The Comic Water Games (aka Common Wealth Games)

We in Delhi, India are a tough people. With summer temperatures from 46 Degree Celcius (114 Degree Fahrenheit) and Winter temperatures from 2-3 Degree Celcius (just above freezing), high pollution levels, the worst traffic jams (and highest per capita cars)- there is very little that intimidates the Average Delhiite-

But the Return of the British Empire is scaring us- and it is called Common Wealth Games. The Common Wealth is a group of countries that used to be colonized by Britain in her colonial days ( USA is not a member though- as they probably kicked way too much British butt while gaining independence).

And every 4 years they have CommonWealth games (read games for the non US English speaking world). So when our commie neighborhood– the Chinese went and got themselves an Olympics- we decided to get ourselves this CWG games too. Big deal- national pride- rising economic power and all that.

So far the Games has meant the following- lots of roads dug up, lot of stadiums in various degrees of preparation, a total cost of 2 Billion USD, rampant allegations of corruption due to the ten times increase in budget – including rather suspicious looking documents procured by our local press (yes Indian press is free as it is a democracy)

And add divine grace. Delhi has the wettest monsoon since 1978- it rains cats and dogs in September- and we now have a mini dengue malaria epidemic. 4 countries have declared the living quarters for athletes as uninhabitable , some have walked out, the inevitable terrorists injured two Taiwanese tourists this weekend (in a semi ironic email they said they were prepared as the government was prepared- it isn’t)

Today a bridge collapsed-

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/22/sports/22iht-GAMES.html?_r=1&hp

On Tuesday afternoon, a bridge next to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main Games venue, fell apart. The footbridge collapsed into three pieces, taking several workers with it and uprooting one side of the arch that supported it.

A police officer at the scene said that 27 people had been injured, four of them seriously, in the collapse.

“This will not affect the Games,” said Raj Kumar Chauhan, a Delhi minister for development, who spoke on the scene. “We can put the bridge up again, or make a new one.”

and

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/20/world/asia/20india.html?ref=sports

“We really need to learn how to plan,” said Vrinda Walavalkar, a public relations executive who is not connected to the Games.

“Maybe we feel we have so many lifetimes to achieve things” that it does not matter if it gets done this time, she said.

Mr. Gupta, the shopkeeper, found a metaphor in Hindu wedding tradition.

The groom’s party, known as the barat, traditionally marches to the bride’s house on horseback with his friends and family, he explained. When the barat appears, the bride has to come to the door, he said.

“If the bride is not ready, you patch her up and try to hide all her defects,” Mr. Gupta said, and then you send her outside.

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To some this may be shocking. To the average Delhi-ite battling traffic and rain , this is one more episode in the chaotic Capital. As a small solace- Delhi still has the best and cheapest street food this part of the world- with golgappas, tikki and chat. If only you can beat the rain to get them !

Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delhi if you like to know more.

September Roundup by Revolution

From the monthly newsletter- which I consider quite useful for keeping updated on application of R

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Revolution News
Every month, we’ll bring you the latest news about Revolution’s products and events in this section.
Follow us on Twitter at @RevolutionR for up-to-the-minute news and updates from Revolution Analytics!

Revolution R Enterprise 4.0 for Windows now available. Based on the latest R 2.11.1 and including the RevoScaleR package for big-data analysis in R, Revolution R Enterprise is now available for download for Windows 32-bit and 64-bit systems. Click here to subscribe, or available free to academia.

New! Integrate R with web applications, BI dashboards and more with web services. RevoDeployR is a new Web Services framework that integrates dynamic R-based computations into applications for business users. It will be available September 30 with Revolution R Enterprise Server on RHEL 5. Click here to learn more.

Free Webinar, September 22: In a joint webinar from Revolution Analytics and Jaspersoft, learn how to use RevoDeployR to integrate advanced analytics on-demand in applications, BI dashboards, and on the web. Register here.

Revolution in the News:
SearchBusinessAnalytics.com previews the forthcoming Revolution R GUI; Channel Register introduces RevoDeployR, while IT Business Edge shows off the Web Services architecture; and ReadWriteWeb.com looks at how RevoScaleR tackles the Big Data explosion.

Inside-R: A new site for the R Community. At www.inside-R.org you’ll find the latest information about R from around the Web, searchable R documentation and packages, hints and tips about R, and more. You can even add a “Download R” badge to your own web-page to help spread the word about R.

R News, Tips and Tricks from the Revolutions blog
The Revolutions blog brings you daily news and tips about R, statistics and open source. Here are some highlights from Revolutions from the past month
.

R’s key role in the oil spill response: Read how NIST’s Division Chief of Statistical Engineering used R to provide critical analysis in real time to the Secretaries of Energy and the Interior, and helped coordinate the government’s response.

