By BILL SHUMWAY
If you¹re like many St. Lawrence County residents, you¹re not reading this story on a desktop computer.
For several years, a significant number of viewers has been kicking back in their recliner or sitting at the kitchen table with a laptop to check NorthCountryNow.com.
And today, nearly one out every five NorthCountryNow.com visitors use a cellphone or a tablet.
According to statistics provided by Google Analytics, a website viewer measurement service, 19.5 percent of our visitors use a mobile device, not a computer. And of the mobile device users, nearly one third, or 6 percent of all of our viewers, pull out their Apple iPad or other tablet to visit NorthCountryNow.com.
It¹s easy to discover why Apple has become one of the world¹s most successful companies when we check Google Analytics results for NorthCountryNow.com.
More than two-thirds of the cellphones, tablets and other mobile devices that our viewers use are made by Apple.
In a typical month, 131,237 visits to NorthCountryNow.com were made on an Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod. Visits from all other types of cellphones ¬ including those made by Motorola, Samsung and Casio -- total 61,331.
We¹re glad to see the dramatic increase in the past year in the use of tablets -- the lightweight devices with diagonal screen measurements ranging from 7.9 to 9.7 inches.
They are ideal for reading and viewing websites and also easy to carry and take with you almost anywhere.
While we¹re talking about the success of Apple, it¹s also interesting to note the major decline in the use of Microsoft¹s Internet Explorer browser. Just a few years ago, nearly 90 percent of our viewers used Internet Explorer, since it was bundled with virtually all PC computers.
But today, according to Google Analytics, the percent of Internet Explorer users has dropped to 54 percent.
Safari, developed by Apple, is now used by 18 percent of viewers, reflecting the growth in Apple phones, tablets and Mac computers in recent years. Firefox, whose roots date back to Netscape, the first widely used browser, is now used by 12 percent of our viewers. Google¹s Chrome browser comes in at 10 percent.
With all the new electronic devices coming on the market, “computer junkyards” are also growing in the basements of many North Country homes and businesses.
Most old computers, TVs, cellphones and printers are considered “hazardous waste” and are not supposed to be thrown away with the rest of our trash.
St. Lawrence County Solid Waste Department each year holds several special events to collect those and other hazardous items.
The specifics are listed at the Solid Waste Department website at http://www.co.st-lawrence.ny.us/Departments/SolidWaste/HHW
Unfortunately, the department has not yet updated its schedule of “hazardous waste collection events” for 2013. Clicking on the “Events Flier” link brings up last year¹s schedule.