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What happens when you jury-rig a washing machine to keep running even if the door is open, set it to high spin, and throw in a few kilos of scrap metal? Watch and see (some mildly NSFW language):

 

I'll say it again: the 2048 game is horribly addictive. Luckily for my productivity, though, I've been playing a lot less of it since I finally managed to complete the game's main goal: combine and double-up like-numbered tiles until you create the ultimate 2048 tile:

Join hundreds of other R users from around the world at the annual worldwide R user conference useR! 2014, to be held June 30 - July 3 at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles.

Registration is now open for attendees. Advance registration for the conference is just $375 — and even less for academics ($250) and students ($125). Register by May 10 to get the best rates.

by James P. Peruvankal

Kaggle just announced a competition to predict which shoppers will become repeat buyers. To aid with algorithmic development, they have provided complete, basket-level, pre-offer shopping history for a large set of shoppers who were targeted for an acquisition campaign. Files containing the incentives offered to each shopper as well as their post-incentive behavior are also provided.

R easily has more than two million users around the world, but where is R activity the most concentrated? That's the question that the team of R users at Rapporter seeks to answer, by combining data about locations of R Foundation members, package authors, package downloaders, and user group members into a single, country-wide "R usage score".

What would it be like if you could actally see the sounds around you, with your eyes? Surprisingly, it's possible to do so, thanks to a couple of fairly simple techniques. One way is via Schlieren Photography, which makes the variations in air density caused by temperature and sound waves to become visible. How that's done is explained in the NPR video below (watch for the Millennium Falcon!).

 

Nate Silver's departure to relaunch FiveThirtyEight.com left a bit of a hole at the New York Times, which The Upshot — the new data journalism practice at the Times — seeks to fill. And they've gotten off to a great start with the new Senate forecasting model, called Leo.

Sorry about the blog being inaccessible for a few days. Our hosting provider TypePad was the victim of a denial of service attack. (The Revolution Analytics main website and systems weren't affected.) But everything seems to be back to normal now, so it should be business as usual from here on in.