OT:Frank Sinatra for curing the Recession

If recession is all a matter of sentiment , individual and aggregated.Banks who used to be aggressive are too cautious now to lend, while individuals who used to spend are too cautious to even spend adequately for goods.

The following songs can really work wonders for specific sections of the economy-

 

1) Lets’ face the music and dance-

This one is for financial sector which is using the bailout money to pay bonuses , and shore up their balance sheet , while lobbying for a “bad bank’ to take care of all toxic assets. They need to start dancing again  ( as my ex-Boss of all Bosses ,Mr Chuck Prince said) – and resume taking some moderate risks to start lending again.

2) My Way- 

The Health Secretary and Pharma regulators need to sing “ My Way”.The healthcare sector needs to cut down on excessive insurance costs , and profiteering from their patents. Rather than limit salaries of bankers only, limiting the salaries of Big Pharmacy ,greater use of generics and broader coverage of people in America and even other parts like China ,and India would help the work force to cope.

This will ensure a healthy workplace ( which is quite stressed out)

If Venezuela can import 20,000 Cuban Doctors a year and export Oil, then why can’t the United States .

3) America the Beautiful-

This one is for the upper class and upper middle American consumers who have taken to a savings spree while resisting tax increases.

While spending on credit fueled items is still not recommended especially for middle class chaps , it would be good for some consumers to spend more and save appropriately. The creation of the estate tax, would help spread share the fertilizer of tax money to everyone in the economy. Anyone earning above a million dollars can choose between getting extra taxes or being forced for community service- shopping in malls compulsorily and then giving it away to charity.

We can start with the bonus claw back of bankers.

4) My funny Valentine-

This one is for the diplomats who need to swallow humble pie without swallowing crap, and start making more friends than enemies. Guess what – wars are expensive , and maybe some allies can chip in with the costs if you listen to them.

Inviting foreign leaders for talks, conferences without being rude and use charm and respectful and firm diplomacy can lower defense costs considerably.

1 fighter plane can create a lot of schools- and fund a lot of scholarships.

5)I ‘ve got you under my skin – 

The immigration, education and tourism sectors need to rethink some of the Homeland Security‘s tactics without compromising on safety off course. Taking repeated fingerprints , and brisk frisking despite X rays is not the best way to welcome guests to your country . Millions of illegal immigrants would be happy to pay taxes and contribute positively – if they are brought in the legal migrant category. The sons of Irish and African immigrants also need to re think the policy of putting cap on technically qualified people for Asian immigrants mostly especially in education and software ( while balancing approach for any fraud and abuse in immigrant’s pay).

 

These are just humble suggestions and maybe Frank Sinatra isn’t relevant to today’s economy and policy making. I however would rather listen to “Send in the Clowns”.

These are the author’s personal views. You are welcome to suggest other songs for the current state.

Interview:Richard Schultz , CEO REvolution Computing

Here is an interview with the CEO of REvolution Computing, Richard Schultz. Mr. Schultz offers his perspectives on aspects of the open source, predictive analytics, cloud computing as well his vision for R Commercial.

Note from Ajay-As I blogged previously, commercial establishments now have an option to use R commercially with a full service contract and all guarantees which they expect and get from existing analytics software vendors.

Ajay -Linux has not really succeeded in capturing Windows /Desktop Operating market. What are the technical and business reasons that you think R will succeed in analytics desktop software market.

Richard- To start, Linux was never really targeted at the Windows desktop market, but rather at deseating proprietary Unix deployments (particularly in finance), which it did quite successfully.  This is a similar trend to what we’re seeing in the R world – it’s not that R is generally replacing Excel, for instance.  In addition, with the large and growing base of both users and contributors, the vibrancy of the R community has taken on a life of its own.

As to R and Windows, two things are worth noting:

1. Microsoft has moved rapidly to embrace R and REvolution for that matter.

2. Windows is still the predominate operating system in large commercial enterprises. Because we deploy R on multiprocessors, which are now common on all computers including those pre-loaded with Windows, REvolution R is very much at home in both Windows, Mac, and Linux environments.

Ajay- What are the biggest challenges to Revolution Computing while explaining R Pro to users of traditional statistics softwares. What are the biggest advantages?

Richard- The biggest challenge is getting the word out that there now exists validated and supported R products designed for commercial use. But that’s changing rapidly, as your own interest in REvolution Computing demonstrates. Our biggest advantages are several:

1. we are focused on building a close and collegial relationship with the open source R community;

2. our company has a deep history in super computing and parallelization;

3. with, by Intel’s estimate, over 1 million R users and growing, there is a large community eager to adapt our products as its members advance their careers in the business and research worlds.

