Advice for Deploying Agile Analytics

Lisa Morgan at InformationWeek writes about agile analytics: Organizations have potential access to more data today than they’ve ever had before, but they’re not always aware of what they have inside their own companies, let alone what’s available from third-party sources. Read more about what I and other industry leaders say about organizational approaches to analytics: Agile Analytics: 11 Ways To Get There – InformationWeek The accelerating pace of global business means that enterprises need more agile data-related systems and practices. Becoming more agile — and succeeding at it — isn’t always easy given existing technology investments, constant technological evolution,

Code Coverage Counterexamples

Code coverage is not what it’s cracked up to be. As an experiment, I started using Coveralls on two of my R projects, cmna and phonics. Both projects had unit testing with testthat included, both use Travis for continuous integration, and Coveralls supports R. So this seemed like a logical experiment, and the results tell us something about code coverage. First, cmna has miserable code coverage. As of this writing, code coverage is only about 8 percent and I am surprised it is that high. I basically gave up on writing unit tests while developing the package and the book

My Robot, or Announcing DC Closings

I always know when it’s about to snow. I get a lot of new Twitter followers. Well, not really. Another account I have, @opmdcstatus gets new followers. OPM DC Status (@opmdcstatus) | Twitter The latest Tweets from OPM DC Status (@opmdcstatus). OPM’s DC operating status. Not affiliated with OPM because, frankly, they are not this useful. By @howardjp. Washington, DC A long time ago, way back in 2011, the Office of Personnel Management only offered email broadcast of closings. I worked for the Fed, which followed OPM guidance on closings at the time, but the broadcast announcements would sometimes be

BSD Family Tree Reposted

I needed to cite (informally, in a Facebook conversation) a footnote I had written 15-16 years ago in DaemonNews, an old publication dedicated to the BSD family of operating systems. DN is no longer available, it seems. And that’s frustrating, because the article I had written, “The BSD Family Tree” is actually a pretty good resource on how the BSD-derived systems were interrelated. So I have put a copy up for anyone interested. Also, it turns out the footnote didn’t say what I remembered it saying. So what I needed it to say was, NeXTSTEP is capitalized, variable, as NeXTstep,

Xerox Printers and the Philosopher’s Stone

Xerox has apparently started region-encoding their toner cartridges. These are encoded so that a cartridge will only work in one part of the world. Region-encoding allows Xerox to sell the same printer and toner packs in both the developing and developed world, while charging the developed world a lot more. If the toner sold for less in, say, East Wherever, people would buy them on the cheap and ship them to the United States and Europe to arbitrage the price differences. Without commenting on this policy, I do want to point out I’ve heard this joke before. In the early

The Cuckoo's Egg, by Clifford Stoll (Doubleday, via the National Library of Medicine)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Egg

Over the weekend, I watched “The KGB, the Computer, and Me,” a NOVA dramatization of Cliff Stoll’s experience chasing down a 75 cent accounting error. I read the book, The Cuckoo’s Egg, back in the 90s, and it’s a great book, though the cookies didn’t turn out, when I made them. NOVA dramatizes the events fairly well, though Stoll is an interesting narrator. Someone put the NOVA episode on YouTube, so take an hour and watch it. Image by Doubleday, via the National Library of Medicine.