The Weekly Round-Up: Selfish iPad fans and snail's-pace broadband

What your iPad says about you
Written by The Round-Up, Contributor

What your iPad says about you

There's been lots of talk about the Apple iPad recently, and silicon.com has even written the odd story about it. But what does possessing such a device say about its owner?

Wonder no longer: a company called MyType has surveyed more than 20,000 of its users on Facebook about the iPad to identify the "personality traits, values, demographics and interests that drive differences in opinion" about Apple's tablet device.

And as an iPad owner, the Round-Up was naturally eager to find out more. Would the research reveal iPad owners to be caring, sharing, good-looking and adored by their workmates?

Alas no: the true nature of the iPad owner has now been revealed and it's not pretty - unless you aspire to being described as a member of a "selfish elite".

"They're wealthy, highly educated and sophisticated. They value power and achievement much more than others. They're also selfish, scoring low on measures of kindness and altruism," the report reveals.

People interested in business and finance are also much more likely to be iPad owners than those interested in movies, music, books or literature.

Ugh. iPad owners sound horrible. The Round-Up was quite put off its breakfast caviar, and almost fired one of its servants in its disgust.

On the plus side, as well as the "selfish elite" there's another group of people with strong views about the iPad who also come out of the survey pretty badly - the critics who consider it to be a 'silly product'.

These critics - labelled as "independent geeks" - prize self-direction and shun conformity. They get very excited about video games, computers, electronics, science and the internet. They all like Linux. In addition, they tend to be young men. They also tend to have no children and little interest in family.

You really don't want to be trapped in conversation with a member of either group at a party.

And if you were wondering why these independent geeks hate the iPad so much, MyType's analysis of them is pointed, to say the least: "As a mainstream, closed-platform device whose major claim to fame is ease of use and sex appeal, the iPad is everything that they are not."


The overlooked people in the MyType research are those for whom the iPad holds no interest, representing 54 per cent of respondents.

These people are clearly the best hope for humanity. As for the other two groups - there's no hope.

Apple: making shiny things and polarising the world since 1976.

Still, whether you're an independent geek, selfish elitist or just an everyday Joe, you can all check out our run down of Apple iPhone apps for finance pros and HR bosses.

On the subject of polarising users, silicon.com published an article this week comparing the qualities of the iPhone 4 versus the BlackBerry Bold based on one reporter's own experiences.

Opinion is divided on the matter - put it that way. Join the debate (see: iPhone 4 vs BlackBerry Bold: Which is the better work mobile?). But sticking with BlackBerrys, US President Barack Obama has added his own views on the gadget, although sadly not in the form of a reader comment on the above mentioned silicon.com article (unless he's posting under a pseudonym).

Obama fought hard to keep hold of his device when he got the top job but as Spider-Man's Uncle Ben said, "with great power comes great responsibility".

As a result, only a limited number of people are allowed to email Obama's super-encrypted device.

By 'limited' the Round-Up actually means 10, which is hardly a wide circle of contacts in our age of connectivity. In fact, they probably all work in the same building.

Now the President has admitted what most people in the world already guessed about his BlackBerry: "It's no fun."

The statement came when Obama was making the first appearance by a US President on a daytime TV talk show, he clearly had nothing more pressing to attend to.

In addition to only 10 people possessing his email address, Obama complained the emails he received via the BlackBerry were a bit dull, possibly because all the messages would end up being archived with all other White House documents.

So no catty comments about the receptionist's new hairdo, or forwarding YouTube videos featuring amusing animals, which is why everyone else has a smartphone.

Obama told The View: "I've got to admit, it's no fun because they think that it's probably going to be subject to the presidential records act, so nobody wants to send me the real juicy stuff."

He added: "It's all very official. 'Mr President, you have a meeting coming up and we'd like to brief you'."

Which means the Commander in Chief is missing out on lolcatz pictures and the video of a dog eating his dinner with a knife and fork, or whatever else has destroyed productivity in your office this week. It's tough at the top…

'Broadband'. The very word excites and frustrates us in equal measure. We Brits love it. Can't get enough of it.


If you've ever sat at your computer running broadband speed check after broadband speed check, sworn explosively, switched your router on and off and tried it again to check if it makes any difference then you'll know what the Round-Up is talking about.

Take strength from this: you are not alone.

What an ISP advertises its broadband speed to be and the speed at which data actually shuffles down your pipe are two entirely different things.

For example, the Round-Up is meant to have a 20Mbps pipe. In reality the speed has never topped 9Mbps. The horror, the horror.

Thankfully, help has arrived in the form of everyone's favourite communications regulator Ofcom (see: Average broadband speeds: ISPs must 'fess up or consumers can walk).

The brave and dashing regulator has revised its code of practice on what broadband speeds ISPs can tell their users to expect.

The decision came after research identified a growing gulf between the advertised rocket speed broadband and the weary snail's pace nature of real life.

This news comes at a timely juncture. According to another report by broadbandchoices.co.uk, we're more unhappy with our broadband services than we thought. We're now even unhappy about complaining about broadband.

A survey of more than 2,500 UK broadband customers revealed that we continue to face major difficulties in having our complaints resolved.

According to the research, 46 per cent of UK broadband complaints are left unresolved and many customers are so disillusioned with the complaints process they fail to complain at all.

According to the study, more than a third said they thought it would be too much hassle to complain and another third simply didn't have faith their broadband provider could solve their problem.

Or perhaps these unhappy customers simply couldn't get their email to work in order to complain.

As a side note, the delivery of this article to silicon.com was delayed by the Round-Up's flaky broadband connection.

The broadband gods are clearly angry.

Until next week - check out some of the excellent links below

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