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Submission + - Open-source data analysis software R booming

sl70 writes: An article in today's New York Times touts the increasing importance of open-source data analysis software, R. R is an implementation of the S language developed at Bell Labs by John Chambers. There is also a high-priced, commercial implementation called S-Plus, but R is rapidly overshadowing it. From the article: Now R is surpassing what Mr. Chambers had imagined possible with S."The diversity and excitement around what all of these people are doing is great," Mr. Chambers said. The implication is the fact that R is open-source has led it to surpass its proprietary cousin.

I've been using R for years and am very happy for the recognition it's now receiving.

Comment Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (Score 1) 507

Somehow I doubt that he wants to kill government attempts to change the definition of marriage, what with that being impossible and all. Guy's an asshat. He's open about his opposition to gay marriage. He does not want to overthrow the government, nor does he want to use violence, as per his direct quotes.

I read Card's non-fiction editorial stuff quite a bit, not because I agree, mind you. Whatever else Card is, he's committed to democracy. He thinks it's panacea and utopia and rainbows and bunny rabbits. He's completely opposed to any kind of protest against government authority. This comes up repeatedly in his writing. You take one quote, misinterpret it wildly, and come out screaming about "violently overthrowing the government" when his stated stance is support of the political process that exists.

He's an asshat. He's always been an asshat. He ignores much history and engages in Mormon apologia and hates "the terrorists." You had to pick one (inaccurate!) sticking point about gay marriage as your reason not to read his books?

Comment Re:Hey, remember when Ender's Game was good? (Score 1) 507

(See user names for irony) Lord Ender, while I agree that Card's politics are... disagreeable, I'd like to point you (as someone else already has) to this article. The relevant quote, to prevent TLDR: "At that point, what can we do? I've heard frustrated people talk about armed rebellion, about overthrowing the government. Those of you with itchy trigger fingers, put away your guns. We are committed to democracy, not to violence. ... All we have to do is withdraw our support from the dictatorship. "

Journal Journal: Teaching Programming to Kids? 2

I'm an undergrad Math/CS student. One of my cousins, an exceptionally bright 11-year-old, is interested in learning to program. I'd like to give him some kind of direction; at least, more than I got: to teach him to avoid bad habits, use design patterns (OO vs procedural, especially) properly, and make sure that he stays interested. I'd like to see what Slashdot thinks: what are appropriate resources to use? Which language should I try to teach him? Are there any good books out there?

Submission + - Study links climate change to Hurricane frequency (

Socguy writes: Key factors in global climate change, like warming sea temperatures and shifting wind patterns, have prompted a sharp rise in hurricanes, according to a study out Monday.

The report by Greg Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Peter Webster of Georgia Institute of Technology was published online Monday in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.

The researchers analyzed data from about the past 100 years, ending with 2005. They used systematic meteorologist's data derived from aircraft flights starting in 1944, satellite data from about 1970, and more sophisticated measuring methods for the subsequent years. urricanes.html?ref=rss


Submission + - Censoring our Beloved Cartoons (

Luxifer writes: "We all know that shows like the Simpsons and Family guy are screened before they get to air, I am sometimes amazed at what gets past the censors. But what about our childrens' cartoons? Shows like The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Casper's Scare School? Wired has a story about the writers of these shows and the hoops that they have to jump through just to entertain our kiddies. One show requires that the script is approved by 47 people before it's approved. Another show considers the word 'beseech' to be blasphemous. Personally, I think as long as you're not trying to show Horton Hires a Ho, or Bi-Curious George, you should let the writers have their creative reign. The Flintstones had a lot of content that kids wouldn't get, that's what made it fun for the adults to watch it with their kids."

Journal Journal: Is Internet threat measurable?

How do security companies measure Internet threat levels? To find out the answer we collected a year's worth of threat level data from four security companies and compared the results. The results show very little similarity between the four companies, which turns the question "How do they do it?" into "Why do they do it?". It appears to be not possible to accurately measure and represent the global Internet threat level.
Operating Systems

Submission + - EOS (Evolutive Operating System)

alphinux writes: Hello, I've been looking for a while if someone is working on an EOS (Evolutive Operative System), well that's the way I like to call it. It's an OS that is smart and changes it's Source Code, then compiles it. After zero results I came here to see if any slahdoters something about this subject.

Submission + - do Internet users want anonymity? 5

An anonymous reader writes: There's been quite a lot of research (academic and otherwise) on anonymous communication systems (TOR, Nyms, Crowds...). But the user population on even the most popular system, Tor, is an insignificant portion of the net user population. So I'm wondering, is anonymous communication useless, or is there just no killer app yet?

If someone implemented anonymous BitTorrent, would you sign up?

He's dead, Jim.