Main News Desk

Steve Jobs: doesn't he work for the TUC?

~ UK technology poll reveals worrying knowledge gap ~

London - January 08, 2010

One in 10 Britons think Apple founder Steve Jobs is a trade union leader, according to a survey to gauge the nation’s level of technology knowledge.

A further 20 per cent said they had no idea who he is and one in 20 believed he earns a living as a Division Two footballer.

A quarter of respondents also did not identify Sir Tim Berners-Lee as founder of the Internet, with nine per cent believing he was head of MI5. Six per cent thought he was an Arctic explorer and five per cent reckoned he was the first British astronaut into space.

Surprisingly, despite the rising popularity of social networking sites, 11 per cent of those quizzed could not name one. Of those that were mentioned, Facebook was singled out the most – 72 per cent – with Twitter next at 12 per cent.

The survey of 1,000 people, carried out by LEWIS PR, also found six per cent thought a VHD – Virtual Hard Disk – was a sexually transmitted disease and four per cent believed phishing, a ruse used by cyber criminals to steal personal details, was an angling method used by Eskimos.

Other findings from the fun poll included 10 per cent who believed a wireless dongle was a sex toy instead of a broadband adaptor. One in 20 thought SAAS – Software as a Service – stood for Special Aviation and Army Squadron and six per cent believed it was an ’80s pop band.

And although 88 per cent knew Bill Gates was the founder of Microsoft, three per cent thought he was an American comedian and two per cent thought he was one of the Great Train robbers.

Executive quote

Eb Adeyeri, digital PR director at LEWIS PR said: “Technology and the Internet is playing an increasingly dominant role in our lives but it is still striking how little is known about some of its key figures, gadgets and aspects.

“Although many people knew the correct answers, a substantial minority had absolutely no idea. There is a digital divide in Britain between those who understand the importance of technology and those who are either not interested or frightened by it.

“This demonstrates a need for everyone involved in the industry to speak about technology and the benefits it brings clearly and succinctly, and avoid the jargon and ‘geek speak’ that deters so many from developing an interest.”

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