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back to article Eggheads use Twitter to work out if it's raining

Maths boffins of the University of Bristol's Intelligent Systems Lab have found another great use for Twitter – to work out if it's raining. They can also use the social network to monitor the prevalence of flu, according to freshly published research. Using "state of the art" algorithms, Professor Nello Cristianini and …

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Boffin

interesting....

so they found a less accurate way to work out if it's raining then looking out the bloody window. Rube Goldburg would be proud.

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jai
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"state of the art" algorithms

state of the art? really?

select count(msg_id), location from tweets where comment like "%it's bloody pissing down again%"

group by location

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Anonymous Coward

I prefer to discover the local weather by looking at Windows.

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Anonymous Coward

Shit, the Sun's crashed again.

You'll just have to sit here in the cold and dark for 3 days while we rebuild it and find the last backup tape that the manager hasn't spilt coffee over.

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IT Angle

Umm..

From the sidelines I suspect it's good at indicating colds, but I suspect people with actual flu wouldn't be posting at all. So not that useful unless they are analysing people who do post and then suddenly don't but had previously indicated they felt a bit snuffly.

IT? because. (The reg needs a statistics section).

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Err

Do they not have windows in Bristol?

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Gav
Holmes

Pizza & chips.

Next step; boffins use twitter to determine when it's tea-time. Of course, that depends on people tweeting about it...... they don't really do that? Do they?

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FAIL

has this not already been done?

I enjoyed looking at www.uksnowmap.com last winter which worked in a similar way. Admittedly you had to #uksnow but its similar, and seemed pretty accurate!

Didn't Google use their search results to track the flu epidemic a few years back as well?

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Yes, done before

My company did a research piece on Twitter Mining during the Swine Flu epidemic. We were looking at tracking the spread across the world as well as people's sentiments towards various things like vaccination, media reporting of it, government response, etc.

We also applied the same techniques to the UK general election as well as the live debate between Brown, Clegg and Cameron.

Currently several pharma companies are using the service for research purposes.

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Coat

They must have been .....

.... using Cloud Computing for the rainfall thing I guess.

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Facepalm

Sigh

All the smartypants posting "look out of the window" messages should re-read the article. They are gathering information about whether it's raining elsewhere.

But I have to agree that it seems like a pretty fatuous piece of "research".

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Anonymous Coward

Fine

Do they not have the met office/BBC/Sky News/Phone lines capable of calling ATIS in Bristol?

You really know how to kill a joke....

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FAIL

Well...if one is STUPID enough to even USE twitter...

...then one is stupid enough not to know how to figure out if it is raining or not outside their window...or anyone elses...regardless of where on the planet they may be.

But then again...being a shut-in...as Twitter Twits seemingly are...they probably couldn't figure it out on their own anyway. So this just might help the poor slobs.

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Coat

Twitter Twits

...of course they know whether it's raining. They just look at the weather app on their phone...

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