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Apple Now Creates Markets Before It Even Enters

I’ve written a lot about Apple’s ability to create new markets, which may be among its chief contributions to the world.

In several cases, from media players to multi-touch phones to tablets, others in the industry have tried to get a market going without success.Then Apple came along with a bold, killer information appliance and not only dominated the market, but created it.

I’ve notice a new trend lately: Now markets are being created based substantially on nothing more than the expectation that Apple will enter it with a killer product.

For example, Acer, AGENT, Androidly, Cookoo, Dell, EmoPulse, Foxconn, GEAK, Google, I’m Watch, Intel, Kreyos, LG, Martian, Metawatch, Microsoft, Pebble, Qualcomm, Rearden Technology, Samsung, Sonostar, Sony, Toshiba and Vachen are all in, will be in or will probably be in the smartwatch market, which has struggled for years to get off the ground as a mainstream category.

Why the sudden embrace by so many major companies? I think the reason is that everyone expects Apple to enter it, and by doing so create it. You’ll notice that the majority of press about smartwatches is about a rumored “iWatch” from Apple — a phantom product that Apple hasn’t announced or even discussed significantly in public.

It’s telling that a Google search for Apple iWatch (which has not been announced and does not exist) brings back more search results than Sony Smartwatch (which has existed for a long time and is on its second version). Such is the nature of Apple’s reputation.

For expensive items, the expectation that Apple will enter a market slows slows sales down because consumers hold off on buying until they find out what Apple is going to do. For example, Smart TV sales are probably artificially suppressed by the belief that Apple will announce an iTV some time in the next year or two.
In other cases, the demand Apple creates may be driving sales for competitive products. For example, I believe Apple created both the demand and the market for multi-touch tablets with the iPad. They were first to create widespread demand for retina displays with the iPhone. And they helped Android competitors drive demand for the 7-inch tablet with the iPad Mini.

In the minds of consumers, these mostly Apple-generated expectations and desires culminated in a very widespread demand for a Retina-quality iPad Mini, which many believe would be the perfect tablet and the one they really want. And I think that, to some degree, is sending sales of Google’s recently announced Nexus 7 tablet through the roof. (Android fans will scoff at this notion, but I personally know several people who were intending to wait for a Retina iPad mini who jumped ship and bought a Nexus 7).

A similar phenomenon may take place with the upcoming Sony Smartwatch 2, if it’s a better product than the first version. The same goes for other smartwatches that ship before Apple announces the assumed iWatch.

The ability of Apple to create markets before they enter them is a function, by the way, of three phenomena:

1. Apple’s great reputation. We saw this with the iPad. Before anyone had even seen it, people were already lining up to buy it. People expected Apple to ship a solid, elegant, beautiful device because of Apple’s previous products, and Apple delivered on that expectation.

2. The impossibility of keeping secrets. If Apple had it their way, nobody would be talking about the iWatch and iTV. But it’s impossible to build anything at Apple scale without involving numerous partners all over the world. At some point, people are going to leak and speculate, triggering multiple-source rumors.

3. The slow speed that Apple introduces products. I’m not sure if Apple is slower or if competitors are faster, but there’s a disparity. For example, why can Android companies ship retina-quality, 7-inch tablets so long before Apple does? Why is Sony on their second smartwatch when Apple hasn’t even hinted about a first one? Part or all of the answer may be that Apple tends to wait until technologies are fully baked before releasing its 1.0 products (see point #1). Part of the reason could be that Apple tends to ship at a vastly higher scale for 1.0 releases (see point #2). Or — worst case scenario — Apple has just gotten too slow for an accelerating industry.

Regardless, Apple is probably the only company capable of not only creating multiple markets, but creating markets before they even announce products for those markets.

I don’t see it as a problem. I still believe in this company’s ability to dominate with superior consumer products. When the iWatch, iTV and Retina iPad Mini finally ship, I predict they’ll quickly dominate the markets already in existence.

(Picture courtesy of Fuse Chicken.)

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GTA 5 Official Trailer released

Rockstar Games has released the official trailer for GTA 5, preparing for the game’s release date 
next month. 

Showcasing a snippet of the GTA 5 storyline, the official trailer provides a bit of backstory on the game’s
three protagonists.

The official trailer seems very focused on Michael, one of the three playable characters in GTA 5. It seems
that the three characters are connected by an incident that occurred over ten years prior to the
GTA 5 storyline.

“A few weeks ago I was happily sulking by my swimming pool. My psychotic friend shows up out of 
nowhere to torture me over mistakes I made over a decade ago”, states Michael in the official trailer.

Michael is a rich, ex-con who is unhappy with his life, and it seems that the reappearance of Trevor and
Franklin manages to drag him back into a life of crime. Although, it doesn’t seem like he is being brought
back kicking and screaming.

The official trailer also  features Nervous Ron, a character who appeared in a recent artwork image
released by Rockstar Games. It seems he is a technology expert, somehow involved in the new heists set
up by the GTA 5 trio, and is connected to their past too.

Storyline hints aside, the GTA 5 official trailer shows the game to be a fast-paced and action-packed title,
with high-speed chases, explosions, low-flying jet planes and sky diving all featured.

“We’ll all professionals, we all know the score,” explains Michael in one cut scene snippet, which
interestingly features one tattooed lady and two other unknown male thugs.

There’s also parts of Los Santos and Blaine County shown off briefly in the official trailer as well.

The GTA 5 release date has been set as September 17 for the Xbox 360 and PS3, although Rockstar
Games has recently suggested an Xbox One and PS4 version may be on the cards in the future.

