the sum of inbound and outbound. At this point, I decided to contact AT&T support to determine what exactly they were defining as usage, as their web pages never really define it. Boy, did I get a surprise. After several calls, they finally told me they consider the methodology by which they calculate bandwidth usage to be proprietary. Yes, you read that right; it’s a secret. They left me with the option to contact their executive offices via snail mail. Email was not an option. So, I bring my questions to you, all-knowing Slashdotters: are there any laws that require AT&T to divulge how they are calculating data usage? Should I contact my state’s commerce commission or the FCC to attempt to get an answer to this?”

Source: Ask Slashdot: AT&T’s Data Usage Definition Proprietary?

Wrong Number: Why Phone Companies Overcharge For Data

September 15th, 2012 09:21 admin View Comments


MrSeb writes “A recent study conducted by UCLA professor Chunyi Peng shows that carriers generally count data usage correctly, but those customers who commonly use their device in areas with weak signal strength or to stream audio or video are often overcharged. Peng and three other researchers used data gleaned from an app installed on Android smartphones on two different carriers. The issue appears to be in how the system is set up to count data usage. Under the current scenario, data is charged as it is sent from the carrier’s network to the end user. What does not exist is a system to confirm whether the packets are received, and thus preventing charges for unreceived data. Peng demonstrated this in two extreme circumstances. In one case, 450 megabytes of data was charged to an account where not a single bit of it had been received. On the flipside, Peng’s group was able to construct an app which disguised data transfers as DNS requests, which are not counted by the carriers as data usage. Here they were able to transfer 200 megabytes of data without being charged. Overall, the average overcharge is about 5-7% for most users. While that does not seem like much, with unlimited plans gone and data caps in style that could pose potential problems for some heavy data users. Could you be going over your data allotment based on data you never received? It’s quite possible.”

Source: Wrong Number: Why Phone Companies Overcharge For Data

Detecting Depression From How (Not What) You Browse

August 14th, 2012 08:54 admin View Comments

Social Networks

New submitter FreedomFirstThenPeac writes “Apparently we can diagnose you as depressed if the mechanics of your internet use fit certain patterns. By using a cleverly embedded questionnaire that classifies the subject as depressed, and by using existing net usage data collection to collect features (variables), researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology were able to correctly predict the diagnoses of the questionnaire using the net usage data (PDF). I wonder if this could be a new Firefox plug-in, designed to help parents detect depression in their adolescents by tracking the mechanics (not the sites) and automatically emailing them if their ward is showing increasing signs of depression.”

Source: Detecting Depression From How (Not What) You Browse

Why Young Males Are No Longer the Most Important Tech Demographic

June 8th, 2012 06:32 admin View Comments


An anonymous reader writes “The Atlantic has an article discussing how 18- to 35-year-old males are losing their place as the most important demographic for tech adoption. ‘Let me break out the categories where women are leading tech adoption: internet usage, mobile phone voice usage, mobile phone location-based services, text messaging, Skype, every social networking site aside from LinkedIn, all Internet-enabled devices, e-readers, health-care devices, and GPS. Also, because women still are the primary caretakers of children in many places, guess who controls which gadgets the young male and female members of the family get to purchase or even use?’ The article points out that most of the tech industry hasn’t figured this out yet — perhaps in part to a dearth of women running these companies.”

Source: Why Young Males Are No Longer the Most Important Tech Demographic

Coming Your Way… Less Intrusive Facebook Data Policies?

May 27th, 2012 05:19 admin View Comments


ainandil writes “Facebook may have to alter its data use policy now that grassrooters have driven enough complaints about the company’s proposed data usage policy to trigger a user vote on the matter. ‘Facebook’s proposed changes to its data use policy include new explanations of its data deletion practices as well as the controls that users have over the sharing of information with third-party applications. However, 47,824 users commented on the plans with many posting opposition to the planned new terms and instead calling for the chance to vote on the “demands” outlined by Europe-v-Facebook.’ Does this mean the days of the man-in-the-middle attack as social media are numbered?”

Source: Coming Your Way… Less Intrusive Facebook Data Policies?

Depressed People Surf the Web Differently

May 22nd, 2012 05:00 admin View Comments

The Internet

An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from Medical Daily: “Researchers led by Sriram Chellappan from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, collected internet usage data from 216 college students enrolled at the university. The usage data was collected anonymously without interfering with the student’s normal internet usage for a month. The students were tested to see if they had symptoms of depression and analyzed internet usage based on the results. Depressed students tended to use the internet in much different ways than their non-depressed classmates. Depressed students used file-sharing programs, like torrents or online sharing sites, more than non-depressed students (PDF). Depressed students also chatted more and sent more emails out. Online video viewing and game playing were also more popular for depressed students.”

