pbahra writes: "Twitter could almost have been created as a tool for scientific analysis. It churns out vast quantities of data in a format that looks perfect for computational crunching. But do tweets reflect what is really going on in the world? The BBC reports on how “engineers” from Texas Rice University monitored tweets during American football games. Professor Lin Zhong said that this tracking revealed what was happening in the game sometimes faster than broadcast media, often registering big events within 20 seconds. This Twitter-following technique, he said, could be applied to anything from monitoring reactions during televised political debates to revealing the location and duration of power cuts. However, other scientists were warning of the potential dangers of focusing too much research on social media and big data analysis techniques."
pbahra writes: Facebook could potentially be accessible by every GSM phone in the world, dramatically widening the social network’s global reach after the release of Facebook for SIM by the Amsterdam-based digital security firm Gemalto. According to the GSM Association, there are more than 5 billion GSM connections in the world. The latest subscriber figures for Facebook put it at over 500 million subscribers. The tiny application runs in the phone’s SIM card, rather than on the phone, and gives users access to all of the text-based services on Facebook, such as friend requests, status updates, wall posts or messages. It also offers unique functions: people can sign up for this service and log-in directly from the SIM application. Interactive Facebook messages pop-up on the phone’s screen so people can always share up-to-the-minute posts and events. Users can also automatically search their SIM phonebook for other friends and send them requests.