CNN's State of the Union coverage gets boost from Central Square technology. Plus: Is Scott Brown the new Dick Cheney?

Biggest local State of the Union winners? Central Square tech firm CRIMSON HEXAGON, whose VOXTROT platform was used on CNN's big-screen to provide instantaneous audience-feedback to SOTU, with a pretty impressive degree of differentiation. The software, "based on groundbreaking work conducted at Harvard University's Institute for Quantitative Social Science, distills meaning about brands, products, services, markets and competitors from the online conversation." In CNN's implementation, it showed at least five levels of affinity, from strong agreement to strong disagreement, and was broken down by state. This is the kind of use of Twitter's API that news organizations need to be doing waaaaay more of. In case you were wondering, according to VoxTrot, about 49 percent of Massachusetts Tweeters viewed the SOTU positively, with another 15 percent on the fence. Beats CNN's cheesy 1960s-era focus-group knob-turning, dunnit?

Just behind the Hexagon dudes? Yup, SENATOR SECOND-HAND MERCEDES. American Prospect parses the Republican response to SOTU and posits that SCOTT BROWN is the GOP's "newer, handsomer" DICK CHENEY. Or, to be more specific, Brown "is the new face of the pro-torture GOP." In case you blinked, Virginia's Bob McDonnell capped off his reiteration of the underwear-bomber incident with this piece of advice: "As Senator-elect Scott Brown says, we should be spending taxpayer dollars to defeat terrorists, not to protect them." The Prospect notes: 

"What's new here is that the GOP is putting those ideas in the mouth of Scott Brown rather than Dick Cheney . . . Brown is an ardent supporter of waterboarding and denying legal rights to terror suspects. By presenting Cheney's views as that of a new, popular senator who is also a former military lawyer, Republicans can avoid the political liabilities of associating themselves with an unattractive political figure from an unpopular administration."

What they were doing when they weren't applauding: CNN's list of Congressional Twitter accounts

How good was that speech? It was so good, Chris Matthews forgot Obama was black. It was so good, Sam Alito started muttering to himself in the middle of it and became this week's Joe Wilson

The Nation: "Obama still did not seem to 'get' the politics of the moment. . . This tone-deaf quality . . . made Obama's speech a less-than-inspired statement."

Republican Strategist Patrick Ruffini: "There were two big speeches today. Only one of them will improve anyone's life. #ipad #sotu"

Andrew Sullivan: "This was the president I supported and still support and will support because he alone is calling us away from the cynicism, the ideology, the rhetorical poison, and the red-blue divide that keep us from the reform we desperately need."

Crooks and Liars: "I can't stand when he mentions Ronald Reagan in a positive fashion and he did that again tonight. When will he realize that conservatives will never support him and to suck up to the Gipper is a mistake?"

The Awl: "It was like a really good car commercial, back when we made cars."

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