Tweeting a lot to gain popularity is inefficient

The imbalanced structure of Twitter, where some users have many followers and the large majority barely has several dozen followers, means that messages from the more influential have much more impact. Less popular users can compensate for this by increasing their activity and their tweets, but the outcome is costly and inefficient. This was confirmed by an analysis of the social network performed by researchers from the Technical University of Madrid.

Visualisation of the spreading of messages on Twitter (retweets network in green) on the followers network (grey). The nodes represent users and their size is proportional to the number of followers that they have. Red indicates users who have written original tweets and yellow indicates users who have retweeted them.
Visualisation of the spreading of messages on Twitter (retweets network in green) on the followers network (grey). The nodes represent users and their size is proportional to the number of followers that they have. Red indicates users who have written original tweets and yellow indicates users who have retweeted them.

Credit: Image adapted by A.J. Morales, R.M. Benito et al. – Social Networks

What can Twitter users do to increase their influence? To answer this question, a team of researchers at the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) has analysed thousands of conversations, applied a computational model and devised a measure that relates the effort spent to the influence gained by tweeters.

The results, published in the journal ‘Social Networks’, confirm that the actual structure of Twitter is the key to the influence. It is a heterogeneous network, or rather, one where there is a large number of users with very few followers (61 on median, according to O’Reilly), and a few -very few- with an enormous number of followers (up to 40-50 million).

With this type of distribution, network position or ‘topocracy’ comes before meritocracy: “Having a larger number of followers is much more important than the user’s ‘effort’ or activity in sending lots of messages,” Rosa M. Benito, head of the research team, tells SINC.

“However, if the underlying network were homogeneous (something which it is not), users would have approximately the same number of connections and their position on the network would not be important; their influence would depend directly on their activity,” establishes the researcher.

According to the study, on heterogeneous networks like Twitter the way in which users send messages does not matter, because there is always going to be a highly influential minority. Tweets that more popular people or institutions send are spread more and have greater impact, even though they send very few, which is also quite usual.

“The data shows that the emergence of a group of users who write fewer tweets but that are largely retweeted is due to the social network being heterogeneous,” Rosa M. Benito points out.

The researcher is not exactly encouraging for the majority of tweeters who wish to be more influential: “Ordinary users can gain the same number of retweets as popular users by increasing their activity abruptly. Then it is possible to increase their influence through activity, but it is costly and inefficient”.

Courtesy: AlphaGalileo

Scientists invent tool to improve usability of mobile devices

The rapid increase in mobile technology such as smart phones and watches, tablets and Google Glass, has resulted in the need for more research to ensure those devices work well.

But, says Wichita State assistant professor Jibo He, there are no good tools to properly test mobile devices. So He, along with WSU professor Barb Chaparro, invented a solution using the latest technology of Google Glass.

It’s called uSee Glass and is a software application that allows remote observers to conduct usability testing. This week, He and Chaparro filed for a patent on the software.

These are the ways it works:

Participant point of view: The user can wear Google Glass, which includes the uSee Glass software and a video camera. The uSee Glass will capture scenes from the participant’s point of view and stream it for remote observation.

Researcher point of view: The researcher can have the uSee Glass application installed in his or her Google Glass and capture scenes from the researcher’s point of view. The researcher can also have uSee Glass installed in an Android tablet or a smart watch and use the application to communicate with remote observers. Wearing Google Glass or a smart watch allows the researcher to receive a tactile notification when a new message from remote observers arrives. They can also tap on the touchpad of Google Glass to mark important events.

Remote observation: A researcher can observe the scene remotely from anywhere using a computer with an Internet browser. The remote observer can communicate with the researcher via an Android device.

“Currently there’s no good way to do mobile research,” He said. “You can use a web cam, but that’s not from the point of view of the user. USee Glass for Google Glass and smart watches provides a new tool for mobile research. ”

Widespread possibilities

Part of what stands out about this tool is that it allows the researcher the ability to text and communicate with the user while he/she is looking at and interacting with a device. It makes for more efficient research, Chaparro says.

uSee Glass will also help further research that He is conducting on Google Glass. He is one of only a few people in Wichita to have early access to Google Glass and is researching the safety of people using the device while they drive.

While He and Chaparro are focusing their research on Google Glass and other mobile devices, there are potential ramifications for all kinds of industries, such as science, health care, aviation and agriculture.

“The possibilities apply to really any domain,” Chaparro said.

