Categorically Variable

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Streaming from zip to bz2

I’ve got a massive bunch of zip archives, each of which contains only a single file. And the name of the enclosed file varies. Dealing with these data is painful.

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Major League Baseball Birth Months

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Upgrading Ubuntu 16.04 to Linux Kernel 4.4.12

I’ve had a few minor hardware issues with the default kernel in Ubuntu 16.04. For example, hibernate does not work on my laptop. So, in an effort to resolve these problems, I upgraded from the 4.4.0 version of the kernel to 4.4.12. Nothing tricky involved, but here’s the process.

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satRday in Cape Town

We are planning to host one of the three inaugural satRday conferences in Cape Town during 2017. The [R Consortium](https://www.r-consortium.org/) has committed to funding three of these events: one will be in Hungary, another will be somewhere in the USA and the third will be at an international destination. At present Cape Town is dicing it out with Monterrey (Mexico) for the third location. We just need your votes to make Cape Town’s plans a reality.

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Spirit of the Comrades

Great video bringing back some good memories.

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R Saturday [satRday] in Cape Town

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The Mind Behind Linux

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The Next Rembrandt

Creating The Next Rembrandt: using data to touch the human soul. How a team from ING, Microsoft, TU Delft, Mauritshuis and Rembrandthuis used technology to synthesise a painting in the style of the Dutch master, Rembrandt, almost 350 years after his death.

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Discount on Packt Books

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International Open Data Day

As part of International Open Data Day we spent the morning with a bunch of like minded people poring over some open Census South Africa data. Excellent initiative, @opendatadurban, I’m very excited to see where this is all going and look forward to contributing to the journey!

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R, HDF5 Data and Lightning

I used to spend an inordinate amount of time digging through lightning data. These data came from a number of sources, the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) and LIS/OTD being the most common. I recently needed to work with some Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) data. HDF is something of a niche format and, since that was the format used for the LIS/OTD data, I went to review those old scripts. It was very pleasant rediscovering work I did some time ago.

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GPS Doodling

Stephen Lund combines two of my passions: technology and exercise. Awesome. Durban Doodles coming soon.

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Ira Glass on the Creative Process

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Automating R scripts under Windows

Setting up an automated job under Linux is a cinch thanks to cron. Doing the same under Windows is a little more tricky, but still eminently doable.

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Durban R Users Group Meetup: 24 February 2016 @ The Green Door

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flipsideR: Support for ASX Option Chain Data

I previously wrote about some ad hoc R code for downloading Option Chain data from Google Finance. I finally wrapped it up into a package called flipsideR, which is now available via GitHub. Since I last wrote on this topic I’ve also added support for downloading option data from the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

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Linda Liukas: Teaching Kids About Computers

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Durban Data Science Meetup

The next Durban Data Science Meetup will be taking place on 4 February. Check out the programme and come along if you’re in the area.

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Can a computer write poetry?

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Kaggle: Santa's Stolen Sleigh

This morning I read Wendy Kan’s interesting post on Creating Santa’s Stolen Sleigh. I hadn’t really thought too much about the process of constructing an optimisation competition, but Wendy gave some interesting insights on the considerations involved in designing a competition which was both fun and challenging but still computationally feasible without military grade hardware.

This seems like an opportune time to jot down some of my personal notes and also take a look at the results. I know that this sort of discussion is normally the prerogative of the winners and I trust that my ramblings won’t be viewed as presumptuous.

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Categorically Variable