back to article It's official: IE users are dumb as a bag of hammers

Update: This survey discussed in this story was apparently a hoax. You can read more here. A comprehensive study of web users has determined that the dumber you are, the more likely you are to use Microsoft Internet Explorer. After measuring the IQs of exactly 101,326 users and correlating their scores with the browser they …

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Meh

Re: Lynx?

Everyone's too busy laughing at your obvious personality disorders to care about your I.Q.

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Trollface

You read raw HTML?

You, sir, are not statistically significant. It is clear, though, that IE users choose the blue pill.

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Facepalm

Hmm

If you're stupid enough to use Winblows when there are free alternatives

and

Winblows comes with IE

Then it hardly takes rocket science to work out you're a moron.

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appropriate humour

I friend pointed this out to me

http://i.imgur.com/7pOwI.jpg

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Coffee/keyboard

"dumb as a bag of hammers"

Oh, stoppit!

I can't climb back on the chair! Gotta roll around on the floor even longer....I'm weeping with laughter at that. Barely able to type.

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FAIL

"Any IT company involved in web development will acknowledge... "

"!...the fact that millions of man hours are wasted each year to make otherwise perfectly functional websites work in Internet Explorer,"

Yes, when IE6 was the latest variant of IE, which it isn't for over half a decade. We're at IE9 now (and IE8 for XP users), something which they obviously have missed.

This 'study' is a bag of pseudo-scientific BS. Maybe it's done because they were in need for some funding or they are just after the publicity. At the end of the day, many years ago it had worked very well for a certain wannabe-scientist from NZ with his pseudo-scientific 'study' about Windows Vista.

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Anonymous Coward

Sometimes...

...even the worst of pseudo-scientific bullshit can arrive at the right conclusion.

Often, when it is stating that which is blindingly obvious anyway.

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Devil

Retail abuse

It occurs to me that a smart retailer could make use of this. If the potential customer is running IE, push the crap products that you need to get rid of.

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Anonymous Coward

I dont mean to burst anyones bubble but.....

Ive just read spindreams and Brezin Bardout posts and i totally agree, to add to that...

IQs are a pile of shite, no really, very few individuals or large institutions actually take any significance in them, the reason being the questions asked.

IQ is supposed to be a average intelligence guage but what it does is gives a higher score to people with a good broad range of knowledge, it does not take in to account areas that that person may excel in.

So for instance i may be a astrophysicist, the most leading credit one in the world, but i might have a lower IQ than a milkman (no offence to milk men, just using example as one just knocked on my door!) because my general knowledge isnt as good in other subject areas.

IQ is not a guage of how dumb someone is, sorry guys. So all this study says is that users of opera etc have a better broader range of knowledge in the questions that were asked, not nessarerly more intelligent

And for your information im writing this in opera just now, just playing devils advocate

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Boffin

Errr...

Google "crystallized intelligence" and "liquid intelligence".

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Trollface

And for your information im writing this in opera just now,

Not in crayon?

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Trollface

Or is it the other way round?

Maybe it just takes a higher than average IQ to work out how to use Opera?

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Silver badge

Whatever.

a) IQ means nothing.

2] Most folks use the tools given to them without thought.

tres} Folks choosing to participate in an online survey are self-selecting.

00000100: On the other hand ... What idiots still use IE, anywhere?

Maybe the survey has a point ... ::sighs::

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Boffin

IQ does mean something

IQ is a measure of how good one is at doing IQ tests.

As for how strong or otherwise is the correlation between someone's test result and what you perceive as their level of intelligence, that's a hard thing to study. However, I think it's unlikely that many of the folks who can't score more than 85 in an IQ test are going to strike you as any kind of super-smart dude when you meet them. In other words, there's a fairly good corellation with something that you'd like to measure, but can't.

As for self-selection bias, it's hard to see how there is any in this study, which gives the browser chioce by percentage, for people testing with similar IQs. For there to be a bias, you have to think of a reason why an IE user with an IQ of (say) 115 is less likely to take the test than a Firefox with that same IQ, whereas an IE user with an IQ of 85 is more likely to take the test than a Firefox user with an IQ of 85. That a dim lightbulb may be more likely to select himself than a bright one doesn't affect the results.

