SAS bashing

A number of recent posts have been towards the critical end of the scale with regards to SAS®. This seems a little unfair given my recent experience of working with them in the design phase of a project. The quality their input has been fantastic, and I wonder if we could have come up with as good a design without them.

When I own a Ferrari I will expect to have to pay for regular servicing.

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Wolfram and The Power to, …, erm

In a few weeks Wolfram|Alpha will finally be unveiled and we will see if it can live up to its promise.

There was a great article on hplus magazine by Rudy Rucker, whose life seems to have been entwined with Wolfram for a long time. Rudy seems to have got an early dose of the excitment I’ve picked up around Wolfram’s plans.
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Something for the wii-kend

Exciting news from Chris Hemedinger at SAS® published today on his blog.

Last week at SAS Global Forum, SAS demonstrated its commitment to bring powerful business analytics to customers wherever they choose to work, … In that spirit, SAS today announced plans to port its powerful analytics software to a new platform: the Nintendo® Wii®.

Chris goes on to describe the new programming paradigm:
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Which papers are you reading?

The SUGI SAS Global Forum 2009 Proceedings papers have been available on-line for a week now.

I’ve skimmed the titles and there are a few that I’ve earmarked for further study, see below; sadly some of the interesting ones came up with the disappointing “No paper was submitted for publication in the Proceedings.” message.

Which ones are you reading?
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SAS Global Forum, at one remove

What a day (yesterday was)!

A flurry of press releases from SAS®.

Two caught my eye: SAS to offer R integration to support analytical innovation, and SAS and Teradata Announce Availability of Analytic Advantage and Optimization Services Packages.
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Sorting: bufsize and sortsize

sortspeedInitial results for sorting data suggest that a small sortsize improves sortation, whilst the time taken is largely independent of the buffer size (bufsize) used to create the file.

These are only initial findings – based on a single set of observations for one size of dataset – and these taken on a day when the server complained of memory problems.

Curious!

I will update this page when I have more confidence in the results

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Wolfram|Alpha questions

I think Doug’s question about well-formed questions deserves some more thought. Wolfram think they’ve cracked the issue of the questions we’ve asked with their natural language processing, but can they?

What will it do with questions deliberately constructed to be difficult, either because of the amount of computational power required, or because they are self-referential? How will it handle paradox such along the lines of Smullyan’s “what is the name of this book?” Godel’s incompleteness theorem surely limits the validity, in the limit, of the answers it can produce. The other way to test it would be with questions such as “what is the nth prime?” where n is large.
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Open source data mining

Browsing around I stumbled across an old post on Knowledge Integrity, Inc.’s site about weka and their work on an open source data mining tool.

It looks as if we might have quite a basket of products to compare when we move into the data mining arena. Read More »

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Wolfram|Alpha, how?

I’m itching to try out Wolfram|Alpha, and one thing I’m curious about is the nature, or depth of the solutions it will offer.

If I were to ask: what would be the velocity of a point mass falling for 10 seconds under gravity, will I get the answer:
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Wolfram|Alpha banned…



… just imagine having access to Wolfram|Alpha in a physics (or any other?) exam!
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