R Datalicious

R is calling me.  Anyhow, I’m trying to learn R.  I think R is very powerful, because it has features that allow you to collect data in various ways.  With R, you can also easily analyze data and make charts, graphs, and whatnot.  I’m a newbie in R, and so I may not be able to fully appreciate R.  I’m a newbie in R, and so I don’t know how to express how powerful R is to you.  Nonetheless, I know a few things so far.

Here is one example among many of how I understand R could be used by you.  With R, you can install Rvest package to easily collect data from the Internet (i.e., websites).  Note:  Data don’t have to come from the Internet.  It’s possible to use R to collect data and then store the data into MySQL database.  It is also possible that the data in MySQL can also be converted back into appropriate data formats in which R would be able to utilize.  Marrying MySQL and R together, it’s possible to enlarge the data collection scale by using R, and using R to format data in various manners.  (My newbie speak, because you may know of a more elegant way of going about using R in this specific manner.)

Anyhow, to scratch the surface of R and see how powerful R can be, just check out the two videos right after the break.  (These YouTube videos are not mine, because I embed them from other YouTube’s user-generated content authors.)  Enjoy!


The Future Is Here, Creating Real World Applications With Virtual Reality

Very good, but it’s too primitive still.  As if I’m a genius… LOL!  Look at me, I’m so powerful.  Actually, what I was trying to say is that I really hope that one day we can have an AI (artificial intelligence) to help people program inside a virtual world or a holographical world to create real world applications and games.  Instead of grammar/syntax checker, bug finder, and whatnot, the AI would be totally way more awesome since it can automatically suggest better ideas and even automate common templates, routines, and whatnot so people (the programmers) don’t really have to repeat a task.  In fact, AI should understand a programmer’s needs in human conversational style.  A good example would be a programmer talks to the AI in this manner {I want to see a beach ball flies 2 feet over the net whenever James, a game character, stamina goes down about 60 percent.}, and the AI should say yes master… it is done, but let me suggest that we should make this scenario more random like this {and off it goes on explaining and showing and doing and…}.


Loop, One Small Step For A Game, One Giant Hope For Humankind

One of my dreams is about exploring a programming system in which the holographic slash virtuality artificial intelligence system would become my assistant.  This assistant would be out of sight and out of mind but in your face when I got stuck.  One example would be assembling a futuristic software that could model all possible events that got high probability of becoming facts.  Such an ambition would be out of my league for sure, and so there is no way I would know where to start.  Nonetheless, the out of sight out of mind but in your face assistant would come to my rescue.

The AI suggested me to play with the event models that it had magically conjured up into my vision.  Wearing a stylish futuristic glasses, I could see all of these holographic models appeared out of the thin air, but these models looked hyper realistic.  In fact, the AI messed with my senses and allowed me to feel, smell, and touch the virtual models as if the virtual things I played with got more realness than the real things.

Playing around with the models for a bit, I got nowhere.  The AI suggested that it could just assemble the models for me the way I would imagine it.  I told the AI that I needed a system with intuitive user interface that could allow normal people to interact with when the need for calculating future events arises.  Furthermore, I told the AI that the system needed to be accurate enough for real world tests such as calculating the probability of how many disasters would occur within three months.  This way, I could shorten the testing time for the system.

While during the whole programming process, the AI walked me through various event models that could fit into a puzzle.  Furthermore, as I played with the models, the AI suggested to me various ways that I could skin a cat and arrive at the end of the tunnel whence the light would reveal to me a first draft of so called a futuristic crystal ball.  Within couple hours, I got a first rough draft of the crystal ball system.  I would imagine that it could take couple hundreds, if not couple thousands people’s concerted efforts to carry out my very feat.

So called first rough draft had already allowed me twiddling by as tons of data got smashed together by the crystal ball system.  The data were collected and fetched into the system by my AI assistant of course.  The AI did what I told it to in plain English or Vietnamese or whatever language I could speak to it.  The crystal ball system was hard at work in predicting the next three months’ disasters.  Actually, it was like I only had to waste thirty seconds or so before the crystal ball system spitted out the disasters in a timeline in which I would be on the lookout for the accuracy of it all.  Whatever disasters that could occur in the world within the upcoming three months time frame got projected into my vision.

I had predicted the future, and all it took me just thirty seconds or so to do so, minus the couple hours that I had to program the crystal ball system.

Back onto earth, my feet are now firming with the real ground.  I don’t see this will happen anytime soon.  Because, this kind of technology exists only in my imagination.  For now, at least there is a virtual reality game, Loop, which allows you to deconstruct the game itself with virtual things in motion.  Kind of how I have had imagined my future AI/programming system would be, but the sad thing is that Loop is only a game.  In the end, you cannot really use Loop to devise a real world application.  In my imaginative case, it’s a crystal ball.

