Regular readers will remember that last August I wrote a post titled "Just how stupid are Internet Explorer users?" In it I quoted from a survey conducted by an obscure Canadian research firm called AptiQuant that "proved" people who use Internet Explorer are less intellectually endowed than people who use any other browser on the planet, and IE6 users in particular are a half step above paramecia on the evolutionary scale.
Anyone who's been in this business for as long as I have (that is, since the Millard Fillmore administration) knows if you want to prove something with numbers, there's an obscure survey somewhere that will do the trick nicely. For me that survey was just a fun excuse to tweak Microsoft and IE fans in particular, nothing more.
[ Cringely got his comeuppance from IE users and other readers on the bogus survey. Did he take it like a man? Decide for yourself. | For a humorous take on the tech industry's shenanigans, subscribe to Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter. | Get the latest insight on the tech news that matters from InfoWorld's Tech Watch blog. ]
Of course, I got several hectares' worth of manure dumped on me from angry IE users when it turned out the AptiQuant survey was complete fiction -- a hoax perpetrated by its creator as a way to draw attention to himself and his products. It apparently didn't work; AptiQuant and Tarandeep Gill's other site, AtCheap, have disappeared from the InterWebs.
(For the record, I prefer to eat my crow pan-fried with a red whiiiiiine reduction.)
With that in mind, let me just say, here we go again.
The story starts with Patrick Min, a U.K.-based IT consultant who runs a site called Calcudoku, featuring addictive puzzle games that combine Sudoku with third-grade arithmetic and college-level logic. (I'm really sorry I discovered this site because now I'll never get anything done ever again.)
Min looked at more than 1.1 million games played on his site over the last two years, which gamers completed puzzles and how quickly they did it, as well as what browsers they happened to be using. Then he wrote a statistical research paper about it [PDF].