Blog Archives

In case you missed it: May Roundup

June 14, 2010
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In case you missed them, here are some articles from last month of particular interest to R users. We linked to 13 videos for learning R, from the basics ("What is R?") to more advanced topics. We noted the release of R 2.11.1. We announced that Revolution Analytics makes its software available free of charge to the academic community....

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New R User Groups in Sydney, South Asia

June 14, 2010
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For R users in the Southern Hemisphere on the other side of the Prime Meridian, there are two new entries in the Local R User Group Directory: Sydney and South Asia. The Sydney group wins the prize for the best group acronym ever: SURF. The Sydney Users of R Forum will have their welcome meeting on July 6 July...

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New R User Group in Atlanta

June 11, 2010
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There's a new R User Group in Atlanta, GA. Well, it's not exactly new -- they've already had their first meeting -- but due to a cock-up on my part I failed to announce it at the time. (Memo to self: don't forget to star emails in Gmail that you have to follow up on!) There's a Google Group...

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Performance benefits of linking R to multithreaded math libraries

June 11, 2010
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R wasn't originally designed as a multithreaded application -- multiprocessor systems were still rare when the R Project was first conceived in the mid-90's -- and so, by default, R will only use one processor of your dual-core laptop or quad-core desktop machine when doing calculations. For calculations that take a long time, like big simulations or modeling of...

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The Deepwater Horizon, in context

June 11, 2010
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The Deepwater Horizon, in context

The Earth is pretty big. Give or take, it's about 36,000 feet (11km) to the height of a 747 soaring above Everest, and (in pleasing symmetry) about the same distance down the bottom of the Mariana Trench. (Nonetheless, if you shrunk the Earth down to scale, it would still be smoother than a billiard ball.) So I was surprised...

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R on TV

June 10, 2010
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Had a fun day today in a TV studio for Fox Business News, where Revolution CEO Norman Nie was giving an interview to Liz Claman at Fox Business Network. As you might expect, the interview focused a lot more on the business side than on technical capabilities of Revolution R, but there was some good discussion of the impacts...

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Thoughts on Making Data Work

June 9, 2010
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I really enjoyed all four talks at today's online conference, Making Data Work. (Disclosure: Revolution sponsored this conference.) I thought the four speakers together gave a great overview of issues related to the processing, analysis, and visualization of big data. Mike Driscoll started off with a useful categorization for data size. "Small Data" (<10Gb) fits in the memory of...

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Norman Nie talks R and statistics with CNET’s Dave Rosenberg

June 8, 2010
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Revolution's CEO Norman Nie recently gave an interview to CNET's Dave Rosenberg, who blogs on disrupting the software market. Among the topics covered: What is R (Nie: "R is the most powerful statistical computing language on the planet"), what is predictive analytics ("statistical modeling by another name") and plans for Revolution R ("we intend to bring predictive analytics to...

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What is R?

June 7, 2010
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Probably the question I get asked the most about R is, "What is R"? It's can be a hard question to answer, because R is so many things. It's data analysis software. It's an environment for data analysis. It's a language. It's an open-source project. It's a community. The Wikipedia page for R does a great job of describing...

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Because it’s Friday: Stochastic degradation

June 4, 2010
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When you upload a video to YouTube, they don't store a perfect digital copy of your media file. The video is actually re-encoded into the MPEG-4 video format. This saves space on YouTube's servers, but also introduces some random degradation to the video (as a result of the lossy compression process). So what happens if you then save that...

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