Courtesy: NewsWise

Artificial Intelligence Problem Solved with Relational Database

Abstract: –

In this paper we present an implementation method for eight-puzzle game. In the artificial intelligence
literature, different algorithms are proposed for implementing this game. These methods concern different heuristic
functions.There are being used expert systems, as well as different programming languages or environments (e.g. C,
Pascal, Java, Delphi etc.) for implementation, mentioning that users have to exploit a tree data structure. In our work we use databases for model a tree.

Free Download

Author :


Faculty of Economics and Business Administration
West University of Timisoara, Romania

source : WSEAS

Ten Things Your Next Firewall Must Do

Overview :

Without question, your network is more complex than ever before. Your employees are accessing any application they want, using work or personal devices. Often times, these applications span both personal and work related usage, but the business and security risks are often ignored. New prospective employees are asking about application usage policies before accepting their new job. Adding yet another layer of complexity is the underlying concern around the effectiveness of your cyber security posture. Is your business a target? Is it a question of when, as opposed to if? And are you as prepared as you could be?

WhitePaper : Free Download

courtesy : Paulo Alto Networks

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Dart Language

Dart is a new web programming language with libraries, a virtual machine, and tools. Dart helps developers build structured modern web apps. Dart compiles to JavaScript to run across the entire modern web. Dart is inspired by a range of languages such as Smalltalk, Strongtalk, Erlang, C#, and JavaScript.

Dart language

Dart web language chart sheet

Features of Dart Language:

  • Object oriented.  Everything is an object including primitives and nulls
  • Optionally typed.  You can add type annotations which static checking tools can use to help you find errors in your code, but you don’t have to use them.
  • Interpreted.  Dart is run in a VM, but it is not compiled first.  Round-trip time for making changes is very short.
  • Compatible with JavaScript.  You can compile your Dart code to JavaScript and run Dart applications in any modern browser.
  • FAST!  Dart is very fast, much faster than JavaScript in just about every test.
  • Mixins.  Instead of using inheritance, you can use a mixin to add functionality to a class without directly inheriting from another class.
  • Isolates.  Instead of threads, the Dart language uses isolates for concurrency.  Isolates can’t actually share any memory, they pass information though messages.  It is very hard to shoot yourself in the foot.
  • Simplified built-in types.  Numbers can be either int or double, and you can just use num, if you don’t care.  Lists and maps can be declared as literals.  An array is just a special case of a list.
  • Functions are first-class objects.  You can pass them around just like any other object.  There is even a lambda-like short-hand for creating a one-liner function.
  • Top level functions and variables.  Don’t want to put a function or variable in a class?  Good, you don’t have to.  In the Dart language, you can declare them anywhere you want.
  • Simplified classes.  There is short-hand for declaring constructors that assign parameters to class members.  Class members don’t have protected, private, public.  Member variables are automatically properties.
  • String interpolation.  No more string format methods, just use the $variableName in a string to have its value expanded.

Creating your first Dart language App

Step 1:

Go to File –> New Application.

Fill in your application name without space. (for ex: i used “helloworld”)

Leave “Generate sample content” checked.

Select “Web application.”


Step 2:

Open the helloworld.html file and clear out everything in the body element except for the two script tags at the bottom.

The first script tag imports our actual Dart file, just like you would use to add JavaScript to a page.

The second script adds Dart support to the browser.

Step 3:

Add the following HTML to the body tag in the helloworld.html file:

<button id="theButton" >Click Me</button>
<div id="resultDiv"></div>

This will just create a button and a div.  We are going to add some Dart code to respond to a button click and populate the div with some text.


Step 4:

Open the helloworld.dart file and clear out everything in main() and delete the reverseText function.

Notice that there are only two things we really will need in our .dart file.  Just an import ‘dart:html’, to import that html library for Dart, and the main function, which executes as soon the DOM content is loaded on the page.

Step 5:

Edit the helloworldweb.dart file to make it look like this:

import 'dart:html';
void main() {
  var button = query("#theButton");
void addResult(Event e) {
  var resultDiv = query("#resultDiv");
  resultDiv.text = "You clicked the button";

This code simply gets the button using a CSS selector.  It uses the query function to do this.


Then we register the addResult function as an event handler for the onClick event for the button.

In the addResult function, we simply query for the resultDiv and change its text.

After you run this example, you should see a result like this:


Step 6:

Now change the Dart code to look like this:

import 'dart:html';
void main() {
        (e) => query("#resultDiv").text = "You clicked the button!"

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Dart is a source code VM

The Dart VM reads and executes source code, which means there is no compile step between edit and run. As with other popular scripting languages, it’s very quick to iterate with Dart. The Dart VM runs on the command line and servers, and can be embedded into browsers. Just point the VM at Dart source code and you’re up and running!

