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Anuncio de los artículos posteados en: Marzo 2017

21 Mar 2017 

The next hot trend in wearable devices? 'Hearables," IDC says

The next hot trend in wearable devices? 'Hearables," IDC says | PCWorld

Wearable devices that double as clothing or get worn on the ear will grow the fastest of all wearables in electronic voting system project documentation the next five years, market research firm IDC said Monday.

Earworn devices, sometimes called "hearables," will grow by 43% every year over that period, IDC said. They started from a small base: just 700,000 devices shipped in 2016.

Clothing will grow by 77% a year, starting at 2016's level of 1.3 million clothing wearables shipped, IDC added.

Earwear and clothing together will still make up only 11% of the wearable device market in 2021, well behind smartwatches and a group of wearables that IDC calls "basic" watches.

Today, these two groups of watches make up nearly half the wearables market, with about 49 million units shipped in 2016 out of 102 million total wearables shipped. Watches will jump to 152 million shipped in 2021, IDC predicted.

In the past two years, smartwatches and the more basic models struggled to find a mass market because the value propostion wasn't clear, IDC said. "Most potential customers saw watches performing multiple functions, but none of them worked exceptionally well to accomplish a myriad of tasks," said Ramon Llamas, an IDC analyst.

The trend will be to segment the devices into niches like kids' watches, athletic watches, luxury and fashion watches and more, he said. TAG Heuer sells the Connected smartwatch in the luxury category for $1,500, for example.

One of the biggest watch segments is kids' watches that offer location tracking for parents. "They aren't as well-known in the U.S. but they are big in Asia," said IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani.



Earwear will be broken into wearables categories such disadvantages of online voting fitness tracking and coaching, while others will have features such as noise canceling and enhanced audio. Doppler Labs, maker of Here One earbuds, takes the concept of noise-canceling headphones to a smaller form factor.

There's also the prospect of real-time language translation with a hearable, Ubrani said. In one example, Mymanu, a UK-based startup, announced its Clik wireless earbuds earlier this year that can translate in up to 37 languages. The price is reportedly $190.

Clothing wearables are still an emerging market, but Llamas said clothes are being designed to track fitness and to communicate with workers. In one example, a first responder heading into a dangerous situation could have his heart rate or commands transmitted via his outer wear.

At Mobile World Congress in February, outdoor gear for marine rescue personnel was shown that can detect when the jacket is immersed in water and then transmit that information to a remote location.



This story, "The next hot trend in wearable devices? 'Hearables," IDC says" was originally published byComputerworld.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
20 Mar 2017 

Glass washrooms in China offer stunning forest views

The walls, ceiling and floor of the toilet cubicles, located in Shiyan Lake Ecology Park, are almost completely transparent.

That means when nature calls users relieve themselves while simultaneously soaking in the stunning beauty of Shiyan Lake.



Washroom visitors aren't fully exposed.

A portion of the glass, from the floor to just over the toilet seat, is slightly frosted, shielding users from those who might be tempted to sneak a peek of something other than the great outdoors.

Shiyan Lake Ecology Park's glass washroom opened last week -- just in time for China's National Day holiday, when millions of Chinese take advantage of a week of public holidays to travel around the country.

'Insane. Perverse'

Social media users in China appear to be divided over the park's new attraction.

More than 14,000 comments have been posted on Chinese news site QQ.com since the toilets opened.

Many plumbing supplies involve concerns about privacy.

"All the lechers will then stay in the toilets," commented a user named Fong.

Meanwhile, reader Lin asked: "Who would dare go to a toilet like this? Insane. Perverse."

Some questioned the intention of the designers.

"The toilet is another scenic spot," commented bathroom plumbing problems Weibo user Qiu.

"Such a victory in that sense."

This isn't the first public washroom in China to offer sweet views.

According to Chinese state media, a male washroom in the southern province of Guilin offers urinals mounted in front of two glass walls overlooking the flora and fauna outside and the mountains in the distance.

But Hunan province might just lead the way when it comes to building dramatic glass structures.

It's also home to the recently opened cliff-clinging glass skywalk and the longest glass bridge in the world, which towers over a steep canyon.

