Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

You Probably Won’t Change That Dial, Because You’re Busy Checking Email

No surprise that people watch TV at the same time they play with their iPhones and iPads. But, for the record, Nielsen says that 40 percent of couch potatoes are simultaneously multiscreening every day.

More interesting is what they’re doing with their gadgets while the TV is on.

There are a lot of people trying to convince TV networks and advertisers that they can help tie online behavior to what’s on the tube, and they may be right: About a third of multitaskers use their smartphones or tablets to check out something related to something on TV.

But many more are doing stuff that has nothing at all to do with what’s on. Most likely behavior: Checking email.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik