How do you keep things you don’t want out of your Twitter stream? You might say just don’t follow people who post things you don’t want to read, but it’s not that simple.
Some people post worthwhile original material, but they retweet things that are offensive or just not interesting. You can fix that by turning off retweets from that person. Then you’ll just see tweets they compose.
Except until yesterday, there was no way to turn off “likes.” You’d randomly see things someone “liked” even if you turned off their retweets. Now there’s a way to simply see the content you’ve subscribed to. Not only that, you’ll see it in order! Numerous times I’ve tried to go back and find something but couldn’t because Twitter saw fit to edit and rearrange my stream since the last time I looked at it.
The way to simply see your Twitter stream in order isn’t obvious. You have to go to
Settings and privacy -> Account
and uncheck the box that says “Show the best Tweets first.”
Who wouldn’t want to see the best tweets first? Sounds good to me. But by unchecking the box you’re effectively saying “Let me decide what’s best by who I choose to follow.”
I’m pleased by this new feature (actually, new ability to turn off a feature). I’ve tried to maintain a decent signal to noise ratio in my Twitter stream and Twitter has continually tried to erode it, until now.
I’ve updated the icons for my Twitter accounts.
I’m starting a new Twitter account for logic and formal methods: @FormalFact.
Expect to see tweets about constructive logic, type theory, formal proofs, proof assistants, etc.
The image for the account is a bowtie, a pun on formality. It’s also the symbol for natural join in relational algebra.
Update: This account was discontinued in July, 2017.
I had a couple tweets this week that were fairly popular. The first was a pun on the musical Hamilton and the Hamiltonian from physics. The former is about Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804) and the latter is named after William Rowan Hamilton (1805–1865).
The second was a sort of snowclone, a variation on the line from the Bhagavad Gita that J. Robert Oppenheimer famously quoted in reference to the atomic bomb:
I’ve updated the icons of all my daily tip Twitter accounts. My goal was to simplify some the icons and make them all more consistent.
Here’s a page giving links and short descriptions for each account.
I’m making a couple changes to my Twitter accounts.
First, I’m winding down @PerlRegex. I’ll stop tweeting there when my scheduled tweets run out. I suggest that everyone who has been following @PerlRegex start following @RegexTip instead. The latter is more general, but is mostly compatible with Perl.
Second, I’m reviving my @DSP_Fact. I stopped tweeting there a couple years ago, but I’d like to start posting there again. This time it’s going to be a little broader. I intend to include some material on acoustics, Fourier analysis (continuous and discrete), and maybe some other related material.
Here are wordclouds for some of my most popular Twitter accounts. Thanks to Mike Croucher for creating these images. He explains on his blog how to create your own Twitter wordclouds using R.
My most popular account is CompSciFact, tweets about computer science and related topics.
AlgebraFact is for algebra, number theory, and miscellaneous pure math. (Miscellaneous applied math is more likely to end up on AnalysisFact.)
ProbFact is for probability.
DataSciFact is for data science: statistics, machine learning, visualization, etc.
You can find a full list of my various Twitter accounts here.
Periodically someone on Twitter will suggest that one of my Twitter accounts is a bot. Others will reply in the second person plural, suggesting that there’s a group of people behind one of the accounts. These accounts aren’t run by a bot or a committee, just me.
I do use software to schedule my tweets in advance. Most of the tweets from my personal account are live. Most of the tweets from my topic accounts are scheduled, though some are live. All replies are manual, not automated, and I don’t scrape content from anywhere.
Occasionally I read the responses to these accounts and sometimes I reply. But with over half a million followers (total, not unique) I don’t try to keep up with all the responses. If you’d like to contact me, you can do so here. That I do keep up with.
Twitter once provided RSS feeds for all Twitter accounts. They no longer provide this service. However, third parties can create RSS feeds from the content of Twitter accounts. BazQux has done this for my daily tip accounts, so you can subscribe to any of my accounts via RSS using the feeds linked to below.
If you would like to subscribe to more Twitter accounts via RSS, you could subscribe to the BazQux service and create a custom RSS feed for whatever Twitter, Google+, or Facebook accounts you’d like to follow.
I’ve started a new Twitter account @PerlRegex for Perl regular expressions. My original account, @RegexTip, is for regular expressions in general and doesn’t go into much detail regarding any particular implementation. @PerlRegex goes into the specifics of regular expressions in Perl.
Why specifically Perl regular expressions? Because Perl has the most powerful support for regular expressions (strictly speaking, “pattern matching.”) Other languages offer “Perl compatible” regular expressions, though the degree of compatibility varies and is always less than complete.
I imagine more people have ruled England than have mastered the whole of the Perl language. But it’s possible to use Perl for regular expression processing without learning too much of the wider language.
Update: I’ve stopped posting to this account. Here’s a list of my current accounts.
For the next few weeks, I’ve scheduled @ProbFact tweets to come out at random times.
They will follow a Poisson distribution with an average of two per day. (Times are truncated to multiples of 5 minutes because my scheduling software requires that.)
Learn basic medical vocabulary a little at a time by following my new account @MedVocab on Twitter.
See the full list of my daily tip Twitter accounts here.
The icon for the site is taken from one of Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings.
I’ve started a new Twitter account @UnitFact for tweets about units of measurement, constants, dimensional analysis, etc.
As I mentioned a few days ago, I’m winding down three of my Twitter accounts.
But I have started a new one: NetworkFact. This account has tweets about graph theory, analysis of large networks, etc.
List of daily tip accounts
You can create an RSS feed for a Twitter account at RSS4Twitter, though they’re so overloaded that it might not work. You could also use BazQux RSS reader or try some of the alternatives mentioned in the comments here.
I’m planning to wind down three of my Twitter accounts: ShortcutKeyTip, MusicTheoryTip, and DSP_fact. When the scheduled tweets for these three accounts run out, I won’t post new ones.
On the other hand, I may start a new account. I have a topic in mind, but I don’t know how hard it’ll be to say interesting things about it in 140 characters. If I start a new account I’ll announce it here.
Right now I have 15 accounts. If I close three, I’ll still have a dozen, a baker’s dozen if I add a new account.
Update (August 11, 2013): I decided to start the new account I alluded to in this post: NetworkFact, devoted to networks, graphs, and related topics.