Questions 59 to 62 are based on the following passage:
Today, the computer has taken up appliance status in more than 42 percent of households across the United States. And these computers are increasingly being wired to the Internet. Online access was up more than 50 percent in just the past year. Now, more than one quarter of all U.S. households can surf in cyberspace.
Mostly, this explosive growth has occurred democratically. The online penetration and computer ownership increases extend across all the demographic levels -- by race, geography, income, and education.
We view these trends as favorable without the slightest question because we clearly see computer technology as empowering. In fact, personal growth and a prosperous U.S. economy are considered to be the long-range rewards of individual and collective technological power.
Now for the not-so-good news. The government“s analysis spells out so-called digital divide. That is, the digital explosion is not booming at the same pace for everyone. Yes, it is true that we are all plugged in to a much greater degree than any of us have been in the past. But some of us are more plugged in than others and are getting plugged in far more rapidly. And this gap is widening even as the pace of the information age accelerates through society.
Computer ownership and Internet access are highly classified along lines of wealth, race, education, and geography. The data indicates that computer ownership and online access are growing more rapidly among the most prosperous and well educated: essentially, wealthy white people with high school and college diplomas and who are part of stable, two-parent households.
The highest income bracket households, those earning more than $75,000 annually, are 20 times as likely to have access to the Internet as households at the lowest income levels, under $10,000 annually. The computer penetration rate at the high-income level is an amazing 76.56 percent, compared with 8 percent at the bottom end of the scale.
Technology access differs widely by educational level. College graduates are 16 times as likely to be Internet surfers at home as are those with only elementary-school education. If you look at the differences between these groups in rural areas, the gap widens to a twenty-six-fold advantage for the college-educated.
From the time of the last study, the information access gap grew by 29 percent between the highest and lowest income groups, and by 25 percent between the highest and lowest education levels.
In the long nm, participation in the information age may not be a zero sum game, where if some groups win, others must lose. Eventually, as the technology matures we are likely to see penetration levels approach all groups equally. This was true for telephone access and television ownership, but eventually can be cold comfort in an era when tomorrow is rapidly different from today and unrecognizable compared with yesterday.
59. How many U.S. households have linked to Internet today?
A. More than 25 percent.
B. By 29 percent.
C. More than 42 percent.
D. More than 50 percent.
60. According to the text, the computer use by the high-income level is that by the lowest income levels.
A. 8 percent more than
B. 76.56 percent more than
C. nearly 10 times as many as
D. about 20 times as many as
61. According to the author, which of the following prevents people from gaining access to the Internet?
A. Income level.
B. Poor education and low-income level.
C. Participation in the information age.
D. Telephone access and television ownership.
62. Judging from the context, what does digital divide (Dara.3) probably mean?
A. The government“s analysis.
B. The divide between the poor and the rich.
C. The pace of the information age.
D. The gap between people“s access to the computer.
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