Time and time again, companies have come out with gadgets and services aimed at bringing technology to older people in easy and manageable ways: the email devices from several years ago, special printers for sharing photos and email are just a few examples. All these efforts share one characteristic -- none of them have been particularly successful. Still, that doesn't stop people from targeting this supposedly huge demographic of old people who can't figure out PCs and the internet. The latest innovation is a search engine for people over 50, from a company that has a social-networking site targeting the same age group. As TechCrunch points out, though, it too seems destined to fail, because perhaps old folks aren't as inept at this whole internet thing as these companies like to think. Mike Arrington makes the point that a large chunk of the over-50 set is internet savvy, and doesn't need "hand-holding and condescension". It's an interesting point, and one that's probably quite true. While users of a particular age might have different content interests than other age groups, to assume that they don't have the intelligence or ability to access it through the same means as younger folks seems a bit presumptuous. Perhaps the biggest problem with these services and products aimed at older folks isn't that they're not interested or can't grasp them; it's that they're intelligent and tech-savvy enough to realize that they're no good.
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