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This video's been around a couple of years, but until this week (thanks to Mike Olson) I'd never seen anyone solve three Rubiks cubes while juggling them and wearing a GoPro:


That's all from us at the blog for this week. See you back here next on Monday (and if you're in the Seattle area, maybe I'll see you in person at the R User Group meeting). Have a great weekend!

March Madness is upon us here in the US. This annual college basketball competition pits 64 teams in a single-elimination tournament, and the team that goes undefeated for all 6 rounds will be named NCAA Champion.

by Hong Ooi, Sr. Data Scientist, Microsoft

I’m pleased to announce the release of version 0.62 of the dplyrXdf package, a backend to dplyr that allows the use of pipeline syntax with Microsoft R Server’s Xdf files. This update adds a new verb (persist), fills some holes in support for dplyr verbs, and fixes various bugs.

Just a quick heads up that Nina Zumel, co-founder and principal consultant at Win-Vector LLC will be presenting a webinar at 10AM Pacific Time on Thursday March 17, Data Preparation Techniques with R.

Microsoft officially launched SQL Server 2016 at the Data Driven event in New York City last week, and R featured prominently.

So you've boarded the plane and settled into your seat, ready for your trip to a holiday paradise for a well-earned vacation. But then there's that dreaded announcement from the cockpit, where the pilot announces that she's "got a light on the dashboard", and needs to send in a maintenance crew to check it out. Before you know it, you've been sitting on the tarmac for an hour, you're probably going to miss your connection, and the trip is already off to a bad start.

by Richard Kittler, Microsoft R Server PM, Microsoft Advanced Analytics

Here's an interesting way of looking at music: the Pianogram, by Joey Cloud. The white and black keys are extended by their frequency in the music piece. It's not a very representative histogram, mind you: the key lengths aren't really representative of frequency because they extend into the "base" piano figure but still: neat. You can upload a MIDI file of any music you choose.

by Said Bleik, Shaheen Gauher, Data Scientists at Microsoft

Evaluation metrics are the key to understanding how your classification model performs when applied to a test dataset. In what follows, we present a tutorial on how to compute common metrics that are often used in evaluation, in addition to metrics generated from random classifiers, which help in justifying the value added by your predictive model, especially in cases where the common metrics suggest otherwise.