How to Use Multimedia on Red Hat and CentOS

Red Hat Linux won’t play MP3 audio or MPEG video files. This isn’t a new issue. Red Hat removed the codecs, the encoding and decoding shared libraries, back in September 2002 when Red Hat 8 came out. For the first five years they provided an explanation, you can still find it at archive.org. The decision […]
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Top 10 Excel Tricks for Increased Efficiency

Considering the time today’s IT professionals spend staring at Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, one might think we’d all be Excel wizards by now. The truth is that while Excel has a low barrier to entry, to become a true super user takes a lot of time, energy, and dedication. While you may think you’re an above-average […]
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10 Rules for Creating Reproducible Results in Data Science

In recent years evidence has been mounting that points to a crisis in the reproducible results of scientific research. Reviews of papers in the fields of psychology and cancer biology found that only 40% and 10%, respectively, of the results, could be reproduced. Nature published the results of a survey of researchers in 2016 that […]
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Using Covering Indexes to Avoid Hashes and Sorts

In the previous installment, we saw that covering indexes can reduce the number of page reads required to satisfy specific queries, thereby improving performance for those queries. We’ll turn our attention now to some more subtle applications of covering indexes. For this, we will use the ContosoRetailDW sample database, which is considerably larger than the […]
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Machine Learning using Spark and R

R is ubiquitous in the data science community. Its ecosystem of more than 8,000 packages makes it the Swiss Army knife of modeling applications. Similarly, Apache Spark has rapidly become the big data platform of choice for data scientists. Its ability to perform calculations relatively quickly (due to features like in-memory caching) makes it ideal […]
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