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This isn't the kind of thing you'd want to see coming at you in a dark alley on any night, let alone Hallowe'en:

 

You can check our more videos from Polish prankster SA Wardega on Youtube. If you stay to the end of the video you'll see that the dog-spider is quite cute! Or, if you want some canine cuteness immediately there's always this (with thanks to reader MB):

 

That's all for this week! Enjoy your weekend, and we'll be back on Monday.

The latest update to the world's most popular statistical data analysis software is now available. R 3.1.2 (codename: "Pumpkin Helmet") makes a number of minor improvements and bug fixes to the R language engine.

If you ever find you need to embed the results of R functions — data, charts, or even a single calculation — into other applications, then you might want to take a look at DeployR Open. DeployR Open is an open-source server-based framework for R, that makes it easy to call out to the server to run R code in real time.

by Terry M. Therneau Ph.D.
Faculty, Mayo Clinic

About a year ago there was a query about how to do "type 3" tests for a Cox model on the R help list, which someone wanted because SAS does it. The SAS addition looked suspicious to me, but as the author of the survival package I thought I should understand the issue more deeply. It took far longer than I expected but has been illuminating.

How do you summarize fashion? For New York Fashion Week, the New York Times used the idea of "Fashion Fingerprints", distilling a designer's collections into small fragments highlighting the palette. Here's what Marc Jacobs' current collection looks like:

For his PhD at Delft University of Technology's Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Thomas Geijtenbeek created robots that learned how to walk. These were virtual robots — simulations in a computer system — but with realistic muscles, joints and mass that behave in real-life ways.

If you haven't heard the buzz about Docker but you often need to spin up Linux-based VM's for testing, simulations, etc. then you should check it out. In short, Docker rocks: we use it for testing our Linux-based distros of Revolution R Open.

by Andrie de Vries

Last week we announced the availability of Revolution R Open, an enhanced distribution of R.  One of the enhancements is the inclusion of high performance linear algebra libraries, specifically the Intel MKL. This library significantly speeds up many statistical calculations, e.g. the matrix algebra that forms the basis of many statistical algorithms.