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The Essential phone that’s not that essential

Today, 05:43 PM

Posted by Computerworld in Computerworld News

Perhaps one of the most poorly named products in recent memory, the new Essential phone arrives just in time to make us wonder why it even exists.

Using a “modular” design, the idea is to add pieces like a 360-degree camera or maybe some sort of connected home gadget to the smartphone, which runs a stock version of Android. It also uses a slick black enclosure, something that might make you think of a recent Blackberry model. And, the screen runs all the way to the edge. Hmm.

Here’s my problem with it. While the modular design seems novel (Motorola does the same thing) and I’m impressed that any company would even try to go up against Apple and Samsung, there’s already some signs that this will be an uphill climb.

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Beginner's guide to R: Painless data visualization

Today, 02:41 PM

Posted by Computerworld in Computerworld News

One of the most appealing things about R is its ability to create data visualizations with just a couple of lines of code.

For example, it takes just one line of code -- and a short one at that -- to plot two variables in a scatterplot. Let's use as an example the mtcars data set installed with R by default. To plot the engine displacement column disp on the x axis and mpg on y:

plot(mtcars$disp, mtcars$mpg)

Scatterplot
Default scatterplot in R.

You really can't get much easier than that.

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Beginner's guide to R: Introduction

Today, 12:45 PM

Posted by Computerworld in Computerworld News

R is hot. Whether measured by more than 10,000 add-on packages, the 95,000+ members of LinkedIn's R group or the more than400 R Meetup groups currently in existence, there can be little doubt that interest in the R statistics language, especially for data analysis, is soaring.

Why R? It's free, open source, powerful and highly extensible. "You have a lot of prepackaged stuff that's already available, so you're standing on the shoulders of giants," Google's chief economist told The New York Times back in 2009.

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