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Biostatistician and R user Matt Cooper noticed recently that the price he pays for petrol (gasoline) at the pump in Perth, Australia was about the same as he was paying four years ago. Nonetheless, inflation has marched on over the years, so does that mean petrol is effectively cheaper now than it used to be?

We have three new local R user groups to announce this month.

The Alamo City R Users Group in San Antonio becomes the fifth R user group in Texas. The group's just getting started, and volunteers are always welcome.  

I had no idea Chatroulette was still going strong, but for those that aren't familiar, it's a web application where you're randomly connected via video chat to a stranger.

In case you missed them, here are some articles from June of particular interest to R users.

Ricky Ho has created a reference a 6-page PDF reference card on Big Data Machine Learning, with examples implemented in the R language. (A free registration to DZone Refcardz is required to download the PDF.) The examples cover:

While most R packages on CRAN are designed to be used by an R user directly, a few packages are designed to be used by other package developers. (And some packages are so useful that they're regularly used by both camps.) When a package author publishes a package to CRAN, she must list those packages that provide functions her package uses (this is the Depends: field in the DESCRIPTION file).

Even though forums and question-and-answer services like StackOverflow are emerging as the place to find crowdsourced technical help when using software like R, the traditional r-help email list is still going strong.

Ars Technica is always an amazing source of in-depth science and technology reporting, and this article on the formation of supermassive black holes is no exception. But it was this simulation of galaxy formation (by Jillian Bellovary and Fabio Governato) really took my breath away:


KDnuggets recently posted its annual poll on data mining software, and the R language retains its #1 ranking as the most commonly-used software for data mining: