Last time in this space we attempted to make sense of the scale of a zettabyte, which is 1 trillion gigabytes, or a 1 followed by 21 zeroes. The attempt was largely futile.
Today we'll tackle some more manageable yet equally interesting numbers from the world of technology, starting with YouTube's contention last week that it is now serving up some 2 billion video views every 24 hours.
According to a blog post by YouTube parent company Google, 2 billion views "represents nearly double the prime-time audience of all three major U.S. television networks combined."
Impressive, yet that's not what I found most remarkable about the number. No, what made the 2 billion a day tally so notable is the fact that it was announced publicly in conjunction with YouTube commemorating its fifth year of operations.
From zero to 2 billion views in only five years: Now that's Internet speed.
Yet YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley sees the achievement as a glass almost empty, telling BBC News: "I feel we have much further to go. Two billion video streams is a large number but on average people are only spending 15 minutes a day on the site compared to five hours a day watching TV."
Of course, television had a head start, what it having been around since the 1930s and all.
They grow up so fast, though. … It's a good thing we all have video cameras.
The disappearing landline
It's by no means news that more and more people are choosing to ditch their landline telephones in favor of going all-wireless, all the time. However, it is worth noting the rapidity with which this transformation is taking place, witness a few facts and figures from a semiannual survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (which tracks this trend to help assure accuracy in its telephone-based National Health Interview Survey).
One in four U.S. households has made the leap to wireless-only, according to the latest CDC report. While that number has been rising about 4.3% annually the past several years, it's worth noting that when the data was first collected in 2003 only about 3% of households were without landlines.
About 26% of children now live in wireless-only homes and their numbers are rising even faster than the adult population.
As might be expected, younger adults are more likely to go all-wireless – about half of those aged 25 to 29 have done so, while only 5% of those 65 and older have joined them.
As for the number of households without any phone service at all, that continues to hold steady at 2%.
One last thing: That "one in four now wireless-only" statistic is effectively closer to 40% if you consider that another 15% of households have both landline and wireless telephones but conduct all or almost all of their calls on the latter. In other words, their landline phones are largely for decorative purposes.
A hint to that 15%: If you find yourself dusting the handset of your landline telephone, it is probably time to cut the cord.
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