Simple R package for UN Comtrade API

uncomtrade-logo.pngI have recently been doing a lot of work in R, a statistical programming language, and have started accumulating a small collection of functions that I regularly use. One of the tools I have particularly come to rely on is this function to obtain data from the United Nation’s Comtrade database, a great source for country-to-country trade statistics. Since there seemed to be no R package that provides access to their new API (which is still in beta), I simply wrote a function for myself based on the sample code on their homepage and kept it with my personal files. Motivated by posts like this, however, I decided to put the code into an R package and share it here for others to use. [...]

Finding local extrema in Matlab and Octave via fminbnd()

octave_logo-small.pngI recently had to work on a Matlab assignment that required the use of fminbnd() to find local extrema. As I typically work on Octave rather than Matlab I ran into some problems getting my code to work within both programmes. As it turned out, Matlab and Octave handle the function slightly differently, so I thought I’d share my findings to save others some headache. First of all, some background information: fminbnd() is a Matlab/Octave function to find a local minimum of a continuous function within a specified interval … [...]

Open XMPP Alternatives to Google Talk

xmpp.pngAfter Google’s much-publicised decision to replace Google Talk with Hangouts and drop XMPP support in the process, many people have been looking for alternative XMPP servers that allow connecting through standards-based clients and support federation with other servers. I figured this would be a good time to list a few servers I have used and recommend. Naturally, this is only a small subset of all publicly available XMPP servers. Which is best for you pretty much depends on what you want and what you need … [...]

Clamassassin Wrapper script for Evolution and Sylpheed

While viruses on Linux are rare, I have always found it a sensible precaution to scan incoming messages for malware. It helps me weed out the occasional Windows virus that gets sent my way and keeps me from forwarding malicious attachments to friends. A common feature to most antivirus software for Windows, email scanning can be easily set up for most email clients on Linux. Plugins for ClamAV are available for Thunderbird and Claws Mail , so set-up is fairly straightforward here, but the same functionality can be added to Evolution and Sylpheed by use of a simple bash script. Note that you will need to have the necessary packages installed (sudo apt-get install clamtk clamassassin clamav-daemon clamav-testfiles clamav-docs) in all cases. Experts may also want to configure the ClamAV daemon (sudo dpkg-reconfigure clamav-base) for faster access to ClamAV … [...]

How to install Japanese OpenWnn input method on Android via the Android SDK

openwnn01-th.pngInstalling a Japanese IME on Android can be a little tricky since the semi-official OpenWnn IME, which is included in Japanese Android systems, is not available on the Android Market. Sure, there are alternatives, like Simeji or various OpenWnn derivatives, but if you look carefully, you will notice that they usually do not provide their source code and list full internet access as a requirement. If you feel uncomfortable with the thought of transmitting everything you type (including passwords) to a third party, and if you prefer to keep your phone free of binary software, this tutorial is for you. The following tutorial will show you how to download and set up the Android SDK (software development kit) to pull the the original open-source OpenWnn IME from a virtual Android device… [...]