Dart is optionally typed

Dart understands that sometimes you just don’t feel like appeasing a ceremonial type checker. Dart’s inclusion of an optional type system means you can use type annotations when you want, or use dynamic when that’s easier.

For example, you can explore a new idea without having to first think about type hierarchies. Just experiment and use var for your types. Once the idea is tested and you’re comfortable with the design, you can add type annotations.

Here is a comparison between code that uses type annotations, and code that uses var for dynamic. Both of these code snippets have the same runtime semantics:

With type annotations:

  void advance(double dt) {
    double dx, dy, dz, distance, mag;
    int size = bodies.length;
    for (int i = 0; i < size; i++) {
        Body bodyi = bodies[i];
        // ...

Or, without type annotations:

  advance(dt) {
    var dx, dy, dz, distance, mag;
    var size = bodies.length;
    for (var i = 0; i < size; i++) {
        var bodyi = bodies[i];
        // …

Type annotations are great for the “surface area” of the code (such as method and function signatures), and the tools are getting good enough for you to consider using var inside methods and functions.

Dart supports collection literals

It’s easy to declare lists and maps with Dart. For example, here is a simple list:

var fruits = ['apples', 'oranges', 'pears'];

And here is a simple map:

var accounts = {'322532': new Account('Bob'), '43534345': new Account('Alice')};

Dart is purely object oriented

Dart’s language is clear: everything is an object. It is easy to explain how everything works without having to deal with primitives as a special case. Even calling + on two numbers is modeled as a method call. Numbers, booleans, and even null are all objects.

Dart supports top-level functions and variables

Not everything must live inside of a class. Dart’s libraries can contain top-level functions and variables. You can write whole programs without ever using a class.

Here is a simple Dart library:

library louder;

String shout(String msg) => msg.toUpperCase();

Using this library is easy:

import 'louder.dart';

main() {
  print(shout('Dart is fun!'));  // DART IS FUN!

Dart’s main function is terse

No more public-static-void-main-String[]-args just to start a program! Dart’s simple top-level main()function is all you need.

Here is an example:

main() {
  print('Hello, Dart!');

All Dart programs start at the main() function.

Dart lets you put any number of public classes into a file

Organize your project’s files and contents the way you want to. You are not forced to name the file the same as the class, and you aren’t forced to place only one public class in a file. Go ahead, put two classes into one file. Whatever works for you!

Dart has closures and lexically scoped functions

Create functions that can naturally access variables in their enclosing scope, without having to write verbose anonymous inner classes.

Here is an example of a closure in action. The makeAdder function returns a function that closes aroundmakeAdder‘s parameter.

makeAdder(int x) {
  adder(int y) => x + y;
  return adder;

main() {
  var add2 = makeAdder(2);
  var result = add2(3);
  print(result); // 5

You can use simplify makeAdder by returning an anonymous function:

makeAdder(int x) {
  return (int y) => x + y;

Dart has mixins

No need to pollute the inheritance hierarchy with utility classes. Use Dart’s mixins to slide in functionality that is clearly not an is-a relationship.

Classes that extend object, don’t have constructors, and don’t call super can be a mixin. Here is an example:

abstract class Persistable {
  save() { ... }
  load() { ... }

class Hug extends Object with Persistable {
  Map toJson() => {'strength':10};

main() {
  var embrace = new Hug();;

Dart has operator overriding

You can add operators to your class. Here is an example:

class Point {
  num x, y;
  Point(this.x, this.y);

  Point operator +(Point other) => new Point(x+other.x, y+other.y);

main() {
  var p1 = new Point(1, 1);
  var p2 = new Point(2, 2);
  var p3 = p1 + p2;

Dart has string interpolation

It’s very easy to build a string from variables or expressions. Here is an example of implementing toString()and including the x and y fields in the output.

// Dart
class Point {
  num x, y;
  Point(this.x, this.y);

  String toString() => 'X: $x, Y: $y';

Dart has noSuchMethod

A class can implement noSuchMethod to handle methods that don’t explicitly exist on the class.

In the following example, the LoggingProxy logs all method calls before they are delegated. The code uses mirrors for run-time reflection and delegation, and noSuchMethod to capture the calls.

import 'dart:mirrors';

class LoggingProxy {
  InstanceMirror mirror;
    : mirror = reflect(delegate);

  noSuchMethod(Invocation invocation) {
    var name = invocation.memberName;
    print('${name} was called');
    return mirror.delegate(invocation);

You can use the above code like this:

class Greeter {
  hello() => print("hello!");

void main() {
  var greeter = new LoggingProxy(new Greeter());

// Output is:
// Symbol("hello") was called  (from the proxy)
// hello!  (from the delegate Greeter)

< content @courtesy oreilly >