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I was surprised to find that just five of the small particles in the video below, if arranged in just the right way, can jam the hopper:


Watch the coloured beads in the video as they ultimately join to form a perfect arch, which is apparently the only way the flow can be staunched. This Gizmodo article gives more background behind the research into solving this problem, which is apparently a common problem in some industrial settings.

David Smith's picture
December 11, 2015

Yesterday, the R Core Team released a new update to R (version 3.2.3, codenamed "Wooden Christmas Tree"), and the source distribution is now available for download on CRAN. Binary versions for Windows, Mac and Linux are also available for download from your local CRAN mirror.

This release makes a few small improvements and bug fixes to R, including:

Google Trends is a useful way to compare changes in popularity of certain search terms over time, and Google Trends data can be used as a proxy for all sorts of difficult-to-measure quantities like economic activity and disease propagation.

by Edward Ma and Vishrut Gupta (Hewlett Packard Enterprise)

A few weeks ago, we revealed ddR (Distributed Data-structures in R), an exciting new project started by R-Core, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and others that provides a fresh new set of computational primitives for distributed and parallel computing in R. The package sets the seed for what may become a standardized and easy way to write parallel algorithms in R, regardless of the computational engine of choice.

Maarten Hermans is a sociologist and researcher at KU Leuven in Belgium and an avid hiker. He uses an Android app to track his location and elevation on his hikes, which means he can download his hike data in GPS Exchange Format. With this data and a few R packages, he was then able to create interactive topological maps including his route and photos along the way.

It's hard to believe that it's more than 46 years since humans first landed on the moon. If the Apollo 11 mission were conducted today, video cameras would surely have documented every moment, but back in 1969 the primary form of documentation was in photos.

Earlier this week, Andrie showed you how to set up and provision your own virtual machine (VM) to run R and RStudio in Azure. Another option is to use the new Microsoft Data Science Virtual Machine, a pre-configured instance that includes a suite of tools useful to data scientists, including:

by Joseph Rickert

If there is anything that experienced machine learning practitioners are likely to agree on, it would be the importance of careful and thoughtful feature engineering. The judicious selection of which predictor variables to include in a model often has a more beneficial effect on overall classifier performance than the choice of the classification algorithm itself. This is one reason why classification algorithms that automatically include feature selection such as glmnet, gbm or random forests top the list of “go to” algorithms for many practitioners.