And for lovers of interesting restrooms, earlier this year backpacker bible Lonely Planet published a handsome book featuring wholesale plumbing supplies online more than 100 of them.



From pop-up pissoirs to clifftop drops, the gallery below shows a selection from "Toilets: A Spotter's Guide."
20 Mar 2017 

Elections: turnout in the 2004 presidential election.

One of the major stories of the 2004 presidential election was the

increase in voter turnout from 2000. There is no doubt that there was

heightened interest in the 2004 campaign and that rates of voter

participation increased most everywhere in the United States. All

Americans should be pleased with this aspect of the contest between Bush

and Kerry. Yet, this good news needs to be tempered once one puts

political interest and turnout in 2004 into historical perspective.

Journalists who wrote of "unprecedented interest" in the 2004

race for the White House were clearly exaggerating. And anyone who wrote

of "record turnout" among voters could only justify such a

claim by focusing on the sheer number of voters who cast ballots--not on

the percentage of eligible persons. This research note presents a

variety of data on these points in an attempt to place the 2004

participation results into clear perspective.

Interest in the 2004 Presidential Campaign





Few observers would question the assertion that public interest in


the Bush-Kerry race was higher than was the case for the Bush-Gore race


of 2000, and much higher than interest in the Clinton-Dole-Perot race of


1996. Yet, memories all too often seemed to be quite short in assessing


public interest in the presidential campaign. Relatively little mention


was made of the very high level of interest that the public expressed in


the Clinton-Bush-Perot contest of 1992. Polls done by the Pew Center for


People and the Press showed that interest in the 2004 campaign was


roughly identical to what was found at comparable points in the 1992


campaign. For example, they found that 76 percent of registered voters


interviewed in mid-October 2004 said they had given "a lot of


thought" to the presidential election compared to 77 percent who


responded this way in early October 1992. In mid-October 2004 a Pew


Center poll found that 54 percent said they had been following news


about the presidential election "very closely" and another 29


percent said "fairly closely." At roughly the same point in


1992, 55 percent responded "very closely" and 36 percent said


"fairly closely."





It is of course one thing to say you are interested in the campaign

and quite another to actually do something which demonstrates interest.

One measure for which good data exist over time is viewing presidential

debates. These statistics are highly reliable because Nielsen Media

Research compiles them based on devices attached to TVs in a random

sample of households. With the transformation of political conventions

into stage-managed coronations, live presidential debates have come to

be the only moments of true spontaneity and drama in modern American

campaigns. Just as interest in the Super Bowl, the Oscars, and other

regular big events in American culture can be traced by rising and

falling Nielsen ratings, so can interest in presidential campaigns via

debate ratings.

As shown in Table 1, like most other major events on television,


the Nielsen data show declining ratings for viewing presidential debates


since cable started to substantially fragment the viewing audience in


the early 1980s. There have been two clear exceptions to the pattern of


declining ratings for presidential debates during this period--1992 and


2004. Interestingly, in both cases the Nielsen ratings increased 19


percent from the level measured four years earlier. Thus, the increase


in interest in the 2004 election--as measured by watching the major


events of the campaign--was hardly unprecedented. Indeed, it was a


virtual repeat of what occurred between 1988 and 1992. The major


difference was that the typical audience for the presidential debates of


1992 was 43 percent of the population as compared to just 33 percent in


2004. Perhaps this decline was inevitable given the increased number of


viewing options for Americans as the television environment has been


transformed from broadcasting to narrowcasting. But in any event, it


would be hard to argue from these numbers that interest in the 2004


campaign rose to an unprecedented level.





Turnout of the Voting Age Population in 2004





The widely reported figure of 122 million voters who participated


in the 2004 presidential election was a record-shattering number in


terms of raw number of votes, far exceeding the previous mark of 105


million in 2000. Of course, if what is most important in voter turnout


is the number of people who vote, then India would win hands down as the


world's greatest democracy. One has to take into account the size


of the adult population in order to evaluate turnout in any election.


