Hi Colin,

I've answered your questions inline:

* does the usage of the statuses/filter method on the streaming api impacted
by the Gnip announcement?

Quoting Ryan Sarver. "Our default levels like Spritzer, Follow and Track
will not be changing, and will remain free and available directly from
Twitter."

* do we know the maximum rate (or approximation) allowed through
the statuses/filter method? (incidentally, at which point in terms of ratewe
have to consider firehosing, therefore, Gnip options?

The limits of the free APIs are documented on:
    http://dev.twitter.com/pages/streaming_api

If you need elevated access to the Streams for analysis or
non-display products you should work with Gnip to find the right data
product for your needs.

Best,
Matt

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