Named Entity Recognition with Command Line Tools in Linux

William J Turkel



In earlier posts we used a variety of tools to locate and contextualize words and phrases in texts, including regular expressions, concordances and search engines. In every case, however, we had to have some idea of what we were looking for. This can be a problem in exploratory research, because you usually don’t know what you don’t know. Of course it is always possible to read or skim through moderate amounts of text, but that approach doesn’t scale up to massive amounts of text. In any event, our goal is to save our care and attention for the tasks that actually require it, and to use the computer for everything else. In this post we will be using named entity recognition software from the Stanford Natural Language Processing group to automatically find people, places and organizations mentioned in a text.

In this post, we are going to be working…

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International privacy officials raise Google Glass concerns in open letter

Financial Post | Business

Google’s wearable computing project Glass raises significant privacy and data protection concerns, according to an international group of 36 authorities, who have signed a joint letter to Google chief executive officer Larry Page.

At issue are the “obvious, and perhaps less obvious, privacy implications of a device that can be worn by an individual and used to film and record audio of other people” – for example, fears of ubiquitous surveillance, and how data collected from the device is stored, shared and used.

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“Privacy protections are more robust when they’re baked into a design,” Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) digital rights analyst Rebecca Jeschke said in an interview. “Instead of adding a patch later, if you create systems that take privacy into account then everyone else is better off from a privacy standpoint.”

“Data you can’t collect can’t be shared.”

The letter includes signatures from Privacy Commissioner of Canada Jennifer Stoddart and her provincial counterparts…

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Look, here’s an RSS reader for Google Glass


This is probably not the solution to all of your Google Reader shutdown problems, but just in case: There’s now an RSS reader for Google (s GOOG) Glass. Developer James Bechter has created GlassFeeds, an app that lets users select news feeds and push stories directly to Glass, then read them later on a non-Glass screen.

Bechter, who previously created a YouTube app for Glass, writes on his blog that receiving news is a natural fit for Glass and “one of the use cases Google had imagined,” since the New York Times is one of the official third-party Glass apps.

“I never liked the way the NYT app was laid out. I thought it basically grabbed your attention with a headline but gave you very little that you could do after that,” Bechtel writes. (The NYT Glass app sends out breaking news and top news updates, and can read aloud an…

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Glass developers already griping over Google barring facial recognition


If you thought that the recent revelations about the NSA’s invasive surveillance practices would give app developers pause about spreading the adoption of facial recognition technology, you would be wrong. Technology Review reports that app developers are griping over Google’s decision to bar facial recognition technology from Google Glass because they think such tech should be a core capability of any wearable computing device. Developer Lance Nanek, for instance, had just demonstrated a prototype for a facial recognition app that could be used by doctors to instantly bring up patients’ medical history and information right before Google formally announced it wouldn’t support such apps on the platform.

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Zombie Novel Review: The Church (2010)

Horror Movies, Horror News, Horror Reviews |

Recently I came across this little independent press called Library of the Living Dead Press.  They pretty much only publish novels with a zombie-type theme.  Of course I at first became interested in it mainly to see if they are taking submissions for zombie novels (my “Dead Hunger” is finally at a place where I’m happy with it), but just like with horror films, I think that indie publishing houses are the future of the genre.  It was also around this time, coincidentally enough, that indie horror author John McCuaig contacted me about his novel THE CHURCH.  I told him I’d love to read and review it and imagine my surprise when I received it and it was from the Library of the Living Dead Press!!  So I tucked in and dove head first into this zombie novel.

THE CHURCH begins with introducing us to Sam Miller, the novel’s…

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It’s a beautiful thing when free data meets free analytics


All the free data-analysis tools in the world aren’t too useful if there aren’t also some free datasets available to analyze. That’s why it’s cool to see BigML, the machine learning service I’ve been writing about for the past year, decide to collaborate with open-data provider Quandl. Even if neither service reaches mass market popularity, I like seeing stakeholders from different camps work together to lay the groundwork for a data democracy.

I won’t waste your time recapping BigML — I’ve done it in detail before — but will note that the service does have some new features since the last time I played around with it. Among them is a new sunburst visualization to complement the classic tree one.

However, if you’re new to Quandl (like I am), it’s pretty cool. It’s a free service offering up more than 6 million financial, economic and social datasets…

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