Although the American media seemed fascinated with the statistic of 122


million voters, the denominator for calculating turnout was rarely


mentioned. The traditionally used measure in the United States, where


registration is far from automatic and tens of millions of eligible


people do not bother to register, is the Census Bureau's estimate


of the voting age population. As of July 2003, the Census estimate of


the American population over 18 years of age was 217.8 million. Assuming


that the population continued to increase at the recent rate yields an


estimate of 221.3 million for voting age population in November 2004.


Thus, the turnout rate among Americans who were at least 18 years of age


was about 55 percent. Although this represents a 4 percent increase over


turnout of voting age population in 2000, it is exactly equal to the 55


percent turnout the nation experienced in 1992 and well short of the


modern high of 63 percent in 1960.







Using 1960 as a benchmark comparison for turnout might well be

criticized as starting from an unnaturally high point. However, contrary

to any notion that turnout in 1960 was strictly due to the excitement

caused by the close Kennedy-Nixon contest, Converse et al. wrote in 1961

that the increase in turnout had mostly occurred in the South. (1) At

that point in the study of elections, scholars had good reason to be

optimistic that turnout would rise even further due to the clear

prospect that registration restrictions in the South would be loosened.

As expected decades ago, turnout in the South has indeed risen

substantially from a mere 40 percent of the voting age population in the

Kennedy-Nixon contest to 52 percent in 2004. On the other hand, outside

the South there has been a clear decline in turnout from a fairly

respectable rate of 70 percent in 1960 to a disappointing figure of 56

percent in 2004.

Turnout of the Citizen Voting Age Population in 2004





It should be noted that all of the turnout percentages presented


above are based on a denominator that includes everyone over the age of


18 residing in the United States, including non-citizens, felons, and


other individuals who are not actually eligible to vote due to a variety


of state laws. McDonald and Popkin argue that turnout decline is a


"myth" because the voting age population has increasingly


contained more people ineligible to vote due to rising immigration and


crime rates. (2) Although they have a reasonable point, adjusting the


voting age population for non-citizens does not greatly change the


pattern since 1960, as displayed in Table 2. When non-citizens are


removed from the calculations, one finds that only about 61 percent of


people in the non-South voted in 2004 as compared to 71 percent in 1960;


in the South a significant increase can again be seen from 41 to 57


percent. It would be hard to see how a change of this magnitude outside


the South can be seen as a myth. And taking into account changes in the


percentage of the population that is disenfranchised due to felony


convictions (currently about 1.6 percent) is scarcely likely to change


the pattern noticeably either.





Substantively, it is my view that the fact that non-citizens and


convicted felons are not voting is of importance, and that such


information should not be ignored by removing them from the national


calculations. Many of these people pay taxes and potentially stand to


benefit from government programs as well. Whether it is right or wrong


to exclude them from voting is not self-evident, as demonstrated by the


varying franchise rules that have been applied throughout U.S. political


history (3) and which currently are in place around the world. (4) In


his last message to Congress, President Clinton recommended restoring


voting rights to felons after they have served their sentences, a


proposal which was subsequently endorsed by the National Commission on


Federal Election Reform. (5) On the citizenship question, many leaders


in the Latino community believe that those who are on the road to


becoming citizens should be allowed to vote. (6) And in any event,


non-citizens are counted in the Census, which means that apportionment of political districts includes them. (In fact, there are districts in


the Los Angeles area where the majority of adults are resident aliens.


These people are probably receiving de facto representation, even though


they can't vote for the people who represent their interests.) In


sum, we need to take into account that such people are not voting today,


just as the fact that people who were effectively disenfranchised by Jim


Crow laws was taken into account in 1960.





State Patterns of Voter Turnout





Although it is noteworthy that millions of adult non-citizens who


count in the apportionment numbers, pay taxes, and are eligible to


receive government benefits are unable to vote, when it comes to


examining variations in statewide turnout it seems best to exclude them.


This is because tremendous variation exists in the percentage of


non-citizens from state to state. Fifteen states contained less than 2


percent non-citizens among their voting age population as of 2004,


whereas this rate exceeded 10 percent in seven states--with California


topping the lot at 18 percent. (7) Thus, California recorded a turnout


rate of 47 percent among its voting age population in 2004, but among


adult citizens its turnout was a more healthy 57 percent. To not adjust


turnout numbers for non-citizens would skew the results unfavorably


against states such as California and Texas. Thus, the results for


statewide turnout presented in Table 3 employ Citizen Voting Age


Population as the denominator.





