THE AVERAGE North American eats a whopping 34GB of data and 100,000 words of information per day.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, sat down with their pocket calculators, added up some big numbers and divided by some small ones and worked out that in 2008, Americans as a group gobbled up 3.6 zettabytes of data.
A 'zettabyte' is a million million gigabytes, but since this is the lightweight American million it is probably a useless form of measurement for Brits.
Needless to say it is a lot of information, basically amounting to all the information in thick paperback novels stacked seven feet high over the entire United States, including Alaska. Fortunately we don't use much data stored in books these days.
According to the report (PDF), between 1980 and 2008, the number of bytes consumed by Americans increased 350 per cent. The average annual growth rate was calculated at 5.4 percent.
Obviously most of the data came from the telly and the world wide web. But there was also "including going to the movies, listening to the radio, talking on the mobile phone, playing video games and reading the newspaper."
Since it is America most of the data is delivered to their brains by watching televisiom. More than 41 per cent of an American's day is spent watching some of the worst telly in the world - some of it makes even Italian TV look good.
Researchers found that the average American consumes 18.5GB of gaming data per day, representing 67 per cent of all bytes they consume daily.
Report author Roger Bohn, director of the Global Information Industry Center at UC San Diego's School of International Relations and Pacific Studiesk, said that games are almost universal. Graphically intensive games run on high-powered computers and consoles that have roughly equivalent power to special-purpose supercomputers from five years ago.
Games today generate their bytes inside the home, rather than having to transmit them over cables into the house, but gaming is increasingly moving online, he said.
Only 16 per cent of daily information consumption comes from the Internet. However a staggering 79 per cent of all American two-way communications is done through the Internet.
Brits exchange the most information over brown amber fluid in smokeless bars. It was not mentioned in the report but it's just obvious. µ
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