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Twitter Tool Will Help Journalists Break News [VIDEO]

Via Mashable

A new software tool will help journalists see breaking news tweets as they are happening. The program, called Seriously Rapid Source Review, is still under development — but will act like a sieve that pull tweets from key sources currently sharing reports, images and video from the ground. Researchers at Rutgers University and Microsoft developed Seriously Rapid Source Review to give journalists access to breaking news like never before. Reporters won’t have to comb the web — or Twitter’s 200 million tweets a day — for sources. Nick Diakopoulos, one of the project’s authors, stated in a blog post that the program was built to deal with how much news is breaking on social media these days. Its features should help journalists distinguish accurate and trustworthy sources. SRSR features include automatic identification of eyewitnesses with approximate 89% precision and will list users in various archetypes — journalists, bloggers, organizations or unaffiliated citizens. To avoid a false tweet problem, such as the preemptive report of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno’s death in January, SRSR will use context clues to assess the verity and credibility on sources based on their Twitter profiles. The program will determine where a person says they are, plus look at the locations of friends and followers within a source’s network. Another component will look at the top five most mentioned companies, people or places mentioned in someone’s feed. The SRSR culls data from Twitter profiles, user-provided descriptions, data from follower and following lists. A report based on a search term will compile the sources sharing tweets that match the search terms. SEE ALSO: How Whitney Houston News Broke — and Exploded — on Twitter The SRSR is still in its development stage. The researchers have not used been able to use real-time Tweets because of limitations in applying the Twitter API

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Twitter Tool Will Help Journalists Break News [VIDEO]

The 5 Best New Apps This Week

Via Mashable

Everpix for iPhone Everpix automatically stores and organizes all of your photos in one spot. As of Wednesday, it has an iPhone app that will automatically add your mobile photos to the same spot. In addition, the app gives you access to all of your photos on the go. Free. With about 500,000 apps in the Apple App Store and an estimated 300,000 apps in the Android Market, finding the gems among the virtual haystack can be full-time job. The good news is that it’s our full time job. We’ve trekked through the overly frivolous, the ugly and the downright impractical in our search for these five recently launched apps worth downloading in the slideshow above. We hope you enjoy this week’s top picks. They include new takes on mobile video, food searching and children’s books. There’s also an app that lets you access your entire photo library from your phone and another that will automatically tag your photos with the subjects’ names. More About: apps , Everpix , Everything Butt Art , face.com , foodspotting , Klik , showyou

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The 5 Best New Apps This Week

Digital Divide: If You’re Reading This, You’re One of the Lucky Ones [INFOGRAPHIC]

Via Mashable

Even in the richest countries on the planet such as the U.S., not everyone has easy access to this cornucopia of connectivity, the Internet. The Internet is a tremendous growth engine, responsible for 21% of economic growth in the more advanced countries in the world, according to a McKinsey study . While those of us in the United States complain about how we have to pay more for Internet service that’s slower than those of other first-world countries, within the United States there’s a gaping chasm between the haves and the have-nots. In this infographic by OnlineITdegree.net , an ad-free website describing itself as “an online informational resource for individuals looking to pursue IT degree of related education and careers,” you’ll find surprising information about the differences in Internet access in the United States. There are vast gaps between Internet accessibility in cities and rural areas, racial disparities in Internet access (which isn’t as pronounced as it was a decade ago), and the growing gap between rich and poor and its influence on who goes without computers or Internet access. Beyond that, you’ll see more information about how the U.S. lags behind other countries in Internet technology, broadband speed and access. This is the part that has us scratching our heads. Why do you think the United States lags behind less-wealthy countries when it comes to Internet access? Do find that as frustrating as we do? What do you think should be done about this persistent digital divide? Let us know in the comments. Infographic courtesy OnlineITDegree.net More About: digital divide , infographic , internet , trending For more Tech coverage: Follow Mashable Tech on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook Subscribe to the Tech channel Download our free apps for Android , Mac , iPhone and iPad

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Digital Divide: If You’re Reading This, You’re One of the Lucky Ones [INFOGRAPHIC]

Open University learning is a joy | Jules Horne

Via The Guardian:

It may not have the nightlife but as a way of accessing a flexible, quality education, I’ve found the Open University can’t be beaten He was a flying goth with rocker looks. I was a new Open University tutor researching a play. I ventured into the OU room in Second Life , and after a few introductions (He: F04 R08 . AL? Me: Yep. A363 . R11), we had a long chat about non-Euclidean geometry. Call me strange, but I found this amazingly thrilling. Living in a rural area, you don’t come across many Gauss experts. Vast academic libraries, with international journals on tap, books and courses to get your brain cranking, people who enjoy a good barney about Shakespeare’s sonnets: the OU has brought all that to my doorstep, and it’s been an absolute joy. A quick straw poll reveals quite a few of my friends are closet OU students – they just haven’t mentioned it. All over the country, distance learning is helping students overcome not just geography, but also disability, culture, financial and family circumstances. Susanne Lockie, a full-time mother to three children, told me the mental stimulation has made it a lifesaver: “I need to keep my skills ticking over, but I couldn’t study to a high level without that flexibility. I’ve been able to get credit for my previous full-time study in nursing, which was interrupted when I had a family. I’ve finished my Open degree now, but I need to spend more time with my parents at the moment, so I’m taking a year out before starting on honours.” Employers tend to be supportive of OU study, knowing that OU students are likely to be unusually determined and committed. That’s why it’s all the more disappointing when you hear lazy “not a real degree, then” comments and ancient stereotypes of tweedy tutors and chalk-and-talk TV. I’ve found the quality of OU learning materials outstanding. The modular structure means you cover the ground systematically, with a clear understanding of context. Elsewhere (I studied at Oxford), I’ve found the learning experience equally stimulating, but much more haphazard.

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Open University learning is a joy | Jules Horne

Colleges stumble on to the Twitter scene

Via The Guardian:

Further education colleges are starting to catch on to social messaging. Sort of Are you a member of the Twitterati? You’ve heard of MySpace and you’re probably a whiz when it comes to Facebook, but it seems that we should be all of “a-Twitter” now. Twitter is the website on which users post statements called “tweets”, which can have up to 140 characters. More than 300,000 tweets are already sent every day in the UK. The actor Stephen Fry is one famous exponent, and MPs have jumped on the bandwagon too. Jim Knight, the schools minister, is a regular tweeter, whose recent posts range from the inane “realised I never had that pancake yesterday – does that mean I can ignore Lent?” to the more waspish “wondering for how much longer we’ll have to listen to Michael Gove”. The further education minister, Siôn Simon, has just started tweeting and the higher education minister, David Lammy, even appeared on the BBC’s One Show extolling Twitter’s virtues. Now even a few further education colleges have caught on. Sort of. When it comes to writing succinctly, we further education sorts do struggle. We’re used to using eight words when one would do, and flabby paragraphs with 50-word sentences. And we do love our jargon. Twitter pioneers include Deeside College, Havering College, Regents College, Sunderland College and my own college, Cornwall. Breaking news News of the Chinese earthquake last year broke on Twitter, as did the first images of the US Airways plane that had to crash-land in New York’s Hudson river and last week’s crash at Schipol airport near Amsterdam

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Colleges stumble on to the Twitter scene

You’ll Download Physical Objects Sooner Than You Think, Thanks to Kids Like These