Turnout rates of citizens varied quite widely from state to state


in 2004, with a difference of nearly 30 percent between the states with


the highest and lowest percentages. Yet, a common pattern is evident


among high-, medium-, and low-turnout states alike--namely that the


percentage of citizens participating in choosing the president increased


from 2000 to 2004. The only clear source of variation is that turnout


tended to go up the most in the battleground states, where the


candidates focused the vast majority of their time and resources in the


final week of the 2004 campaign. In the eleven battleground pop over here states


(shown in italics in Table 3) the mean increase in turnout was 6.6


percent. In contrast, the typical increase in voter participation in the


other states was just 4.2 percent. Thus, greater interest in the


presidential campaign nationwide can be estimated to have pushed turnout


up about 4 percent. And in the relatively few places where there was


extraordinary activity to get out the vote, the rate of increased


participation was even greater.





The importance of intense political competition in getting people


out to vote can also be seen in the instance of one hard-fought Senate


campaign. The race between Democratic Senate leader Tom Daschle and


Republican challenger John Thune in South Dakota probably attracted more


attention than any other statewide race in 2004. Interestingly, turnout


in South Dakota went up 10 percent over the state's 2000 rate, more


than any other state. Given that there was never any doubt that Bush


would win South Dakota's electoral votes, it is readily apparent


that the major force in driving turnout up must have been the heated


Senate contest. In fact, South Dakota was the only state in 2004 that


recorded more votes for a statewide race (391,092 votes for the Senate


contest) than for the presidency (388,156 votes). (8)





Another factor that almost certainly accounts for some of the


increase in turnout in 2004 involves technological improvements in


voting machines in many states. Because not every state reports the


number of people who actually cast ballots, analysts are forced to rely


on the total number of votes cast for president as the numerator in


calculating turnout. But as the nation learned during the 2000 Florida


recount controversy, not everyone who votes has a presidential choice


recorded, either because they fail to mark a choice or because of


technical problems with their votes. A national study by Caltech and MIT estimated that this percentage was approximately 2.3 percent of all


voters in 2000. (9) As a result of the Florida fiasco, a number of


states undertook major efforts to reduce the percentage of lost votes.


These efforts appear to have succeeded splendidly.





Florida itself decertified punch-card machines, which were widely


blamed for the high rate of invalid votes in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and


Broward Counties in 2000. As a result of improved voting machinery


between 2000 and 2004, the proportion of invalid votes for president


fell from 6.4 to 0.5 percent in Palm Beach, from 4.4 to 0.5 percent in


Miami-Dade, and from 2.5 to 0.4 percent in other Broward. These numbers


clearly played a part in boosting the proportion of Florida's


citizens casting a vote for president from 57 percent in 2000 to 64


percent in 2004.





Similarly, Georgia took action to adopt touch-screen voting


throughout the state after its secretary of state reported that 3.5


percent of Georgians who showed up at the polls in 2000 had no valid


choice for president. Invalid votes were particularly a problem in large


counties using punch-card equipment such as Fulton and DeKalb, which had


rates of invalid votes of 6.3 and 3.7 percent, respectively; in 2004,


both counties reported undervotes were reduced to a mere 0.3 percent. As


was the case in Florida, Georgia also experienced a turnout increase, of


7 percent from 2000 to 2004. But unlike Florida, Georgia was never


considered to be anything but a Bush state and an easy Senate pickup for


the GOP, thereby making it a particularly clear case of turnout being


driven up by more efficient voting machinery.





It might be thought that the introduction of punch-card machines in


the 1960s played a role in the fall of turnout rates that became


apparent soon afterward. However, The American Voter estimated in 1960


that 2 percent of votes cast were invalid (10)--a percentage virtually


identical to the MIT/Caltech study conducted just after the 2000


election. Thus, if anything, technological changes in vote recording


have probably had a favorable impact on turnout rates between 1960 and


2004.





