new language annotation software

regarding a new release of ELAN, language annotation software from The Language Archive (TLA) sponsored by the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (to which i have absolutely NO affliliation):

 

by Han Sloetjes

Recently, we have released ELAN 4.7.1. It introduces some important changes to the EAF format (now version 2.8). The XML structure of controlled vocabularies is changed such that it breaks backward compatibility! Connected to these changes are new features such as multilingual controlled vocabularies and the fact that annotations now store a reference to the CV entry they are based on. Language assignment is now possible for controlled vocabularies but will be extended to the display of Metadata, Data Categories and tiers in future releases.

There is an option in the Preferences to always store in the previous version of EAF, version 2.7, for backward compatibility with previous ELAN releases. But using both ELAN 4.7.x and 4.6.2 or lower on the same files should be done with care.

Other new features are a media player based on VLC for Linux, an option for adding dependent tiers in multiple files, n-gram analysis for corpora and volume sliders for all linked audio tracks for convenient switching between the audio sources.

and a link to the download site here

 

Software, Culture, and Political Economy in New Media Capitalism

Here’s a link to the book of the title of this post – a book about social media, the software that it uses, and the uses of that software.

there’s a free chapter to download at the site, so perhaps worth taking a look.

for purposes of future comprehension re the provision of this link, here is an excerpt from the blurb page:

 

Gehl adeptly uses a mix of software studies, science and technology studies, and political economy to reveal the histories and contexts of these social media sites. Looking backward at divisions of labor and the process of user labor, he provides case studies that illustrate how binary “Like” consumer choices hide surveillance systems that rely on users to build content for site owners who make money selling user data, and that promote a culture of anxiety and immediacy over depth.

Reverse Engineering Social Media also presents ways out of this paradox, illustrating how activists, academics, and users change social media for the better by building alternatives to the dominant social media sites.

 

 

re the big data explosion

 

this post only to link to a couple of short articles discussing the recent view of big data as some kind of manna, a panacea, a means of showing what people are really thinking.. but as kate crawford points out here, some data-crunching types seem to easily fall in to the trap of thinking that correlation equals causation:

http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/04/the-hidden-biases-in-big-data/#disqus_thread

i was lead to this article via twitter and cory doctorow’s boing boing piece – where he notes that he had also written about this phenomenon in the guardian a couple of years back.

while just the other day i happened across another related piece in the sydney morning herald (link not presently available) discussing how attacks on businesses – relying on being found on the first page of a google search – render their websites virtually invisible when rival companies create codes for that page which lead to too many 404’s – causing google to remove them from their search engine hits..

link to CSIRO’s computational informatics page

well worth a visit and a browse.

several projects using data-mining to gather intel on a range of natural and man-made phenomena:

http://www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Divisions/Computational-Informatics.aspx

lead there by an article on one of their latest projects using emotion semantic categories (very rough to a linguist) to map reactions on twitter from tweets around the world. (see http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/popular-culture/mapping-the-worlds-emotions-with-twitter-20140519-38ixe.html)

smart meters and the new panopticon

i knew when i first read about ‘smart meters’ that i did not like the idea.

 

here’s someone else who explains why…

 

 

twitter pulse

here an analysis of twitter tweets over the past year or so using some sort of algorithm + “sentiment analysis” . it is based on local political stuff, so may not make sense to those in the USA – and also i have to annonce the rider that, not being privy to what has been used to make the algorithm, and furthermore, being extremely skeptical of anything called “sentiment analysis” that is automatically compiled, i cannot say that some of the readouts will be of any actual authenticity or believability… however, my interest lies in the use of info-graphics for rendering lots of data. as the site says, “see more. read less”.

article on internet tracking

here’s a link to the first of two articles by Christopher Butler on internet tracking at PrintMag. in language we can all understand, it reprises an earlier article in the Wall St Journal about how sites that you navigate to, will download tracking devices to your computer – not just cookies, but sometimes those enhanced cookies which reveal pretty much all about what you do at your computer.
as he says, we may joke about how targetted ads on the internet means that big brother is watching us, but as a matter of fact…

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