Animating data with R and Google Earth: Learn how to use R to create animated visualizations of geographical data with Google Earth, such as this video showing how tuna migrations intersect with the location of the Gulf oil spill.

Are baseball games getting longer? Or is it just Red Sox games? Ryan Elmore uses nonparametric regression in R to find out.

Keynote presentations from useR! 2010: the worldwide R user’s conference was a great success, and there’s a wealth of useful tips and information in the presentations. Video of the keynote presentations are available too: check out in particular Frank Harrell’s talk Information Allergy, and Friedrich Leisch’s talk on reproducible statistical research.

Looking for more R tips and tricks? Check out the monthly round-ups at the Revolutions blog.

Upcoming Events
Every month, we’ll highlight some upcoming events from R Community Calendar.

September 23: The San Diego R User Group has a meetup on BioConductor and microarray data analysis.

September 28: The Sydney Users of R Forum has a meetup on building world-class predictive models in R (with dinner to follow).

September 28: The Los Angeles R User Group presents an introduction to statistical finance with R.

September 28: The Seattle R User Group meets to discuss, “What are you doing with R?”

September 29: The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill R Users Group has its first meeting.

October 7: The NYC R User Group features a presentation by Prof. Andrew Gelman.

There are also new R user groups in SingaporeSeoulDenverBrisbane, and New Jersey.  Please let us know if we’re missing your R user group, or if want to get a new one started.

———————————————————————————————-Editor

David Smith, VP Marketing
david@revolutionanalytics.com
Twitter: @revodavid

subscribe here for Revo’s Monthly newsletter-

My friend -The Computer

my friend the computer

i spend more time with you
than with anything or anyone else
i could leave you behind
but you climb my lap and now have turned mobile

my fingers hurt and my eyes are red
inputting my stuff on you i go on  and on instead
this is crazy not just done
no sooner do I finish writing that
I find I have just begun

for what separates the pretenders from the rest
is the actions not their words that make them the best
so my friend my computer and me
together we create
so much work to be done while the haters hate

news to be read, blogs to be done
code to be executed, and sometimes to be undone
email lists, and online games as well,
dreaming online heaven in offline hell
Words can be sublime so much can be told
My friend my computer and me- together we grow old.

Orkut and the Quiet Open Social Revolution

Orkut has worked very hard with

1) avoiding clutter unlike the FB (apps go in the left)

2) customized page themes

3) integration with the gtalk

4) scraps/ wall posts updates

5) some better games than FB. yes i especially liked Space invader

almost like a flash game

which hasnot

been seen in some time. And most FB games were there !!

This is one Google product they are keeping much quiet about- wonder if they are

changing their high profile ways with the justice department sniffing on the yahoo deal.

Heres a preview – Go and revive that old Orkut account of yours

Eve Online

A beautiful role playing game is Eve Online available at http://www.eve-online.com/. Its like a Star Wars fantasy game and the graphics are mind blowing . The downside- its so addictive that you are forewarned.

Also it employs economists who monitor the interactions of the thousands of people and millions of online interactions and take steps to ensure balance and fair play. Thus a useful simulation of people without the diruptive pain of the real world.

The Math behind online strategy games

Online strategy games are the kind people play on Facebook , with thousands of multiple users logging in. The graphics are not as demanding as those in a virtual world (like www.secondlife.com or World of Warcraft http://www.worldofwarcraft.com )

second-life.GIF

These graphical games are hugely entertaining and addictive. unfortunately World of Warcraft is not present either in India or China.

wow.GIF

However this post talks about simpler games (which are more like optimization problems). Here gamers get a specific or variable game currency to spend (which can be tokens, gold ,or dollars). The amounts can be fixed or varying dependent on current position. The gamer then has to allocate the currency into multiple resources that increase his net worth (or prevent his net worth from decreasing by other gamer’s interventions “attacks”) .  These multiple resources can be defensive (to prevent other gamers from stealing worth or value/score) , aggresive (to steal other gamers value) or passively accretive (enhances value on stand alone basis). Usually the costs of these resources are different with different benefits . The benefits are either fixed (like in the http://www.facebook.com games Triumph or Return of the Infernals ..below) or they vary (as in the game DopeWars Online).

fb_roti.GIF

To further enhance the optimization complexity , gamers can form alliances or cartels to co ordinate strategy against other gamers.

Such games help in simulating operations production, market forces in business strategy (like the beer game) , and have now taken the leap into free online games thanks to Google’s Open social initiative and Facebook’s  pioneering application building by third party developers.

Ultimately they are simply optimization equations which seek to maximize net worth or score of a player subject to multiple fixed and variable constraints.

A good website to track the world of games is www.gamespot.com

This is a fast growing industry and creativity in designing a simple front end,financial resources to host servers , and some maths to run the back end optimization is all that is required .

You might just get some interesting cash flows from advertising, in game promotions,premium subscriptions , and bonus packs besides enjoying the game of course.