Sony’s next phone is hidden in the eye of the beholder

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In preparation for the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony has released a video teaser for its next Xperia smartphone. With the device likely to be revealed in full during the company’s CES press event at 5PM on January 5th, the video reiterates the number 5 more than once, and, just to make sure the point about Android 5 is missed by no one, even includes a big red lollipop. In spite of the Xperia Z3 only being a few months old, having launched this September, Sony looks set to replace it with a new, even thinner handset, which the teaser suggests will place an emphasis on vibrant and colorful visuals — whether with new display technology or an improved camera.

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Apple accounts for 51 percent of new mobile activations this Christmas

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Christmas Day is a always a good yardstick for success in the mobile industry. New devices are unwrapped and activated, and manufacturers get a clear idea of how they compare to their rivals. This year, however, it wasn’t difficult to work out a winner: Apple easily beat off the competition, with analytics company Flurry reporting that the iPhones and iPads accounted for 51 percent of all new devices activated worldwide. The iPhone 6 was the most commonly activated device overall, while the iPhone 6 Plus was also in the top five.

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EHANG, Maker Of Ghost Drone, Raises $10M Series A Led By GGV Capital

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Ghost Drone Though the market is still in its early stages, drone startups are becoming increasingly popular among venture capital firms. One of the latest companies to benefit is EHANG, maker of Ghost Drone, which users can control by tilting their smartphones. The company announced today that it has raised a $10 million Series A led by GGV Capital, with participation from entrepreneurs Xiaoping Xu,… Read More

R: Dplyr – Mutate with strptime (Incompatible Size/Wrong Result Size)

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Having worked out how to translate a string into a date or NA if it wasn’t the appropriate format the next thing I wanted to do was store the result of the transformation in my data frame.

I started off with this:

data = data.frame(x = c(“2014-01-01”, “2014-02-01”, “foo”))
> data
x
1 2014-01-01
2 2014-02-01
3 foo

And when I tried to do the date translation ran into…

R: String to Date or NA

See the original posting on DZone Python

I’ve been trying to clean up a CSV file which contains some rows with dates and some not – I only want to keep the cells which do have dates so I’ve been trying to work out how to do that.

My first thought was that I’d try and find a function which would convert the contents of the cell into a date if it was in date format and NA if not. I could then filter out the NA values using the…

Week 1 of my Lean Consulting Startup

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Seven years ago, I decided I am going to have my own coaching and consulting company some day. I knew what interested me, and I knew that I was a natural ‘teacher’ (last three generations of teachers in my family was a reasonable hypothesis that I could do it!) and I will want to do it, but I was not sure of several things, most notably:
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Samsung’s new 360-degree speakers look like friendly robots

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A week ahead of CES 2015, Samsung has given us a glimpse of two new pill-shaped speakers it’ll show off at the event. The speakers, which resemble a sleek cross between Eve from Wall-E and a Portal turret, can project sound in a 360-degree radius. Samsung says the effect, made possible with the company’s proprietary “Ring Radiator” technology, “fills a room with sound.”

360-degree speakers aren’t totally new — a number of devices, including our favorite bluetooth speaker, the UE Boom, spit out sound in a circle — but Samsung’s new devices certainly look pretty. The larger WA7500 is designated “stand type” and is designed to be left in place, while Samsung says the WA6500, which includes a built-in battery, is “movable type.” Both…

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Watch human dancers use light projection technology to play with floating pixels

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It can’t be easy to use props in a dance performance — litter a stage with physical impediments and your dancers might crash into them as they twirl and pirouette. But French dance company Adrien M / Claire B has seen a way round this problem, using light projection technology to create fantastical shapes and images on stage, incorporeal forms that the company’s dancers can interact with without restricting their space.

In the company’s newest short video, Pixel, dancers interact with the illuminations, swirling suspended motes of light with their limbs, riding small wireframe hills across the stage, and using an umbrella to ward off a cascade of shining specks. A controlled hand carves a path through a wall of white dots, and a bright…

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Flurry Finds That Apple Devices And Phablets Scored Big On Christmas

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iphone-6-plus-front-hand Flurry has released its annual Christmas report. Each year, the holiday sees the highest number of device activations and app installations as people open presents, and last week was no exception. What is interesting is that 51.3 percent of new devices activated were made by Apple, compared to 17.7 percent for Samsung, and 5.8 percent for Nokia. Read More

LG bets on webOS and a quantum-dot picture to help its new 4K TVs stand out

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Last year, the most notable thing about LG’s TVs was the software running on them: webOS. LG had just picked up the corpse of the former mobile operating system and repurposed it for the living room. The resulting user interface was a step above what other TV manufacturers had on offer at CES 2014. It was refreshing and fast, with clear traces of the software that many former Palm users still miss today. As for the TVs themselves, they were okay — but didn’t do much to stand out from a crowded field including Sony, Samsung, and Vizio. Now LG’s back with a 2015 lineup that’s all about 4K and, if you believe the company, improvements to picture quality.

Prepare for another 4K TV rush

LG has already rolled out a few 4K TV models this year…

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Flywheel goes after Uber with $10 rides on New Year’s Eve in four cities

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New Year’s Eve is the biggest night of the year, with Uber alone saying it plans to complete 2 million rides. But it’s going to cost you — New Year’s Eve is notorious for high surge pricing, and lots of people are going to be looking for alternatives. Flywheel, an app for booking regular taxis using your smartphone, is offering one: $10 flat-rate rides in San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, and Sacramento. From 8 p.m. Wednesday until 3 a.m. Thursday, you can get you to your destination at a cost that is likely less than its rivals.

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2014 had the fewest flight crashes in decades

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Given the number of major flight crashes and disappearances this year, it might seem like flight safety has taken a bad turn. But it turns out that 2014 hasn’t actually been a statistically worse year than many of those in the recent past. As pointed out by The Wall Street Journal, the Aviation Safety Network currently measures both the accident and fatality rate of 2014 flights as falling beneath the 10-year average — making this year an improvement in some areas.

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Almost every single Xbox executive we profiled in this video last year has left the company

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Boyd Multerer — the genius Microsoft engineer who founded Xbox Live, helped build the Xbox 360, and led the development of the three-operating-systems-in-one Xbox One platform — announced on Twitter today that he’s left Microsoft to pursue new opportunities. Multerer has been on leave since the Xbox One launched; he and his wife Keri launched the interactive erotica site Silkwords back in February, and now he says he’s focusing on other new startup ideas.

But more importantly, Multerer’s departure means that almost every single person on the Xbox One team we profiled last November when that console…

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