Source: Depressed People Surf the Web Differently

How Mobile is Being Used in the Middle East

April 30th, 2012 04:35 admin View Comments

Outside the United States and Western Europe and parts of Asia, mobile advertisers are just beginning to find their legs. Smartphone sales are popping internationally, and that is beginning to create entire new industries and market segments to be sliced and diced for analysis. In particular, mobile usage is rising dramatically in the Middle East. How are people using their smartphones in the cradle of civilization?

In the United States, advertisers have been using data to digest consumer behavior for decades. With the rise of mobile, an entirely new platform that advertising could be sent to had to be investigated, and the data junkies have gone to work in various places. In the Middle East, an ad company called Plus7 (owned by Clique Media) surveyed several thousand people across seven countries in the region to determine how they are using their mobile devices to access news and information.

The survey included six countries from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Egypt. The six GCC countries included the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. Many regions in these countries are extremely affluent, with wealth generated from oil production; these regions are ripe for mobile growth and the subsequent advertising that comes with it.

Some key takeaways from Plus7’s survey:

  • The top uses of mobile in the Middle East were for access to news, information, social networks and email. 
  • More than half of respondents across the entire survey access mobile websites or apps once daily.
  • The United Arab Emirates leads with the most app downloads, with more than 50% of respondents having more than 10 apps. About 49% of UAE respondents have no paid apps, with 27% having between one and five paid apps. 
  • More than half of respondents preferred to use cash on delivery as opposed to mobile phones tied to credit cards to make purchases. 

In the largest and richest country in the region, Saudi Arabia, 47% of survey respondents had a mobile data plan. 53% of male respondents had a data plan, against 39% of women. Unlike the U.S., where mobile usage tends to spike in younger demographics, it was the older segments in Saudi Arabia that seem to be using mobile most, with 56% of 36- to 50-year-olds and 52% of respondents who were 51 or older having data plans. 

In Saudi Arabia, 42% of respondents used mobile browsers for news and information, followed by 29% for applications. Fifty-three percent of respondents accessed mobile sites or apps “many times a day,” with usage again spiking in the eldest two age demographics. News and information was the primary use among respondents in Saudi Arabia, with 46% of men saying that was their most frequent destination. Women used social networking the most in Saudi Arabia, at 38% (against 34% for news). Sixty percent of respondents had downloaded more than 10 applications, with 65% of 25- to 35-year-olds leading the way.

Saudi Arabia Mobile Usage

We focus on Saudi Arabia because it is the bellwether for the region, as well as the country with the most survey respondents (1,692). Egypt had the next-largest group of respondents at 1,570 (see chart above).

More Egyptians have mobile data packages than Saudis, according to the survey. Fifty-seven percent of respondents had a data package, with plans spiking in the 25-35 years of age (60%) and 36-50 years of age (63%) demographics. Thirty-two percent of Egyptian respondents use applications against 45% who use mobile browsers, with 61% accessing either multiple times a day. News and information was by far the leading usage segment at 57%, followed by social networks (43%) and search (42%).

In the United Arab Emirates, the financial center of the Middle East and home to one of the richest cities in the world in Dubai, 56% of respondents had data packages. Access to the packages is broad: All age demographics from 19 years old and up were above 50%, with the 51+ segment leading the way at 64%. About 47% of respondents access apps or mobile websites multiple times a day, with news and information (45%), email (44%) and social networking (39%) leading the way. 

Mobile Purchases in the United Arab Emirates

The depth of data decreases with the other countries in the survey because of fewer respondents. The trend of older users having the most data plans is reversed in Oman, with 56% of the 19-24 age bracket against just 34% in the 36-50 segment. Fifty-five percent of respondents in Kuwait have a data package, also skewed towards the 19-24 demographic (78%) and heavily male (61%). Fewer people in Qatar have data packages (49%) with the 36- to 50-year-old demographic the highest at 59%. Bahrain’s data is likely irrelevant given the sample size (just 65 responses), but 57% of those did not have a data package, with 68% of women (out of 25 responses) owning one. 

For those who do not have data packages, pre-paid mobile plans are the most likely method of accessing mobile websites and apps from a device. Pre-paid is not the norm in the United States and Western Europe, but much of the rest of the world’s mobile use centers around pre-paid plans. The ability to have a data package and a carrier contract is seen as a sign of market penetration and financial strength in a region. 

Data Packages in Egypt

In the U.S., we see surveys and data analysis like this all the time. Mobile marketing and advertising firms such as Apkudo and Millennial Media issue monthly reports about user trends and consumer behavior. As smartphone use grows in the Middle East, we will likely see much more rich behavioral data come from the region as mobile advertisers and analytics services mature.

It is important to note that the sample size for this survey was small, and respondents were found through advertising on mobile websites, applications and other means. 

Lead image courtesy of Wikipedia. All other charts and images from Plus7 survey.

Source: How Mobile is Being Used in the Middle East