Ajay- Which softwares do you think will be affected the most by R’s spread across colleges and companies. What do you believe will be their strategies to compete.


Richard – I want to be politic here. Let me say that the programming software likely most affected by the rise of R is probably proprietary.

We see many opportunities to partner and leverage the strengths of REvolution’s products specifically – high performance, handling of large data, validation, IDE / user interface.

Ajay- How do you intend to incorporate the cloud computing and Software as a Service Model for R Pro. When , if at all, do you think it be possible  for a person to simply upload a zipped csv file, work on a remote cloud computer for analytics and forecasting, and just pay for the hired software,hardware,bandwidth.

Richard – We were thinking of something based on the Ohri framework.  ;-). ( Ajay- Touché!)

In fact, we have deployed, and are deploying cloud-based REvolution R for clients, and it’s something we expect to evolve as those technologies evolve.


Ajay- Asian countries have huge demand for analytics, and are more price conscious on softwares. What would your strategy to sell in Asia /China and India be.

Richard – Open source can be a tremendous win for users in Asia / China / India.  The upfront costs are low, the technology is leading-edge, and there is a distribution network for support.  REvolution has partners, and is continuing to build its partner network to be able to reach these markets.  We expect to accelerate our efforts in these regions toward the end of 2009.

Ajay- What has been the story so far for your career. What prompted you to join/start Revolution Computing. What would be the advice you would give to young science graduates in today’s recession.

Richard – My own background is in computer science, business… and music. Through school I held various positions at IBM, and after graduate school, I worked at Dunn & Bradsteet in a product management role and developed a taste for entrepreneurship. I’ve started two companies so far, MetaServer, a business intelligence middleware company that catered to the insurance industry, and REvolution Computing. Today, MetaServer is part of Oracle. And I continue to play music – guitar and piano. One of these days we’ll get a REvolution Computing band together.

My advice to young science graduates is the same recession or no: follow your enthusiasms; find a passion outside of work like playing music; master open source program languages because that is the future and the future is here.

About Richard Schultz –Chief Executive Officer,REvolution Computing

Richard guides REvolution’s long-range business strategy and leads the company’s teams on a daily basis. His experience developing and growing Business Intelligence software companies includes founding and leading Metaserver, Inc., now a part of Oracle, from inception to sale. Richard has been named Innovator of the Year by Business New Haven; served on the board of the Connecticut Venture Group; and been the keynote speaker for CIO Forum and other technology industry events.  A graduate of Washington University with degrees in Computer Science, Business and Music, Richard also holds a Masters degree in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Stonybrook and has held senior positions at Dunn and Bradstreet and IBM.

Ajay -REvolution Computing has been a leader in this field and going by the latest product launch –well you can try it yourself and see from here http://www.revolution-computing.com

R and Cloud Computing

Here is a good site for using R for cloud computing. It is called Biocep.

http://biocep-distrib.r-forge.r-project.org/

    Biocep is a general unified open source Java solution for integrating and virtualizing the access to R engines/servers. It aims to become a federative user-friendly computational e-platform for research, finance and education. The Biocep virtual workbench provides a framework enabling the connection of all the elements of a computational environment:

    • 1. The computational resource (whether it is a local machine, a cluster, a grid or a cloud server) via a simple URL.
    • 2. The computational components via the import of R packages.
    • 3. The GUIs via the import of plugins from repositories or the design of new views with a drag-and-drop GUI editor.

An example is

    A Biocep based R virtualization infrastructure has been successfully deployed on the British National Grid Service, demonstrating its usability and usefulness for researchers.

     

     

An additional package is RWebservices.

http://www.bioconductor.org/packages/2.3/bioc/html/RWebServices.html

    Expose R functions as web services through Java/Axis/Apache

    This package provides mechanisms for automatic function prototyping and exposure of R functionality in a web services environment.

Using R on a cloud computer effectively cuts down on hardware AND software license costs to less than a 1$ per hour even for extremely intensive analytics work.A separate and generic framework for this is the conceptual idea self deprecatingly called Ohri Framework (read here) . Since I lack both the money and the time , I have been trying to evangelize R to the cloud community and the cloud to the analytics community since last year. Watch this space – this action is heating up.

India:Bungalow Dogs bark back at Slumdogs

The recent Oscar Nomination and subsequent debate for “ Slumdog Millionaire” is both astonishing and disturbing.

