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By Stephen Lax (eds.)

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And Mayteevingoukij, N. (1999) ‘Missing the pager: the impact of the Galaxy IV satellite blackout’, a paper presented to the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association, San Francisco, California, May 1999. E. (1996) ‘The social consequences of wireless communications’, in Institute for Information Studies, The Emerging World of Wireless Communications: Annual Review. Queenstown, MD: Institute for Information Studies. LaPedus, M. (1998) ‘Chip malfunction is blamed in failure of satellite system’, Electronic Buyer’s News, 25 May.

Unfortunately, like buyers in a market, internet users do not have perfect knowledge, and – regardless of the arcane mysteries of search techniques – it is in the interests of profit-seeking information suppliers and so-called ‘content providers’ to perpetuate that ignorance. Furthermore, there are pressures which greatly influence the content and type of information available. Labour issues do not figure highly on the internet, as it attempts to transform itself into a mass medium. Commercial and deregulation pressures tend to ‘commodify’ information.

1 10 20 30 40 50 Perceived sense of freedom: percentage of all pager users who experienced problems 60 70 80 Dutton, Elberse, Hong and Matei 21 The social significance of the pager The centrality of the pager to users was reflected in our survey in several additional ways. One particular theme that quickly arose from our study was the degree to which most individuals viewed the pager as signficiant to their lives – whether they liked or disliked this ICT. First, the diffusion of the pager exceeded our expectations, as well as industry estimates of 19–25 per cent national penetration.

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