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Do you know who this dude is?
Do you know who this dude is?

Do you know the guy in the accompanying photo?

Of course you do. After all, you’re reading GeekWire, which means you’re extremely savvy and bright.

But not everyone can positively identify Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft. In fact, 17 percent of Americans couldn’t pinpoint the billionaire philanthropist. That’s one of the startling findings in a new survey and quiz compiled by the Pew Research Center, which tests Americans knowledge of the technology industry.

You can take the quiz here, and I recommend you giving it a whirl before reading further.

I just took the quiz, testing my own knowledge of the industry I cover each day. There were a couple stumpers in the 12-question quiz, including the year that the first iPhone was released.

Even so, I nailed a perfect score. How did you do?

Not everyone performed well, as the authors point out.

Many online Americans also struggle with key facts relating to early—and in some cases, more recent—technological history. Despite an Oscar-winning movie (The Social Network) about the story of Facebook’s founding, fewer than half of internet users (42%) are able to identify Harvard as the first university to be on the site; and only 36% correctly selected 2007 as the year the first iPhone was released. The Mosaic web browser is an especially poorly-remembered pioneer of the early Web, as just 9% of online Americans are able to correctly identify Mosaic as the first widely popular graphical web browser.

You can see the results of survey of 1,077 adults here.


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