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At Tuesday's Bay Area R User Group meetup, nine speakers gave five-minute talks on various aspects of R. Revolution Analytics' Luba Gloukhov was one of the presenters, and also provides the summary of the talks below. Links to the slides are included where available for you to check out.

The most recent edition of the Revolution Newsletter is out. The news section is below, and you can read the full September/October edition (with highlights from this blog and community events) online. You can subscribe to the Revolution Newsletter to get it monthly via email.

I missed it when it was first published last month, but that doesn't make me any less honoured to be included in Techopedia's list of Big Data experts to follow on Twitter. I've been following pretty much every name on the list forever, and they've provided me with countless insights on data management, data distillation and of course data analysis and statistics. I recommend you do the same.

Data Scientist Drew Conway tackles the problem of deciding which programming languages are the most popular in an interesting way: by comparing the number of projects tagged in GitHub with each language, and the number of questions in StackOverflow about the language. The former is a measure of how often a language is used (though, mainly for open source projects); the latter is a measure of how many programmers are asking questions about it.

Here at Revolution Analytics, we're proud to have been a part of fostering local user groups for R users around the world. Last year we sponsored more than 40 groups, with representation from every continent around the world. And we're thrilled to see the continued growth in user groups: this time last year there about 50 R user groups; now, there's nearly 100.

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

You can now browse the R-devel sources and changelogs at GitHub.

R is used to create a 3-D animation of the Antarctic ice cap.

On our recent trip to Australia, we had some excellent stargazing opportunities from the south coast of Kangaroo Island. With dark skies and clear air, as we looked south towards Antarctica the Milky Way and both Magellanic Clouds were in full, glorious, naked-eye view. And it was certainly a comfort to be able to see the Southern Cross again. Sadly, my attempts at astral photography were a failure (I was trying to get some star trails shots, but my old Nikon DSLR will only do up to 30-second exposures without the remote, which I of course forgot).

As we noted last month, the new Themes feature in ggplot2 helps you customize the design of R charts to your liking. Now, R user Jeffrey Arnold has built on this feature to create standardized themes to make R graphics looks like those from major publications and other software systems. You can use his ggthemes package to make your charts look like those in The Economist:

The RHadoop project, the open-source project supported by Revolution Analytics to integrate R and Hadoop, continues to evolve. Now available is version 2 of the rmr package, which makes it possible for R programmers to write map-reduce tasks in the R language, and have them run within the Hadoop cluster. This update is the "simplest and fastest rmr yet", according to lead developer Antonio Piccolboni.

Jeffrey Breen (the man behind the Twitter airline sentiment analysis example) recently posted a collection of slides with some great tips for accessing data from R.