Loop got one good thing going for it is that it’s more real than my imaginative AI slash programming system.  Anyway, before you check what on earth is Loop about in the video right after the break, I just want to emphasize that I hope the future programmers won’t speak of coding in programming languages, because programming languages would be so outdated.  Instead of speaking of programming languages, regular people of the future might just only have to interact with an AI and some holographic models for whipping up some futuristic software.  Enjoy the video right after the break!

Microsoft Is Accepting Project Spark Beta Tester Registrations

Do you want to build game as easy and fun as to play the darn game?  Project Spark, PC version, from Microsoft is accepting beta testers’ signups/registrations.  I got the whiff of this news through Eurogamer.net article “Microsoft game sandbox Project Spark beta sign-ups live,” and you can also check out the super short trailer of Project Spark right after the break.

What About Regular Expression?

I am... h[a-z]*y

I am… h[a-z]*y (Photo credit: martineno)

Regular folks who have no idea what a piece of software code would look like, they definitely would never have heard of regular expression.  Of course, there are people who know something about programming but not really great at it can too know either little or a lot about regular expression.  How come regular expression is being used in software code a lot, but some people don’t really have to be a programmer and yet be well versed in regular expression?  I think, regular expression is so powerful that it’s being used in programming all the time to cut down workload.  Furthermore, regular expression is independent from a specific programming language, thus allowing it to stand on its own two feet.  Even though regular expression is unique and powerful, it can still be incorporated into not only different programming languages and tools — but whatever that has the need for it, therefore allowing people who do not have to be in programming field to see the usefulness of regular expression.  Thus they (whoever these folks may be) learn regular expression nonetheless.

Oh my God, what is ^([01]?[0-9]|2[0-3]):[0-5][0-9] (AM|PM)$?  How about ^[a-zA-Z0-9]+[^ ]*@[^ ]*\.(org|net|com|gov\us|edu)$?  Yep folks, these are regular expressions.  Depending on whatever in a file you’re trying to match/find, you can certainly make your regular expression to be even more complicated and unique.  Anyhow, the first regular expression I had mentioned was to match the appropriated format of the 24 hour time.  This would be something like 23:43 AM and not 29:333 PM.  The second regular expression can certainly be customized even more to match even more email addresses with unique top level domain names.  So, regular expression is very powerful as it saves people ton of time to actually search for something within a file.  Whether that be a really large file such as a text document which includes 300 pages worth of text book material or something even more paramount, using regular expression can seek out matching examples in no time.  No wonder programmers use regular expression in their software code to take the advantages of the regular expression resourcefulness.

I’m writing this piece to confess that I’m having a really fun time in learning regular expression.  To tell the truth, I’m only starting to learn regular expression about 3 days or so ago.  Only 3 days or so?  Although within and in between such a short duration, I was already too satisfied with knowing how to work with basic regular expression.  Once, I knew the basic rules and meta-characters of regular expression, the mysterious, magical regular expression codes I had seen from time to time in software codes shed their mysteriousness and magic.  Now, even though the encounters with regular expression might not be so mysterious and magical anymore, regular expression is even more interesting than it once was.  How come?  Once, I understood how to use basic regular expression, I felt the power of it!  It was like a regular human being who suddenly knew that he or she got so much more power, thus greater responsibilities awaited.  I’m feeling it!  Oh, the power!

Anyhow, I have to thank the book with the title “Mastering Regular Expressions” (third edition) by Jeffrey E. F. Fried, because without this book regular expression would continue to elude me as if it was a supernatural thing which reserved only for superman and superwoman.  Only five percent into the book, and now I’m able to write regular expressions that have the same level of difficulty as the regular expressions (codes) that I had mentioned earlier.  I hope I can get much better at regular expression sometime soon, and once I get good at it I will write a lot knowhow articles on it.  I use Quora.com to ask for help when I get stuck with regular expression, and so you can definitely meet me there if you’re too into regular expression.  Knowing another great place for asking regular expression related questions?  You can definitely tell me about such online place in the comment section which locates beneath this blog post.

Never Miss A Single Trashcan Shot Again?

Exquisite trashcan recolored

Exquisite trashcan recolored (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Impressive Japanese man who had coded the software and produced his own hardware parts to create a moving trashcan which will never miss from catching your flying trashes.  He also incorporated Microsoft Kinect into his moving trashcan project, lending the moving trashcan the eyes to see the movements and positions of flying trashes.  My sarcastic question is, can this moving trashcan catch two objects flying in opposite direction at the same time without missing from catching a thing?  In such a scenario, I wonder how will this moving trashcan prioritize which object to catch first.  Anyhow, check the video of the moving trashcan right after the break and be amazed.

Source:  http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/23/kinect-trash-can-mod/