AzureR update: new in May/June

by Hong Ooi This is a summary of the updates to AzureR family of packages in May and June 2021. AzureAuth Change the default caching behaviour to disable the cache if running inside Shiny. Update Shiny vignette to clean up redirect page after authenticating (thanks to Tyler Littlefield). Add a create_AzureR_dir function to create the … Read more

Attend the Create:Data free online event, December 7

The Microsoft Create: series is back again, now with Create: Data!  Join us for a half-day of conversations at Microsoft Create: Data and connect with the experts and community to learn and discuss everything data – from the upcoming trends to best practices and data for good.  Join our virtual event Create: Data  Date: 7 December 2020  Time: 8:00AM – 11:10AM PDT / 4:00PM – 7:10PM GMT … Read more

The History of R (updated for 2020)

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R 4.0.2 now available

R 4.0.2 is now available for download for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. This update addresses a few minor bugs included in the R 4.0.0 release, and also a significant bug introduced in R 4.0.1 on the Windows platform.  Compared to R 4.0.0, the R 4.0.2 update also improves the performance of the merge function, … Read more

Custom Package Repositories in R

by Steve Belcher, Sr Technical Specialist, Microsoft Data & AI In some companies, R users can’t download R packages from CRAN. That might be because they work in an environment that’s isolated from the internet, or because company policy dictates that only specific R packages and/or package versions may be used. In this article, we … Read more

Create and deploy a Custom Vision predictive service in R with AzureVision

The AzureVision package is an R frontend to Azure Computer Vision and Azure Custom Vision. These services let you leverage Microsoft’s Azure cloud to carry out visual recognition tasks using advanced image processing models, with minimal machine learning expertise. The basic idea behind Custom Vision is to take a pre-built image recognition model supplied by … Read more

Major update to checkpoint package now available for beta test

I’m Hong Ooi, data scientist with Microsoft Azure Global, and maintainer of the checkpoint package. The checkpoint package makes it easy for you freeze R packages in time, drawing from the daily snapshots of the CRAN repository that have been archived on a daily basis at MRAN since 2014. Checkpoint has been around for nearly … Read more

AI, Machine Learning and Data Science Roundup: January 2020

A roundup of news about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science. This is an eclectic collection of interesting blog posts, software announcements and data applications from Microsoft and elsewhere that I’ve noted recently. Open Source AI, ML & Data Science News Pandas 1.0.0 is released, a milestone for the ubiquitous Python data frame package. … Read more

R 3.6.2 is out, and a preview of R 4.0.0

R 3.6.2, the latest update to the R language, is now available for download on Windows, Mac and Linux. As a minor release, R 3.6.2 makes only small improvements to R, including some new options for dot charts and better handling of missing values when using running medians as a smoother on charts. It also … Read more

AI, Machine Learning and Data Science Roundup: November 2019

A roundup of news about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science. This is an eclectic collection of interesting blog posts, software announcements and data applications from Microsoft and elsewhere that I’ve noted recently. Open Source AI, ML & Data Science News Python 3.8 is now available. From now on, new versions of Python will … Read more

AzureR updates: AzureStor, AzureVM, AzureGraph, AzureContainers

Some major updates to AzureR packages this week! As well as last week’s AzureRMR update, there are changes to AzureStor, AzureVM, AzureGraph and AzureContainers. All of these are live on CRAN. AzureStor 3.0.0 There are substantial enhancements to multiple-file transfers (up and down). You can supply a vector of pathnames to storage_upload/download as the source … Read more

AI, Machine Learning and Data Science Roundup: September/October 2019

A roundup of news about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science. This is an eclectic collection of interesting blog posts, software announcements and data applications from Microsoft and elsewhere that I’ve noted recently. Open Source AI, ML & Data Science News Tensorflow 2.0.0 has been released. This major update makes many changes to improve … Read more

AI, Machine Learning and Data Science Roundup: July/August 2019

A mostly monthly roundup of news about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science. This is an eclectic collection of interesting blog posts, software announcements and data applications from Microsoft and elsewhere that I’ve noted over the past month or so. Open Source AI, ML & Data Science News StanfordNLP: a pure-Python package for grammatical … Read more

AI, Machine Learning and Data Science Roundup: June 2019

A monthly roundup of news about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science. This is an eclectic collection of interesting blog posts, software announcements and data applications from Microsoft and elsewhere that I’ve noted over the past month or so. Open Source AI, ML & Data Science News Tensorflow 2.0 beta is now available, featuring … Read more

Fun with R and the Noops

Earlier this week, Github introduced Noops, a collection of simple black-box machines with API endpoints, with the goal of challenging developers of all skill levels to solve problems with them. Five “Noops” machines have been released so far along with challenges suitable for beginner programmers, with 15 further machines (and some more complex challenges) to … Read more

AI, Machine Learning and Data Science Roundup: May 2019

A monthly roundup of news about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science. This is an eclectic collection of interesting blog posts, software announcements and data applications from Microsoft and elsewhere that I’ve noted over the past month or so. Open Source AI, ML & Data Science News PyTorch 1.1 is now available, with new … Read more

