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Smartphones bust up the digital divide

Some eye-popping statistics from the digital marketing agency Walker Sands underscore both the rationale for Salon's new tech section and my end-of-year piece, "The Year Everything Went Mobile." According to Walker Sands 23 percent of total global website visits came from mobile devices in December of 2012. That's up from 17 percent in the third quarter and 6 percent in January 2011.

If we can believe these numbers  (other reports show mobile devices with a somewhat smaller slice of global Web traffic), the data further reinforces just how dramatic the shift in how we all connect to the networked world is. We aren't witnessing incremental change. This is a tidal wave.

It's no wonder that we learned today that holiday PC sales fell for the first time in five years, further reinforcing the implosion of the now ancient desktop/laptop regime. But there's something a little deeper going on here than just a sectoral swing in what gadgets we use to log on.

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