Nevertheless, as can be seen in the right-hand column of Table 3,


many non-southern states still have a long way to go to get their rate


of citizen turnout up to what it was in 1960. Declines of 15 percentage


points or more are found in seven states, and another nine states have


experienced declines of at least 10 percentage points. These state-level


data demonstrate just how serious the waning of turnout is in some parts


of the United States, even with the increase in participation rates from


2000 to 2004. Notably, a fairly steep decline in turnout is quite


evident in some of the states that permit Election Day registration,


such as Idaho and Wyoming, as well as North Dakota, which does not


require registration at all. And those who believe that the decline of


turnout is overblown due to the increase of non-citizens in recent years


should particularly note that these numbers reflect citizens only.





Conclusion: The Start of a Recovery or Just a Blip?





Although the increase in turnout rates from 2000 to 2004 is surely


good news, the prospects for this being the start of an extended upward


trend are less sanguine. The prospects for interest in the 2008 campaign


even equaling that of 2004 are not so good. One only has to briefly


reflect on the extraordinary events from the disputed outcome of the


2000 race, to the tragedy of September 11th, to the invasions of


Afghanistan and Iraq to realize that the period leading up to Election


Day 2004 was no ordinary time. As the old Chinese curse goes: "May


you live in interesting times." Were this level of interest in


presidential campaigns to be continued through 2008 it would probably


not be a good sign for the United States.





Like the substantial increase in turnout which occurred between


1988 and 1992, this most recent increase may well prove to be just a


short-lived blip. It is noteworthy that turnout fell off sharply after


1992 even though the newly elected president worked with the Congress to


take historic action to make voter registration easier. The National


Voter Registration Act of 1993 (widely known as the "Motor Voter


Act") succeeded in increasing the percentage of the public that was


registered to vote, but this positive development was more than offset


by declining interest in the subsequent two presidential elections.


Unlike the situation in 1992, in the aftermath of the 2004 campaign the


president and the Congress show no apparent interest in further


legislation to boost America's still anemic rate of voter turnout.





The lack of momentum in Congress for legislation that might


increase turnout is not due to a lack of good ideas on this subject.


After the 2000 election, the National Commission on Federal Electoral


Reform led by former Presidents Ford and Carter recommended that


Congress make Election Day a national holiday--a proposal that was also


endorsed by President Clinton. Based on data collected shortly after the


2004 election, there is good reason to suspect that turnout would have


been even higher had Election Day been a holiday. A post-election survey


by Harvard's Vanishing Voter project found that 24 percent of


non-voters said that they didn't vote because they were so busy


they didn't have time to go to the polls. Of course, some of these


people just used time pressures as an easy excuse, but it does seem


reasonable that in today's busy world that many of them would have


voted had they had the day off from work or school. According to the Pew


Center's post-election poll, 42 percent of voters who went to the


polls on Election Day 2004 had to wait in line. Of these voters who


faced lines, over 40 percent reported waiting at least half an hour. It


does not take much of a leap of faith to infer that some people may have


been discouraged by the prospect of waiting in long lines on a workday.





To those who question whether an Election Day holiday would really


make a positive difference, I would simply ask them to consider whether


they would recommend that Iraq or Afghanistan hold their elections on


Tuesday like we do. It is doubtful that any American elections expert


would recommend that these countries emulate our example in this


respect. So if Americans wouldn't recommend Tuesday elections to


other countries, why should the United States continue this practice? By


joining the modern world and voting on a leisure day, it is likely that


American turnout would increase.








TABLE 1





Nielsen Ratings of Presidential Debates, 1960-2004





Presidential Debates Vice Presidential Debate





1960 59.4 --


1976 51.2 35.5


1980 58.9 --


1984 45.7 43.6


1988 36.4 33.6


1992 43.3 35.9


1996 27.7 19.7


2000 27.9 21.0


2004 33.3 28.1





Source: Nielsen Media Research.





