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For anyone who works with financial data and has access to a Bloomberg terminal, there is a new R package to interface to Bloomberg data services: RBlpapi. (If you had searched for an R connection to Bloomberg you wouldn’t have found this one — Bloomberg is happy to have software that connects to its public API, but not to use its name, apparently.)

I'm heading over to Australia for the next couple of weeks — mostly to visit family, but if you're in Sydney on June 25 you can catch me at the SURF meeting.

R is now integrated with Apache Spark, the open-source cluster computing framework. The Databricks blog announced this week that yesterday's release of Spark 1.4 would include SparkR, "an R package that allows data scientists to analyze large datasets and interactively run jobs on them from the R shell".

by Joseph Rickert

In a little over three weeks useR! 2015 will convene in Aalborg, Denmark and I am looking forward to being there and learning and talking about R user groups. The following map shows the big picture for R User Groups around the world.

However, it is very difficult to keep it up to date. Just after the map "went to press" I learned that a new user group formed in Norfolk Virginia last month. In fact, at least 11 new R user groups have formed so far this year.

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

RStudio 0.99 released with improved autocomplete and data viewer features.

A tutorial on the new Naive Bayes classifier in the RevoScaleR package.

by John Mount Ph. D.
Data Scientist at Win-Vector LLC

32 bit data structures (pointers, integer representations, single precision floating point) have been past their "best before date" for quite some time. R itself moved to a 64 bit memory model some time ago, but still has only 32 bit integers. This is going to get more and more awkward going forward. What is R doing to work around this limitation?

By David Smith

I was on a panel back in 2009 where Bow Cowgill said, "The best thing about R is that it was written by statisticians. The worst thing about R is that it was written by statisticians." R is undeniably quirky — especially to computer scientists — and yet it has attracted a huge following for a domain-specific language, with more than two million users wordwide. 

As with any adaptation, the makers of the TV Series Game of Thrones have had to make certain accomodations as they bring George RR Martin's series to the screen. Necessarily, story lines are compressed, minor characters are merged onto one, and events are reordered in the interests of narrative flow and on-screen drama. I doubt they anticipated, though, how small changes at the beginning of the series begain to compound over time.