Blog Archives

The Chartmaker Directory: Data visualizations in every tool

August 24, 2018
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The Chartmaker Directory: Data visualizations in every tool

Working with a new data visualization tool, and wondering how to create a specific type of chart? The Chartmaker Directory (designed by Andy Kirk) indexes more than 35 tools and over 50 charts, and provides links to examples from each combination. Here's an intentionally small detail from the index, where each hollow dot in a column represents a sample...

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Using gganimate to illustrate the luminance illusion

August 22, 2018
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Using gganimate to illustrate the luminance illusion

Many illusions are based on the fact that our perceptions of color or brightness of an object are highly dependent on the background surrounding the object. For example, in this image (an example of the Cornsweet illusion) the upper and lower blocks are exactly the same color, according to the pixels displayed on your screen. Mind = blown. These...

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Make R speak

August 16, 2018
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Make R speak

Every wanted to make R talk to you? Now you can, with the mscstts package by John Muschelli. It provides an interface to the Microsoft Cognitive Services Text-to-Speech API (hence the name) in Azure, and you can use it to convert any short piece of text to a playable audio file, rendering it as speech using a number of...

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Microsoft R Open 3.5.1 now available

August 14, 2018
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Microsoft R Open 3.5.1 has been released, combining the latest R language engine with multi-processor performance and tools for managing R packages reproducibly. You can download Microsoft R Open 3.5.1 for Windows, Mac and Linux from MRAN now. Microsoft R Open is 100% compatible with all R scripts and packages, and works with all your favorite R interfaces and...

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Redmonk Language Rankings, June 2018

August 10, 2018
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Redmonk Language Rankings, June 2018

The latest Redmonk Language Rankings are out. These rankings are published twice a year, and the top three positions in the June 2018 rankings remain unchanged from last time: JavaScript at #1, Java at #2, and Python at #3. The Redmonk rankings are based on Github repositories (as a proxy for developer activity) and StackOverflow activity (as a proxy...

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In case you missed it: July 2018 roundup

August 8, 2018
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In case you missed them, here are some articles from July of particular interest to R users. A program to validate quality and security for R packages: the Linux Foundation's CII Best Practices Badge Program. R scripts to generate images in the style of famous artworks, like Mondrian's. A 6-minute video tour of the AI and Machine Learning services...

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IEEE Language Rankings 2018

August 8, 2018
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IEEE Language Rankings 2018

Python retains its top spot in the fifth annual IEEE Spectrum top programming language rankings, and also gains a designation as an "embedded language". Data science language R remains the only domain-specific slot in the top 10 (where it as listed as an "enterprise language") and drops one place compared to its 2017 ranking to take the #7 spot....

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Video: How to run R and Python in SQL Server from a Jupyter notebook

August 3, 2018
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Did you know that you can run R and Python code within a SQL Server instance? Not only does this give you a powerful server to process your data science calculations, but it makes things faster by eliminating the need to move data between client and server. Best of all, you can access this power via your favourite interface...

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R Generation: 25 Years of R

August 1, 2018
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R Generation: 25 Years of R

The August 2018 issue of Significance Magazine includes a retrospective feature on the R language. (I suggest reading the PDF version, also available for free access.) The article by Nick Thieme looks back at the 25 years since the R language was first conceived at Auckland University in 1992. It follows the history of R through the first public...

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A Certification for R Package Quality

July 30, 2018
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A Certification for R Package Quality

There are more than 12,000 packages for R available on CRAN, and many others available on Github and elsewhere. But how can you be sure that a given R package follows best development practices for high-quality, secure software? Based on a recent survey of R users related to challenges in selecting R packages, the R Consortium now recommends a...

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