The missing detail is the number of people in the various buckets - it it's too small then the error bars (not shown) will be large and the evidence concerning those at the extremes of the

IQ distribution may not be enough to exclude the null hypothesis. The trends are pretty persuasive, though. Modulo self-selection bias, you can estimate the number of people in each bucket from the shape of the IQ distribution curve (more or less a normal distribution) because they give the total number of test results analyzed.

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Thumb Down

Joke statistics

Why are there no error bars on that first graph? In the "Statistics" section of the report why is there no mention of statistical analysis? They talk about "significant differences" but give no methodology relating to calculation of differences.

This is not a serious study, their methodology is completely opaque and shame on The Register for reporting this ludicrous, unsupported and laughably transparent advertising piece as "research".

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Anonymous Coward

I was right...

Opera really is more difficult to use than IE.

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Gold badge

Bares out my experience...

From loads of experience working at a computer surplus until about a year ago... IE users tend to be the ones that say "Oh I click on the internet". And the ones still using IE6 are the ones that are like "Oh, no, that Windows (either XP or 98...) is good and I'll never update!!" or even better "I like my Windows" then literally within seconds "Don't you hate how computers always" (then a litany of problems that are NOT computer problems but are Windows problems.. you know, registry problems, mysterious slowdowns, viruses, spyware, and the necessity of constantly keeping a virus and spyware scanners up to date, and on and on.) And then they are all surprised when I say "Umm, my computer doesn't have those problems, because I'm not using WIndows."

On the flip side, although I use firefox personally, I am not surprised the average IQ of Chrome and Opera users is higher. A lot of mainstream people know about Firefox these days, whereas I found the people who know about Chrome and Opera tend to be more academic (the type who spends lots of time on sites like this and other tech sites, etc.)

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Meh

"Bares"

Shirley shome mishtake?

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Joke

Bare Experience

Apparently, constitutes the majority of internet traffic

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Happy

This is news?

It has been for years that any person who has IQ over 100 would not use IE.

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dnl

About that IQ test...

Take a look at the Wechsler Adutl Intelligence Scale site and scroll down to "New Subtests." The green and yellow puzzle is broken; it asks for the three pices that can form the shown shape. Problem is that is doesn't restrict the choice in the obvious way--no overlap--so there are actually quite a few solutions as written. So much for the IQ of the testers.

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Devil

Safari on graph

My wifes eyes are getting weaker. The tiny text below the chart didnt help, but she asked me what browser is called 'Satan'? hahahaha I had to magnify it so she could see its in fact Safari.

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JDX
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WTF?

Do not feed the troll

To late, El Reg served them a 8-course dinner.

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Facepalm

Income a factor?

Notice they didn't list the income and living situation of the people in this study. Many more people are buying computers today then they did years ago. Computers have gotten cheaper, so people with lower income can afford them. They usually get older, slow systems with cracked versions of XP with no updates. XP came with IE6. They more often than not have less education (and opportunities) than those with more money, hence they do not mess with what works. Scope was too limited in it inclusion of weighted factors.

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Facepalm

Funny thing those IQ tests...

I have answered a couple of those IQ tests for fun, the ones that I came across were short and heavily USA biased. Being an Australian I do not know all the USA state capitals nor particular American individuals.

So I guess from my sampling (sample size 4) 100% of online IQ tests are a crock and a complete waste of time. Maybe we ned to publish those statistics :-)

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Silver badge
Coat

Is anyone else concerned?

So everyone on the interwebs in 2006 was, on average, better than average?

The median sized grey one, thanks.

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Coat

Is it even worse than the stats show?

How many non-IE users have spoofed their browser's user agent to fool MS-friendly website* into feeding them the correct contents? They're the really smart ones and they're going to boost the IE scores...

* You know, the ones that say they're only compatible with IE? or Netscape 4.?

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Boffin

methodology is sound?

methodology is sound? This suffers from the mother of all selection biases.

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Go

Misinterpretation

The true interpretation of the data shows that people who use IE just don't care about browsers any more than they care what brand of hammer they use. The IE users just shut down their computers periodically, and often, so they can enjoy their real lives with their human friends and families. You know the type: have real sex, go on picnics, play with their kids and even read an actual paperback book every now and then. It simply never occurs to them that vicarious living the lives of others on the internet is something to envy. Or that life in a basement playing games and writing code is a real life.