MRAN snapshots, and you

For almost five years, the entire CRAN repository of R packages has been archived on a daily basis at MRAN. If you use CRAN snapshots from MRAN, we’d love to hear how you use them in this survey. If you’re not familiar with the concept, or just want to learn more, read on. Every day … Read more

Introducing AzureGraph: an interface to Microsoft Graph

Microsoft Graph is a comprehensive framework for accessing data in various online Microsoft services, including Azure Active Directory (AAD), Office 365, OneDrive, Teams, and more. AzureGraph is an R package that provides a simple R6-based interface to the Graph REST API, and is the companion package to AzureRMR and AzureAuth. Currently, AzureGraph aims to provide … Read more

AI, Machine Learning and Data Science Roundup: April 2019

A monthly roundup of news about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science. This is an eclectic collection of interesting blog posts, software announcements and data applications from Microsoft and elsewhere that I’ve noted over the past month or so. Open Source AI, ML & Data Science News Facebook open-sources PyTorch-BigGraph for producing embeddings for … Read more

AI, Machine Learning and Data Science Roundup: March 2019

A monthly roundup of news about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science. This is an eclectic collection of interesting blog posts, software announcements and data applications from Microsoft and elsewhere that I’ve noted over the past month or so. Open Source AI, ML & Data Science News TensorFlow Privacy: a Python library for training … Read more

Where to find the worst weather in the US

Which US city has the worst weather? To answer that question, data analyst Taras Kaduk counted the number of pleasant days in each city and ranked them accordingly. For this analysis, a “pleasant” day is one where the average temperature was in the range 55°F-75°F, the maximum was in the range 60°-90°, the minimum was … Read more

An architecture for real-time scoring with R

Let’s say you’ve developed a predictive model in R, and you want to embed predictions (scores) from that model into another application (like a mobile or Web app, or some automated service). If you expect a heavy load of requests, R running on a single server isn’t going to cut it: you’ll need some kind … Read more

Developments in AzureR

by Hong Ooi, senior data scientist, Microsoft Azure The AzureR packages have now been on CRAN for a couple of months, so I thought I’d provide an update on developments in the works. First, AAD authentication has been moved into a new package, AzureAuth, so that people who just want OAuth tokens can get it … Read more

Because it’s Friday: Synthetic faces, styled to your specifications

If you need someone’s face to use in an application or some marketing materials, you might search one of the stock photography vendors for people of a given gender, skin tone, hairstyle, etc. Or, you could just ask the Generative Adversarial Network described in this paper by NVIDIA researchers to generate a brand new face … Read more

Because it’s Friday: Happy Holidays

? He’d better watch out // he’d better comply ?: This is my favourite festive GDPR gag of Christmas 2018 so far. pic.twitter.com/2HheWIkviV — Charlie King (@charlietheking) November 7, 2018 With the holiday season upon us, we’ll be taking a little break here at the blog to relax and spend time with the family. We … Read more

AI, Machine Learning and Data Science Roundup: December 2018

A monthly roundup of news about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science. This is an eclectic collection of interesting blog posts, software announcements and data applications from Microsoft and elsewhere that I’ve noted over the past month or so. Open Source AI, ML & Data Science News PyTorch 1.0 has been released with faster … Read more

Because it’s Friday: CGI you never knew was CGI

Computer-generated imagery in movies has gotten so good these days, much of the time you don’t even realize it’s there. You probably never noticed how Michael Cera’s physique had been altered, or how Lost in Translation used motion capture technology from the future. [embedded content] That’s all from the blog team for this week. Have … Read more

How to give money to the R project

by Mark Niemann-Ross, an author, educator, and writer who teaches about R and Raspberry Pi at LinkedIn Learning I spend a LOT of time at r-project.org, in particular the sections for documentation and CRAN. But I hadn’t spent much time in the other areas: R Project, R Foundation, and links. When I recently wandered into the foundation area, … Read more

How to deploy a predictive service to Kubernetes with R and the AzureContainers package

It’s easy to create a function in R, but what if you want to call that function from a different application, with the scale to support a large number of simultaneous requests? This article shows how you can deploy an R fitted model as a Plumber web service in Kubernetes, using Azure Container Registry (ACR) and … Read more

Because it’s Friday: If planets were as close as the moon

What would the sky look like if Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, or Neptune were as close to us as the Moon is now? Well, other than the global calamity caused by extreme tides and general astrophysical disruption, it looks quite pretty. If Planets were as close as the Moon pic.twitter.com/bBwIPtRQ1J — Physics & Astronomy Zone (@ZonePhysics) … Read more

Simulating dinosaur populations, with R

So it turns out that the 1990 Michael Crichton novel Jurassic Park is, indeed, a work of fiction. (Personal note: despite the snark to follow, the book is one of my all-time favorites — I clearly remember devouring it in 24 hours straight while ill in a hostel in France.) If the monsters and melodrama … Read more

AzureVM: managing virtual machines in Azure

This is the next article in my series on AzureR, a family of packages for working with Azure in R. I’ll give a short introduction on how to use AzureVM to manage Azure virtual machines, and in particular Data Science Virtual Machines (DSVMs). Creating a VM Creating a VM is as simple as using the … Read more