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How Trump’s ‘extreme vetting’ hurts science and tech

Today, 05:10 PM

Posted by Computerworld in Computerworld News

Details of President Donald Trump's plans for "extreme vetting" of visa applicants have emerged and they are clearly demanding. Getting a visa will require people from many countries to turn over social media handles, employment history and other information.

These policies are a concern for technical and academic conferences on issues such as supercomputing and artificial intelligence. These conferences often draw attendees from around the globe.

The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) conference in February in San Francisco, for instance, was attended by people from more than 40 countries.

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6 useful R functions you might not know

Today, 04:17 PM

Posted by Computerworld in Computerworld News

Almost every R user knows about popular packages like dplyr and ggplot2. But with 10,000+ packages on CRAN and yet more on GitHub, it's not always easy to unearth libraries with great R functions. One of the best way to find cool, new-to-you R code is to see what other useRs have discovered. So, I'm sharing a few of my discoveries -- and hope you'll share some of yours in return (contact info below).

Choose a ColorBrewer palette from an interactive app. Need a color scheme for a map or app? ColorBrewer is well known as a source for pre-configured palettes, and the RColorBrewer package imports those into R. But it's not always easy to remember what's available. The tmaptools package's palette_explorer creates an interactive application that shows you the possibilities.

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Microsoft delays tools for third-party Cortana integrations

Today, 03:39 PM

Posted by Computerworld in Computerworld News

Microsoft has delayed the release of its tools for connecting other services to the Cortana virtual assistant, a decision that could cause it to lose ground in a crowded industry.

The tech titan announced the Cortana Skills Kit in December of last year, saying at the time that it would be released to the public in February. As Microsoft watcher Brad Sams noted on Twitter, Microsoft missed that deadline, and the Skills Kit remains locked in a private beta with a select group of partners. Microsoft didn’t offer an explanation for the delay, saying in a statement that the kit will be coming soon.

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