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WTF?

@ Doug Glass

How the heck do you find all that from the data?

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Headmaster

News at eleven.

Insecure geek finds reinforcement for his own self-image in the psuedo-science of a PR stunt online.

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Paris Hilton

Ha Ha

I use Firefox, Safari and Opera. So my IQ must be wayheyhey above 300. Around 350.

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Joke

Also the news is

That most IE users are filling in IQ tests during the adverts whilst watching Jeremy Kyle?

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Headmaster

Results demonstrate nothing beyond regression to the mean.

Statistical outliers are more likely to show up by chance in small samples than large ones, hence why all the roughly-equally-popular browsers show up around the same, why the minority browsers show the most distance from the mean, and why the change in the results between 2006 and 2011 exactly reflects the changes in market share among the mentioned browsers. The methodology is bullshit, the conclusions are GIGO, nothing to see here except yet another stats 101 fail in a crude non-scientific survey done by a firm solely for reasons of garnering free press column inches.

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Facepalm

Public Service

Here in Australia, many government offices still use IE, and version6 at that. I’m told that Federal Government won’t let people use anything else.

’nuff said, I suppose ...

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Anonymous Coward

World dominance

Is not obtained by aiming one's product at the educationally elite.

Whether it was intentional or not, Microsoft made all the right decisions in that respect. As the company has more marketing ability than technical, and has had right from the start, my vote goes with *intentional*.

Who would aim an irksome paper clip at the intelligent, for god's sake?

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N2
Silver badge

Please dont

Compare Internet Explorer to a hammer, or a bag of hammers.

My hammer belonged to my Grandfather, has never gone wrong and has served me well for over 30 years & its used on a regular basis.

I cannot see any comparison even remotely similar to Internet explorer

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My grandfather's hammer

This joke appears to be missing the punchline:

"Of course, it's needed a new handle a few times, and once a new head...".

HTH

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Funny,

by my calculations, 100% of people who click on ads for a "free IQ test", are utter dingbats anway.

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Coat

dingbats

Interestingly, Mensa say (or used to) that it's the other way around. The average score on their tests is well above 100, because the applicants are self-selecting.

Intuitively, that seems plausible. If you failed GCSE maths 3 times, you probably have a fair idea that you aren't a genius. Why embarass yourself by proving it? You might be stupid, but that doesn't mean you're an idiot, does it?

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I was clever enough...

...to stop the whole Mensa IQ-test process when they asked me for money.

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Anonymous Coward

Ah, the beauty of statistics

or how to get anyone to believe anything thanks to a bunch of meaningless, poorly obtained, consolidated and analysed numbers. I'm sure that statistically you could find a correlation between your car colour and which finger you use to scratch your ass in the morning.

As for people "who consider themselves quite intelligent", my study shows that 98.24% (only a rough estimate) feel that they have enough since they use this very intelligence to judge it.

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IQ?

There seem to be a number of posters confusing IQ with academic capability and knowledge. The statistics quoted in this piece don't stand up to scrutiny either, or was that a test of gullibility from the author?

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WTF?

Nonsense

Complete nonsense. I use both IE and Opera, they both have their advantages. IE - quick and easy, the browser coders develop for as default and so very rare, if any rendering problems. Opera - very good for memory intensive browsing i.e. HD video streaming.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, Opera users

having a higher than average IQ, but there being so few of them it skews the results in that the average for Opera is probably quite near the actual IQ of pretty much every last man twat of them. Whereas my IQ is much higher than any of those scores and I'm sure there are many reg readers with even higher than mine, who, like me, use Firefox.

Frankly I'd expect Opera users to support Arsenal.

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Thumb Down

Not so quick to judge here

The responders are a self-selected sample of browser users. The self-selection process can introduce all kinds of subtle bias. To get valid results you need to select a random sample and get high respose rates. The truth could be even more of the same, or less of a difference.

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Holmes

ascale

I note the scale peaks around 130. What we would call intelligent people starts at around 135 on the IQ scale used. "smart" (first year university student "smart") is probably the nicest description for the peak achievers in that study.

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FAIL

Smart people don't click

On:

Surveys

Adverts

Unfamiliar links

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Bod

Closed Source

Beats me how the highest IQ can go for a closed source product like Opera!

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