While it is astonishing

as the first major Oscar nominated English movie on India in thirty years since “Gandhi’ (made by another British director) ,

it is disturbing

as it reflects the inherent tensions in a nation of a 1.147 billion people racing to the moon in unmanned orbit(2008) ( and thus proud of its recent achievements including economic, sports, and political

while at the same time

a nation state struggling to provide basics of food, housing ,employment (conservatively 300 million people live on less than 1 dollar a day in India) and lack of state safety from terror attacks.

Most of the critics decrying the exhibitionism of “poverty porn” , a unique term, are themselves safely far removed from the slums themselves.

An average Indian Middle class family  earns 1-2000 USD a month ( depending on how good the economy is),

I find the rows of people sleeping on pavements and defecating openly – both embarrassing and humbling.

There has to be some shame, some morality in an economic system where the urban middle class  earns more than 60 times than the urban poor ( or 60 times 30 dollars a month) .

Yet

 I find the lack of conscience ( we cant help them, so lets help ourselves)

in my peers ,

fellow middle class chaps and

especially the intellectual classes of academia and corporates

 

and their

hubris and pride in the inevitable rise of power to a glorious Mother India ,

an amusing and sometimes puzzling drama which is as entertaining as any fictional movie created by a global Holly or a local Bolly – Wood

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_India

Vote for the SAS-L Rookie of the Year

If you are on the SAS-L list, you can vote for the following

 

SAS-L Rookie of the Year (SASLROY)


Scott Bucher
Joe Matise
Akshaya Nathilvar
Ajay Ohri                        (This is me…..by the way)
Karma Tarap

You can vote (one vote per person please) at:
http://ires.ku.edu/~ipsr/SGF2009/saslbof.htm
Voting will end February 12th.

And, as usual, the winners will be announced at the annual SAS-L BOF, at SAS Global Forum:
When: Monday, March 23
Where: TBA
Time: 7-8 pm

Ps-I wonder if the R –Help list has something  like this.

I just downloaded R Comps latest release of REvolution R. The individual Win 32 version is free, while Enterprise version with Win 64 versions. Tech support is included in services contract for the software which should help with any corporate willing to take R on a trial basis.

 

From the press release ,

REvolution Computing Makes High Performance REvolution R

Available For Download

New Haven, CT January 28, 2009 REvolution Computing, a leading provider of open source predictive analytics solutions, today announced that it has made a public version of its commercial grade REvolution R program available for download from its website. REvolution R is REvolution Computings distribution of the popular R statistical software, optimized for use in commercial environments.

With the latest release of REvolution R, REvolution Computing has added significant performance enhancements to the base system, which can prove to be of great value in both commercial and research settings. A key feature includes the use of powerful optimized libraries capable of boosting performance by a factor of 5 or 10 for commonly used operations. In addition, REvolution R has been put through a quality process designed to meet regulatory agency audit standards, making the subscription version reliable for use in mission critical research and production.

In making our latest release of REvolution R available for download, REvolution Computing is providing all R users the ability to take advantage of optimized and validated software previously available only to commercial users, said REvolution Computing CEO, Richard Schultz. In a true commercial open source way, we have reached the point in our development that we are able to offer significant value to both sets of our community users REvolution R for all users, and REvolution R Enterprise, with additional commercial-grade capabilities and support, available by annual subscription.

REvolutions commercial distribution, REvolution R Enterprise, features advanced functionality, including ParallelR, which speeds deployment across both multiprocessor workstations and clusters to enable the same codes to be used for prototyping and production. REvolution R Enterprise is functional with 64-bit platforms and Linux enterprise platforms and provides for telephone support and response guarantees.

Some background on the company itself ..from the company itself-

 

About REvolution Computing

New Haven, Connecticut-based REvolution Computing is the leading commercial provider of software and support for the statistical computing language known as R. 

Our products, including REvolution R and REvolution R Enterprise, enable statisticians, scientists and others to create superior predictive models and derive meaning from large sets of mission-critical data in record time. REvolution Computing

 

works closely with the R community to incorporate the latest developments in open source R, and with our clients to support their efforts to produce groundbreaking innovations in life sciences, financial services, defense technology and other industries where high-level analytics are crucial to success. At REvolution Computing, We do the math.

The product names RPro, ParallelR, REvolution R, and REvolution R Enterprise, are trademarks of REvolution Computing.

 

This basically gives the company first mover

advantage in commercial R. The timing is also fortunate as companies across the world look to cut costs (unfortunately labor costs are being cut faster than software costs) as well as move beyond traditional analytics softwares that performed ah so well in the sub prime prediction market.

REvolution R is available for download on Windows and Intel MacOS X, both in 32-bit mode at http://www.revolution-computing.com/downloads/revolution-r.php