R and Deep UX

New York Times has a great article on the R statistical language. A good friend of mine convinced me to learn R when my copy of SPSS expired. I am glad he did.


R is has a wonderful deep user experience (UX). After one hour of learning, you can do a lot with SPSS (A popular competitor) and just a few basic tasks with R.

After ten hours, you never want to use SPSS again.

With a design that encourages users to store commonly run tasks as scripts (instead of a point-and-click interface), users quickly build a library of the complex chains of tasks they run, allowing them to be easily repeat the same process they went through in the last day, month, and year.

Meanwhile, a user of SPSS would have to remember which menus, checkboxes, and buttons were pushed half a year ago.

Good to see R getting this high-profile treatment.

The response from a SAS representative reminds me of what Unix vendors must have thought when the first learned about Linux.

5GW: A Free-for-all of surprise destruction

I like almost everything about this summary of 5GW from David Axe:

How to Win a Fifth-Generation War | Danger Room from Wired.com
But the next generation of war — the so-called “fifth-generation” — wont feature armies or clear ideas. It will be what U.S. Army Major Shannon Beebe, the top intel officer for Africa, calls a “vortex of violence,” a free-for-all of surprise destruction motivated more by frustration than by any coherent plans for the future.

the only thing is the ending. It should be motivated by a coherent plan for the future.

5GW, that secretwar of hidden movements, relies on a waterfall development model, whether it is a state exporting 5GW, a state conducting 5GW against itself, or insurgents fighting a state with 5GW.

Must be a disinformation op by the Cold War Lobby

Rusisa’s hardly a “Cold War” threat — indeed, people who talk in this way tend to come across as hysterical. Rather, it’s a counttry about as powerful as Portugal which attempts to use the wealth it digs up from the ground to alter the foreign policy of our friends in the core of the Old Core, New Core, and Gap

While plummeting oil and natural gas prices are doing a job at containing Russia, we should not be lulled by the low prices into relying more on these hydrocarbons. Rather, the United States, Europe, India, China, and Japan should work together at developing alternative energy sources, and take away Russia’s ability to cause trouble.