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Norm Matloff points us to a pithy example that sums up Simpson's Paradox perfectly, captured in the title of a medical paper: "Good for Women, Good for Men, Bad for People". He explains how Simpson's Paradox isn't a paradox at all, but just the consequence of including a minor variable in a model ahead of a more significant variable, and illustrates this with an R analysis of the UCB admissions data.

If you missed last week's webinar presented by Revolution Analytics' US Chief Scientist Mario Inchiosa, Decision Trees built in Hadoop plus more Big Data Analytics with Revolution R Enterprise, the slides and webinar replay are now available for download.

What happens when you offer a dog a treat, but then make it vanish via sleight of hand? This:


Like Sullivan, I'm surprised these dogs are fooled at all, and can't tell where the treat is by scent.

That's all for this week. See you on Monday!

The Mountain View Voice is a weekly newspaper serving the Silicon Valley area, and is a familiar sight to anyone wandering the streets of Palo Alto or Menlo Park. Angela Hey writes for 'Hey Tech!', an online blog of the Voice, and has just published a feature on R and the local Bay Area User Group (BARUG).

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in a panel discussion for DM Radio: "Still Sexy? How's that Data Scientist Gig Working Out?". The title was provocative, but the discussion mostly revolved around the rise of data science and how advanced analytics (often implemented with R) is changing the way many companies do business today.

As a language for statistical computing, R has always had a bias towards linear algebra, and is optimized for operations dealing in complete vectors and matrixes. This can be surprising to programmers coming to R from lower-level languages, where iterative programming (looping over the elements of a vector or matrix) is more natural and often more efficient. That's not the case with R, though: Noam Ross explains why vectorized programming in R is a good idea:   

A new Task View on CRAN will be of anyone who needs to connect R with Web-based applications. The Web Technologies and Services Task View lists R functions and pacakges for reading data from websites (via public APIs or by scraping data from HTML packegs); for interfacing with Cloud-based platforms (including AWS); for authenticating and accessing data from social media services (including Twitter and Facebook); and for integrating with Web frameworks for building your own Web-aware applications with R.

You've probably seen dozens of those brand videos from big corporations, carefully designed to make you feel good about how wonderful the company is. This one is just like all the others, except that it's based on a satirical poem by Kendra Eash and made entirely of stock video footage (which you can buy from the company that made the video, which is rather meta).