Increase and manage your Twitter socialize
Using the words “increase,” “socialize” and “manage” will get your social media words re-tweeted the most on Twitter, according to a new analysis posted on the SmartData Collective blog.

Text Mining analyzed 3,000 social media title posts in order to determine the most read and written-about topics, wrote the blog’s author, Greek data mining consultant Themos Kalafatis. Phrases including the words “write,” “talk” and “trust” were re-tweeted less frequently, he said.

Kalafatis described this analysis as “one more example on how predictive analytics may help professionals make better decisions.” So, folks, the next time you post a tweet about an application you just built or a blog you just wrote, be sure to use those words. It may manage to get someone’s attention while they socialize on Twitter and increase your chances of being re-tweeted! — Katie Serignese

We’ll remember for 2020
SD Times has traditionally celebrated issues in increments of 50. For issue 250, we ran some ruminations from our readers and marked the occasion with sentimental editorials from some of our writers.

But for issue 256, nothing was planned. I was shocked. Frankly, issue 256 is far more important than issue 250. After all, it’s a power of 2. I wasn’t here for the last power of 2, issue 128. That’s a fairly shocking revelation for me, since I’ve been at SD Times for what seems like forever.

And at this rate, I will have to be here forever, too, if I want to stick around for issue 2^9. Issue 512 won’t be out for another 11 years, and frankly, who knows how many of us will still be alive then, let alone working at SD Times. — Alex Handy

Letting computers help us think things through
Business intelligence is great at helping organizations see what happened in the past and what’s happening now. But to guess what will happen in the future requires something called “predictive business intelligence.”

Rado Kotorov, chief innovation officer at Information Builders, described this as the use of technology to form better expectations about the future. Reporting and analytics enable you to take corrective action from the past. In a hospital setting, it might show an over-prescription of a certain drug, so administrators might set a new policy for its use going forward.

Complex event processing helps understand what’s happening now. For instance, that same hospital might use this to set a policy that states, “Only admit a new patient if you have enough beds and nurses on the ward.”

Predictive analytics would allow a hospital to prepare for seasonal surges in certain illnesses. Kotorov gave examples of where predictive business intelligence is bettering lives and saving governments money by helping police predict where crimes are likely to occur, or predict in which foster environments children would fit best. a sort of beyond dating.

“Software is better than human judgment,” Kotorov said. “There are too many variables to evaluate. Humans are likely to focus on one or two they deem most important and likely to ignore many of the others. And it’s hard to determine the relative value of each. In a foster setting, is race or income more important? Computing can handle these better.” — David Rubinstein

Cyber-weapon launch detected
You may have heard of Stuxnet, which as of this writing is currently wreaking havoc on several key nuclear and industrial facilities in Iran. Experts who have studied its code have been alarmed by the size and scope of it, as well as its purpose.

“Until a few days ago, people did not believe a directed attack like this was possible,” said Ralph Langner, a German cyber-security researcher in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor. “What Stuxnet represents is a future in which people with the funds will be able to buy an attack like this on the black market.”

Similarly, American researchers examining Stuxnet have classified it as a literal weapon, the first time malware has been given such a designation.

Ordinary users may not be directly affected by malware like Stuxnet; it was apparently introduced to systems via a corrupted memory stick instead of the Internet, and was specifically built to attack systems specific to factories, power plants, chemical plants and the like. But if industrial sabotage can become precise enough to hide undetected in systems (Stuxnet incubated for at least six months before being discovered), and if worms and malware can be created and sold by black hats from around the world, it makes one ponder if commercial programmers, who provide the majority of security services in both the private and public sectors, can really stand a chance against a burgeoning black market of malware that is going beyond being a mere nuisance or scam. — Adam LoBelia