Monday, October 31, 2016

Selected Characteristics of the Citizen Voting-Age Population

The U.S. Census Bureau released selected characteristics of the citizen voting-age population from the 2015 American Community Survey for all U.S. states and congressional districts.

These characteristics include selected age groups, sex, race, Hispanic origin, educational attainment, poverty status and household income.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Climate Change Indicators in the United States, 2016

The Earth's climate is changing. Temperatures are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events - like heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures - are already happening. Many of these observed changes are linked to the rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, caused by human activities.

EPA partners with more than 40 data contributors from various government agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations to compile a key set of indicators related to the causes and effects of climate change.'

This report presents 37 indicators, each describing trends related to the causes and effects of climate change. It focuses primarily on the United States, but in some cases, global trends are presented to provide context or a basis for comparison. The online version is updated periodically as new data become available.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Amazon Bans Most Users From Writing Reviews In Exchange For Free, Discounted Items

From The Consumerist

While Amazon has long looked down on reviews that were written in exchange for free or deeply discounted items, these write-ups were allowed so long as they followed the rules: The review must be honest, and the compensation must be fully disclosed. But... a number of compensated reviewers were gaming the system — posting hundreds of reviews a month, almost universally positive, and for products they sometimes couldn’t possibly have used. Now Amazon has announced a nearly full ban on compensated reviews.

There are a number of sites and social media groups that promote these free and discounted items, with the condition that the person receiving the product write an Amazon review within a given timeframe.

Yesterday, Chee Chew, Amazon’s VP of Customer Experience, explained the reason the company had previously tolerated these incentivized reviews is that they were seen as a way for little-known products to build up a base of customer feedback.

However... some reviewers were leaving very questionable reviews. For example, we found multiple reviews for a phone case for a Lumia 650 — all of them positive and many of them referencing how well the case fit onto their device. Problem was, that phone had not yet been released.

See also the story from GeekWire