twitrratr: Sentiment on Twitter

twitrratr looks like an interesting attempt to provide some sentiment analysis to Twitter. Do a search for a keyword and twitrratr displays the tweets matching that term, with entries organized in 3 columns: negative, neutral, positive. Some algorithm works in the background to determine the sentiment.

The major issue I have with sentiment analysis is that it is not trivial stuff. From what I’ve seen of vendors who provide this service to corporations doing analysis of product mentions on the web, the effectiveness of this type of analysis is dependent on the algorithms that crunch text, the amount of text, and language used. Because Tweets are short I wonder how effective they can be. The upside to the constraints of a 140 character textarea is that often people end up being more concise and better communicate what’s on their mind. Other times, though, it can be utterly meaningless.

David Pogue on Tech Terms to Avoid

David Pogue offers some suggestions the selection of non-jargony words when writing/speaking about technology. Most of these I agree with. Here's a few:

* Enable. Who on earth says, "Enable the GPS function"? Only user-manual writers and computer-book authors. Say "Turn on GPS" instead.

* Support. I don't mean "support" as in "tech support," although even that term is a corporate creepy cop-out (it means "help line"). No, I mean the verb, as in, "The laptop supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth."

In no other corner of modern discourse is "support" used that way. I use "has," "offers" or "works with.

More at NY Times... Microsoft Surface Videos

I’ve caught Chuck Todd using a desktop touch interface a few times on MSNBC to click through poll charts. While John King has been using a Perceptive Pixel-designed touch wall, Todd has been using a Microsoft Surface interface on a desktop. The device and manipulation of data on the screen looks very natural on this show, especially for the kind of information he’s speaking to. I think whenever there’s a lot of visual information to add to a story, this kind of an interface has potential to be very helpful and I look forward to seeing what they do at MSNBC and on other shows.

Creating Handcrafted Notebooks

This is my first case bound book notebook. I took a one day workshop at the Center for Book Arts to continue pursuing my obsession with notebooks. It is half filled with Bienfang 8x8 to the inch graph paper and the other half is Borden and Riley bleed proof paper. The section of papers is stitched into a text block that is drilled on left side to create this landscape orientation. beta - Image Editing in the Browser

Sumopaint, by Snap Group Ltd is looking to be a really slick Flash-based online graphics creation and editing tool. It has a very complete list of functionalities with shapes, brushes, layers, text editing, filters, and many of the features you’d expect from Photoshop or (ack) GIMP. Users can share images for community editing, create and view versions, and add comments.

This looks like it might turn out to be an excellent resource for those looking at doing things like shared whiteboarding and prototyping without the real-time editing. On the surface this appears to be only a Photoshop-like tool, but if you were to leverage the community and versioning features, the possibilities for a flexible tool like this become pretty interesting. Check it out.