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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:

Revolution Analytics is hosting several live and online courses over the next couple of months that will be of interest to R users looking to hone their skills:

If you haven't made the plunge yet to making R graphics with Hadley Wickham's ggplot2 package, his "ggplot2 basics" slides (from the recent Introduction to Data Visualization and Analysis course at JSM) is a good place to start.

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks countries on performance indicators for environmental public health and ecosystem vitality. Yale University hosts the EPI website, which was used to present the 2012 EPI Rankings to world leaders at the 2012 World Economic Forum at Davos.

R user Markus Gesmann used the gold-winning times from the Olympic Men's 100m sprint since 1990 as the basis of the following prediction for the London Games:

Movie trailers today are kind of a strange beast. They seem to be designed only to optimize just one thing: getting bums on seats for the opening day of the film. You'd think the smarter long-term strategy would be to set appropriate expectations about the film, and thereby enhance enjoyment of those who do go, to create positive word-of-mouth and generate future patrons. But sadly, that's not the usual case. The result: mystifying spoiler-laden movie trailers that routinely portray a film that's very different to what you eventually see on-screen.