TABLE 2





Voter Turnout Rates in 2004 and 1960 by Region





2004 1960





Voting age population


Non-South 56 70


South 52 40


Citizen voting age population


Non-South 61 71


South 57 41





TABLE 3





Turnout of Citizens of Voting Age by State in 2004, and Changes from


2000 and 1960





Turnout of Citizens Change from Change from


State in 2004 2000 1960





Minnesota# 77 +5 -1


Wisconsin# 74 +6 0


Maine 72 +4 -1


Oregon 71 +6 -2


New Hampshire# 70 +6 -10


Iowa 69 +5 -8


Alaska 69 0 +24


South Dakota 68 +10 -10


Colorado# 67 +7 -3


Michigan# 66 +7 -8


Ohio# 66 +10 -5


North Dakota 65 +4 -14


Vermont 65 0 -9


Washington 65 +4 -8


Massachusetts 65 +4 -13


Missouri 64 +6 -8


Florida# 64 +7 +14


Montana 64 +2 -7


Wyoming 63 +2 -10


Delaware 63 +5 -10


Connecticut 63 +2 -15


Pennsylvania# 62 +7 -9


Nebraska 62 +4 -9


Maryland 62 +7 +4


New Jersey 62 +6 -11


Kansas 61 +5 -9


Idaho 60 +4 -20


Virginia 60 +5 +27


Illinois 60 +4 -17


Louisiana 59 +4 +14


Kentucky 57 +4 0


California 57 +5 -10


New Mexico# 57 +7 -5


North Carolina 57 +5 +4


New York 57 0 -12


Rhode Island 56 -1 -21


Oklahoma 56 +6 -7


Tennessee 56 +7 +6


Alabama 56 +5 +25


D.C. 56 +2 --


Utah 55 +4 -20


Arizona 55 +7 +1


Nevada# 54 +6 -5


Indiana 54 +4 -23


Mississippi 54 +5 +29


West Virginia 53 +7 -25


Georgia 53 +7 +24


Texas 52 +5 +10


Arkansas 52 +3 +11


South Carolina 52 +5 +22


Hawaii 48 +4 -4





Note: States in italics were battleground states in the final week of


the 2004 campaign.





Note: States indicated with # were battleground states in the final


week of the 2004 campaign.


(1.) Philip E. Converse, Angus Campbell, Warren E. Miller, and


Donald E. Stokes, "Stability and Change in 1960: A Reinstating


Election," American Political Science Review 55(1961): 269-70.





(2.) Michael P. McDonald and Samuel L. Popkin, "The Myth of


the Vanishing Voter," American Political Science Review 95(2001):


963-74.





(3.) See Alexander Keyssar, The Right to Vote: The Contested


History of Democracy in the United States (New York: Basic Books, 2000).





(4.) See Andre Blais, Louis Massicotte, and Antoine Yoshinaka,


"Deciding Who Has the Right to Vote: A Comparative Analysis of


Election Laws," Electoral Studies 20(2001): 41-62.





(5.) See President William Jefferson Clinton, "The Unfinished


Work of Building One America," Message to Congress, January 15,


2001; and the National Commission on Federal Election Reform, "To


Assure Pride and Confidence in the Electoral Process," August 2001.





(6.) See Louis DeSipio, Counting on the Latino Vote: Latinos as a


New Electorate (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press,


1996), 131.







(7.) I am indebted to Michael McDonald of George Mason University


for posting the Census Bureau's recent data on the percentages of


non-citizens in each state on his Web site. For 1960 and 2000, I have


relied on my own earlier research presented in Martin P. Wattenberg,


Where Have All the Voters Gone? (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University


Press, 2002), chap. 2.





(8.) South Dakota is the exception that proves the rule, however.


When a variety of indicators of competitiveness of Senate and


gubernatorial elections were tested in a multivariate model predicting


turnout change, they consistently failed to show any significant impact.





(9.) The Caltech/MIT Voting Project, "Residual Votes


Attributable to Technology: An Assessment of the Reliability of Existing


Voting Equipment," Version 2, March 30, 2001, p. 7.





(10.) Angus Campbell, Philip E. Converse, Warren E. Miller, and


Donald E. Stokes, The American Voter (Chicago: University of Chicago


Press, 1960), 95.





Martin P. Wattenberg is professor of political science at the


University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Where Have All the


Voters Gone? and The Decline of American Political Parties, 1952-1996.