Stupid is as stupid does with IE user hoax 'study'

A silly hoax 'study' claiming that Internet Explorer users have below-average IQs makes some people happy as pigs in slop

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But to go so far as to call people stupid or dumb based on irrelevant data is, well, stupid and dumb. I'd like to know where these 100,000 people came from, what they do for work, the extent to which they use the Internet, and for what. But I guess if we did any real investigation it would make the study worthless -- or more worthless, I should say.

But the idiocy is not contained to the publicity-seeking "research" firm. The comments on the trash-talking stories are also idiotic. I especially love reading the posts of those allegedly smarter, non-IE-using commenters who crow, "Either they don't know about other faster and secured browsers or they don't give a bleep."

The speed advantage is certainly in the hands of Chrome at this point. But it's easy to be fast when you sport fewer features. But security? You might be surprised to learn the truth on that one. One report that is worth reading comes from security company Secunia, which says IE suffered fewer common vulnerabilities and exposures in the past year compared to Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.

Dana Simonson, who claims an IQ of 165, puts the browser psychometric "issue" in meaningful perspective in her comments on Cringely's har-de-har-har post:

I do not find it of significant consequence as to which browser I use. IE is still installed as my default browser simply because it arrived that way and I have had no inclination to bother changing it. Yes, I have installed Firefox, Safari, and Chrome and use them when the situation dictates, but such situations are rare.

On average, I allocate approximately 20 minutes a day to use of the Internet. This usage is primarily limited to retrieval of information, initiation of purchases, and, as in the case with this column, as a viewpoint into the humorous perspectives of passionate individuals. In my perusal of commercial sites, I have encountered more pages that have been optimized (or bastardized, depending on your viewpoint) for IE than for other browsers.

For the conclusion to be justified, randomly selected groups would need to be provided with computers preloaded with each of the browsers. After some uniform period of time, examination of the groups would reveal those who were inclined to change the default browser. If only these individuals where examined, then a correlation might have some credibility.

That about sums it up. The study lacks credibility. And anyone getting into that boat might just have lost some credibility along with it.

This article, "Stupid is as stupid does with IE user hoax 'study'," was originally published at Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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