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Comment: Re:Gates (Score 1) 839

by LetterRip (#48165613) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Consumption taxes are relatively easy to evade.

Also the benefit from public tax expenditures isn't proportional to consumption, it is proportional to net worth.

Bill Gates benefits enormously from public education and public funding of universities. He benefits enormously from international trade negotiations and the military keeping international trade relations stable.

Comment: R is not an emerging star (Score 1) 143

R has been around for a long time and has long been a standard.

Pythons sklearn is indeed an 'emerging star'.

Personally I use both.

Also have a look at some of the many stand alone tools vowpal wabbit (blazingly fast for regression learning, scales to ridiculous amounts of data) is superb, as is sofia-ml (for clustering, again scales quite well)

I tie them all together in python, since there are python bindings for R, and you can use pythons 'Subprocess' module to pipe commands and data for commandline tools that don't have python bindings.

There are other useful tools as well - I use Weka for some of my initial visualization and when I'm feeling lazy and want a quick result.

Comment: Re:So will he go to jail upon return to the US? (Score 5, Insightful) 190

by LetterRip (#47347407) Attached to: Eric Schmidt and Entourage Pay a Call On Cuba

The ban has nothing to do with 'Cold War tensions' it is because Cuban immigrants to Florida hate Castro for the property that he nationalized - and pissing off those voters risk losing Florida in federal elections (and thus losing the Presidential election). Thus draconian prohibitions related to Cuba stay in place.

Comment: Re:No, they're replacing. (Score 3, Informative) 341

by LetterRip (#47336533) Attached to: If Immigration Reform Is Dead, So Is Raising the H-1B Cap

"There is not a fixed number of jobs in an economy."

There is demand elasticity for labor, but it is not related to availability of labor it is related to demand for goods and services, not availability of labor. The demand for labor is essentially fixed or decreasing without some sort of driver for demand. Immigration can be a source of demand, but it isn't necessarily a source of demand. Since most immigrants send much of their income to their home country they tend to be a net reduction in demand.

The reason unemployment is correlated to immigration is that countries relax immigration requirements when there is a shortage of labor.


Mysterious X-ray Signal Hints At Dark Matter 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-the-light-from-the-death-star-explosion-finally-reached-us dept.
Astronomers using the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the XMM-Newton have recorded an unusual emission of X-ray light from a remote cluster of galaxies which may turn out to be evidence of dark matter. Astronomers think dark matter constitutes 85% of the matter in the Universe, but does not emit or absorb light like “normal” matter such as protons, neutrons and electrons that make up the familiar elements observed in planets, stars, and galaxies. Because of this, scientists must use indirect methods to search for clues about dark matter. he latest results from Chandra and XMM-Newton consist of an unidentified X-ray emission line, that is, a spike of intensity at a very specific wavelength of X-ray light. Astronomers detected this emission line in the Perseus galaxy cluster using both Chandra and XMM-Newton. They also found the line in a combined study of 73 other galaxy clusters with XMM-Newton. ... The authors suggest this emission line could be a signature from the decay of a "sterile neutrino." (Abstract.) Sterile neutrinos are a hypothetical type of neutrino that is predicted to interact with normal matter only via gravity. Some scientists have proposed that sterile neutrinos may at least partially explain dark matter.

Comment: Re:Bad analogy (Score 1) 185

by LetterRip (#47088231) Attached to: R Throwdown Challenge

Look at ipython notebook,

it is a lot like the workflow for mathematica or R.

Look at pandas + scipy stack.

pandas replicates the functionality of R dataframes but integrates many features found in external R packages in a beatiful and intuitive way.

notebook + scipy stack (scipy, numpy, sklearn, matplotlib w seaborn or use ggplot if you prefer) + pandas is enough to largely eliminate the need for R for most people doing machine learning or statistical.analysis (there are still occassional times when I need something from R but it is rare).

Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had to be taught how not to. So it is with the great programmers.