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The R core group today announced the availability of R 2.15.0, codenamed "Easter Beagle". If you build R yourself, the new source distribution (including packages for Debian Linux) is available now, and binaries for Windows, MacOS and Linux will be available from your local CRAN mirror over the next couple of days.

Many thanks to Jim Guszcza (Predictive Analytics lead at Deloitte Consulting and Assistant Professor at UW-Madison) who gave a great webinar presentation yesterday on actuarial analysis with R

Tomorrow (at 2PM Eastern on Thursday), the White House White House Office of Science and Technology Policy will host a 90-minute forum on Challenges and Opportunities in Big Data.

The Google Summer of Code project provides funding for students to write and contribute code to open-source projects of interest to Google.

Every year for the past five years, a consortium of software companies has collaborated to conduct a survey on attitudes and adoption of open-source software in business. Now in its sixth year, the 2012 Future of Open Source survey is now open. Open source analyst firm 451 Research is a collaborator for the first time this year, along with Revolution Analytics, Red Hat, Couchbase, Eucalyptus and several other firms.

When Adam Rubin was a PhD student, his advisor accused him of "writing like a poet" for using a non-scientific word in this thesis:

The word was “lone,” as in “PvPlm is the lone plasmepsin in the food vacuole of Plasmodium vivax.” It was a filthy word. A non-scientific word. A flowery word, a lyrical word, a word worthy of — ugh — an MFA student.

Ed Chen is a data scientist at Twitter, so he's accustomed to working with big data and complex models. In an interview with MIT Technology Review, he describes his data science toolbox:

There's a great story in The Atlantic about a man who broke the bank at an Atlantic City casino by winning $6m at Blackjack. He won without counting cards: the practice of remembering previously-played cards that allows the player's expected return to exceed 100%.

The Biology Department at McGill University in Québec, Canada has been running a series of R workshops since 2010.