Via Mashable

File-sharing site The Pirate Bay caused an Internet stir last week when it introduced a new content category called “Physibles,” essentially designed to allow people to pass one another physical objects for download . The term refers to data files that are actually able to become physical objects via 3D printing technology. Before long, The Pirate Bay said in a blog post, “you will print the spare parts for your vehicles.” Some saw the announcement as an overhyped publicity stunt. Others saw a powerful revolution of how humans acquire essential goods. But one expert Mashable spoke with this week said that 3D printing is indeed bound for the mainstream — and even sooner than The Pirate Bay might think. “If you want to draw that parallel, we are kind of in the early 1980s of the computer industry right now, when it was just moving from mainframes into home computers,” said Hod Lipson , a Cornell University associate professor of both Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and Computing & Information Science. “I see a big future for 3D printers in personal-scale applications that will unfold over the next decade.” That big future will probably include kids like Riley Lewis and Vernon Bussler (right and left, respectively, in the accompanying photo). Riley and Vernon are eighth graders. Along with a small cohort of classmates at Discovery Charter School in the Bay Area, they’re already getting pretty deep into the world of 3D design and printing. After Riley developed a strong interest and aptitude for 3D printing a couple of years ago, a company called 3D Systems donated a 3D printer worth several hundred dollars for him to use at school. The class of some dozen students is one a very small number of middle school labs beginning to delve into the emerging industry. The group’s work has been featured in a Popular Science blog post, and they have already produced items including dice, jewelry and replacement parts for the printer. Their progress reflects a tangible future for the medium that exists outside of exclusive laboratories and research facilities. “It’s just amazing to have an idea and then be able to create a perfect rendition of it, something you can physically hold and touch,” Riley told Mashable . Vernon said that their classmates react with “a combination of ‘that’s cool’ and ‘I don’t get it.’” According to Lipson, more and more people will begin to “get it” in the coming years.

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You’ll Download Physical Objects Sooner Than You Think, Thanks to Kids Like These

Our Take: We love this idea imagine being able to email your physical project work to your examiner half way round the world.

New Website Connects Language Newbies With Native Speakers

Via Mashable

Name: Verbling Quick Pitch: Verbling is a web-based platform where individuals can pair up with native speakers to practice speaking new languages on live video.

Genius Idea: Verbling makes language learning easy by offering a free way to connect instantly with native speakers with timed prompts and conversation-starting topics. Verbling was launched in 2011 when co-founders Jacob Jolis and Mikael Bernstein met while attending Stanford University. The two dropped out of the prestigious school and teamed up with then-Google software engineer Fred Wulff to build the language-learning startup of their dreams. Verbling.com, a Y Combinator -backed startup, is a website that people can access globally to speak with native language speakers living in different countries. For now, only Spanish and English speakers can access video chat, but the founders hope to add Arabic, French, Chinese and German — among 10 languages in total — by the end of the year. The idea of Verbling is to solve one of the biggest problems for language learners — not being able to practice speaking with natives. People devote time and money to learning language basics, but slowly lose linguistic skills without practice. “It’s very difficult to find native speakers without going abroad,” said Bernstein who speaks English, Swedish, German and Russian. “With Verbling, you can do that instantaneously. You don’t have to schedule or waste any time trying to find someone.” Verbling is all about the trade.

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New Website Connects Language Newbies With Native Speakers

Danish schools ready to trial internet access during exams

Via The Guardian:

Each summer we’re subjected to a string of arguments over whether getting an A-level or GCSE is getting easier. But thanks to officials in Denmark, it may be time to stop talking about dumbing down exams and start talking about wiring them up instead. According to reports in the Danish media, ministers are about to trial a system where A-level students are allowed to take internet-connected computers into exams. The reason, say officials, is that collecting facts and figures is now a task best left to computers – and that youngsters taking exams shouldn’t necessarily be blocked from one of the tools they are routinely expected to use in their studies. “It is a good way to get historical facts or an article that may be useful in a written civics exam, for example,” Søren Vagner, a consultant with the Ministry of Education told Danish newspaper MetroXpress last week. At a simple level, this makes a lot of sense. The internet is now such a powerful research tool that it has done away with lots of the old methods like learning by rote – turning facts into commodities in the same way that calculators dispense with some basic mathematical activities. Why bother remembering facts and figures when you can call them up on demand with a computer? There are a number of potential pitfalls, however, not least protecting against plagiarism and the problem of students lifting information from online sources to pad out work. Vagner was quoted as saying that examiners would keep a close eye on what students submitted, and would conduct regular, randomised checks of the web pages that they had used in the course of their research to keep tabs. Checking for plagiarism is relatively easy, of course (a simple web search for groups of words would do half the job) and web-based plagiarism is something that schools are already trying to cope with . But the biggest problem is one that doesn’t seem to be addressed: the possibility for students (or other people) to collude over their exams.

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Danish schools ready to trial internet access during exams