How Exciting: Algorithm Detects Sarcasm

May 24, 2010

The amusing nerds over at Geekosystem, and the more serious nerds over at Slashdot are reporting in that someone has created an algorithm capable of picking sarcasm in written statements. Great, just great. That immediately ruins the chance of ever messing with some straight-laced, sensible robot slave in the future.

It’s called SASI (semi-supervised sarcasm identification algorithm), and apparently “SASI achieved a precision of 77% and recall of 83.1% “on an evaluation set containing newly discovered sarcastic sentences, where each sentence was annotated by three human readers.”” More info and a couple of thoughts after the jump.

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Climate change journalism meets social media

November 10, 2009

Earth Journalism Awards
It’s expected that 40 world leaders will attend this year’s COP15 climate change talks in Denmark next month to hammer out the details for what is hoped will be the successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. Fifteen journalists, winners in the Earth Journalism Awards, are being flown to Copenhagen to cover the two week conference.

Voting mechanisms on the EJA siteThe organisers, the Earth Journalism Network, are making great use of social media to plug this event – obviously they’re marketing the awards themselves all over the usual social media, but there is also a final sixteenth award which is determined by user interaction. All fifteen journalists are finalists, and the whole world gets to vote for an overall winner of the Global Public Award using the EJA site, but also on Twitter by retweeting #ejavote and the URL of the story. Additionally, each entry has its own Facebook fan page, for which every fan constitutes a vote.

This is a great mobilisation of social media tools to get what is an environmental/political issue under the noses of the millions of tweeters and Facebook fiends.

Local journo, John Pickrell from Australia’s own Cosmos Magazine (they who brought us HelloFromEarth.net), is one of the fifteen finalists for his piece on ocean acidification and its effects on our very own Great Barrier Reef. You can read his and all the other finalists’ articles on the EJA website and make your voice heard – http://awards.earthjournalism.org/finalists.


Where Are All the Fish?

June 5, 2009

In the past 50 years, per capita fish consumption has almost doubled, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. They measure (i guess in a round-a-bout way) how many of each species is caught each year.

Good Magazine has produced this awesome (looking) chart to represent the depleting numbers of our most mouth watering sea dwellers.

trans0509nomorefishinthesea

Unfortunately though, a pretty graph isn’t necessarily an accurate one. The article on Good Magazine has sparked some rather fierce debate as to not only the data charts accuracy but whether the info should be displayed like that at all!

Read through the comments at the source to learn more… i don’t know… something smells… off.

The article at Good Magazine


Spaceship "force field" could protect astronauts on trip to Mars

November 6, 2008

image

A few researchers focusing on making the trip to Mars a bit more bearable (and survivable) for us humans, and a group from a consortium of different institutions now say they’ve made some real progress on that front.

Their idea is to use a portable "mini-magnetosphere," which would protect a spacecraft from harmful solar storms and cosmic rays in much the same way the Earth’s magnetosphere naturally protects the planet. That is actually an idea that has been around for decades, and was shown last year to be at least theoretically possible, but it has only now been taken beyond the realm of computer simulations.

That was apparently possible thanks to the use of an unspecified "apparatus originally built to work on fusion," which allowed researchers to recreate "a tiny piece of the Solar Wind" and confirm that a small "hole" in the wind would indeed be all that would d be necessary to keep astronauts safe.

I can’t wait – but of course the leap from the lab to an actual spacecraft is still a bit off.

You can read more here.