What the fRck? Value comparison in R

As an R programmer I spend a significant amount of time convincing my friends that R is not in fact a terrible, terrible language....for the reasons that they think, and that it is in fact a terrible, terrible language for far better reasons. As Tim Smith puts it: R…

Road trip photos

Sunset in Seattle Storms in Montana We're now in Minneapolis, happily ensconsed in halfak's place with a pair of exciteable ferrets that smell constantly like honey. If there's anything better than that I'd like to hear it.…

On a desert highway straight to the heart of the sun

I've now been living in the United States for just under a year, and in that time I've seen very little of it - the combination of hectic work and a profound fear of flying (which is strange, coming from a guy who used to fly helicopters. My justification is…

Bitcoin is a completely legitimate currency

And is absolutely not something primarily used by and enabling a wide variety of amoral scumbags. By the way, if you Bitcoin enthusiasts could do an amoral scumbag a solid...…

Stop designing for yourself

There is a visualisation going about on the internet on "Wikipedia Gender: visualisation of male vs. female editors". I'm not going to link to it, because I like your browser. See, this particular visualisation is very pretty. To reach its current level of prettiness, it only needs 1.1kb of…

Tenets of Data Analysis

A set of rules I've been throwing around the office. Your job is only as easy as your stupidest upstream provider is smart. They're called your stupidest upstream provider for a reason. There is no such thing as "one request for data". There is the first request for data, and…

Why I dislike the non-commercial use component

This was originally posted on one of my old blogs, and extracted from the XML dumps this morning because...well, one of my friends asked questions about CC-BY-NC and I wanted to be able to point them to my thoughts on the subject. These are my thoughts on the subject…

Comics, comics everywhere

As my previous post may have indicated, my reading has been heavily comic-oriented lately. As well as Lucifer and the new Sandman Overtures series (I've finished the first volume, and have the second to read), I can also recommend: Brian K. Vaughan's Saga, which is one of the more thoughtful…

Vae, gaudium fugax!

There is a garden in the east, serene and perfect, but a seraph guards it with a flaming sword. For God has seven thousand names, and one of them is bastard. I thoroughly recommend any Sandman fans pick up a copy of Mike Carey's spinoff Lucifer. Jessica recommended it to…

No, I do not want transcription services

Something that seems to be happening more and more often, particularly in the last year, is unsolicited emails from transcription services aimed at my work address. I've never used a transcription service in my life, at any of the companies I've done work for. I've never solicited transcription services in…