Encryption and https:

The site has been updated to use encryption. For the web site, old addresses using http: are silently redirected to https:. If you have earlier received warnings from browsers because of the lack of encryption, this upgrade to the server settings should remove them.

The repository at the subdomain https://r.photobiology.info also supports encrypted connections. In addition, because of tightening of security in other ways, if you have been earlier using the address http://www.photobiology.info/R to access the repository, you will need to use https://r.photobiology.info instead from now on. In other words if you are setting this repository address in an .Rprofile file you should edit it to use the new address.

The documentation should be accessed through https://docs.photobiology.info as settings for this subdomain have been changing in the same way.

All these changes should ensure enhanced security for the site and downloads.


R 3.5.0 has been released

R 3.5.0 was released on 23 April. It includes several performance improvements. All packages in the ‘r4photobiology’ suite pass checks on the new version. In CRAN binaries for R 3.5.0 of all packages have been built. In the case of development versions and packages not in CRAN, the repository at http://r.r4photobiology.info/ will soon be updated to include binaries suitable for R 3.5.0. Meanwhile packages will be installed from sources if the require tools are available (e.g. RTools 3.5.0 or 3.4.0 installed in Windows computers).

The update from R 3.4.x to R 3.5.x requires that all packages are reinstalled. For the time being avoid using package ‘installr’ to do the update, at least on Windows, as copying installed packages from an earlier installation is not useful. Please see the page Upgrading R for instructions.

RANDOM.ORG – True Random Number Service

Source: RANDOM.ORG – True Random Number Service

In most situations pseudo-random numbers produced by computer software  (“random” number generators) are good enough as long as we are careful when choosing the seed for the generator. Sometimes, it can be even an advantage to be able to reproduce sequences of pseudo-random numbers by setting the seed value. Frequently, the seed is obtained from the clock of the computer, e.g. using the seconds or milliseconds digits from current time. This is still not truly random, as random numbers cannot be generated by any deterministic process. True random numbers can be only be generated by a random physical process.

The site random.org is a service which provides true random numbers for free (at least if below a quota). R package random provides an interface to this service.