Next, read our pick of the best games to buy in 2013

Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac launches with OS X Mavericks, Windows 8.1 optimizations

Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac launches with OS X Mavericks, Windows 8.1 optimisations
Parallels has launched a new virtual PC program for Mac, Parallels Desktop 9, which allows users to run Windows and Mac applications simultaneously without the need to reboot.
New features include cloud storage optimization for iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive. The software also allows customers to use Mac OS X features like Launchpad inside Windows applications.
"Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac customers will enjoy peace of mind knowing that Parallels keeps pace with and supports leading new technologies, such as the upcoming OS X Mavericks, Windows 8.1 and increasingly popular cloud services," said Parallels CEO Birger Steen.
Parallels promise that Desktop 9 will deliver a 40 percent improvement in disk performance and a 25 percent speed increase for virtual machine startup and shutdown, compared to the previous version, as well as being able to suspend the virtual PC in up to 20 percent less time than before.
Current Parallels Desktop users can upgrade to Parallels Desktop 9 now for £34.99. For new customers, Parallels Desktop 9 will be available for purchase from 5 September for £64.95. A student edition will be available at the discounted price of £34.95.
Customers will also get a six-month subscription to the newly released Parallels Access for iPad application. The software allows customers to remotely access PC and Windows apps and use them as if they were made for iPad.

Another Smartwatch? Google Reportedly Acquired WIMM Labs


There might be another smartwatch on the horizon. Google has acquired wearable tech firm WIMM Labs, according to GigaOm.
"WIMM Labs not only gives Google the talent and technology to build a smartwatch, but actually an Android-based app platform tailored for consumers' wrists," the blog said.
The WIMM Labs website is currently offline, a move that apparently happened last year. For a time, displayed a message that said it had "entered into an exclusive, confidential relationship for our technology," GigaOm said, but now it just returns a server error.
WIMM Labs debuted in 2011 and looked to take advantage of the emerging field of wearable tech. As PCMag found at the time, WIMM Labs had built an Android-based platform optimized for a small screen, as well as a small, modular hardware component with a 1.4-inch screen. WIMM suggested users could read email, check the weather, or even use your watch to pay for your Starbucks coffee.

WIMM CEO Dave Mooring is a former Intel executive, and he likened WIMM's approach to Intel Inside, where it was clear who supplied the technology but the product itself was made by a separate party.
That separate party might now be Google. Reports of a Google-back smartwatch got started in March, when The Financial Times reported that the Android team was developing the wearable device. Citing a source "briefed on the project," the paper said the smartwatch would act as a kind of peripheral device for Smartphones. Google made no mention of a smartwatch at its I/O developer conference, however, and has thus far focused most of its wearable computing efforts on Google Glass.

Smartwatches have been in the news a lot lately, with Sony unveiling its next-gen gadget in June, and Samsung set to reveal its own smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, at the IFA trade show in Berlin next week. All eyes are also on Apple amidst reports that an iWatch is in the works, while Microsoft is also apparently taking a crack at wearable tech.

A week in tech: iPhone 5S release date, Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch and Kinect

A week in tech: iPhone 5S release date
The iPhone 5S is expected to be launched in September (Picture: Stuff)
Stuff, the world’s best selling gadget magazine, fills us in on the hottest tech news from the week including the iPhone 5 release date and a Google Nexus 4 price drop. 
iPhone 5S release date slated for September 20
The iPhone 5S and budget iPhone 5C could be released on September 20 according to the latest whispers to come out of the iRumour mill.
The speculated date has arisen after TmoNews’ mystery sources told the site that US T-Mobile employees have been forbidden to go on holiday from September 20-22.
Unbelievable bang for your buck – Google Nexus 4 drops to £160
Price drop: Google Nexus 4 (Picture: Stuff)
Price drop: Google Nexus 4 (Picture: Stuff)
Google has dropped £80 off the price of the 8GB and 16GB Nexus 4 models to £160 and £200 respectively.
That’s an insanely good deal for a 4.7in quad-core handset with pure vanilla Android and guaranteed on-the-day updates.
The Nexus 4 earned a well-deserved 5 stars in Stuff’s review, thanks to its gorgeous glass build and super slick performance, and you’d be hard pressed not to snap one up for this price.
Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch to be revealed on September 4
Coming soon: Samsung Galaxy Gear (Picture: Stuff)
Coming soon: Samsung Galaxy Gear (Picture: Stuff)
Samsung is set to unveil the Galaxy Gear smartwatch on September 4, according to an executive from the company.
Confirming reports that the Galaxy Gear would launch alongside the Galaxy Note 3, Lee Young-hee, executive vice president of Samsung Mobile, has announced that the Galaxy Gear will be revealed at Samsung’s pre-IFA briefing in Berlin.
Apple to invite you and your friends to an iPhone-powered silent disco?

Party time: Apple's silent disco (Picture: Stuff)
Party time: Apple’s silent disco (Picture: Stuff)
Apple has filed a patent that describes a method of creating, essentially, your very own silent disco using little more than a bunch of iOS devices and some headphones.
Apple’s patent details a system that works slightly differently, because there is no central device acting as the DJ and broadcasting the same tune to every other user. Instead a collection of networked iPhones, iPod Touches or iPads will share tempo information, which means everyone in the group can listen to different music but at (roughly) the same BPM.
Kinect lets you look your Skype caller in the eye
Will you look me in the eye? (Picture: Stuff)
Will you look me in the eye? (Picture: Stuff)
One of the problems with Skype video calls is that you and your counterpart are rarely looking each other in the eye, because you’re gazing at their on-screen image rather than directly into your webcam. It’s all a bit jarring.
A new software prototype from the Computer Graphics Laboratory ETH Zurich aims to change that using facial recognition and the Xbox 360’s Kinect camera. The camera and software isolate the caller’s face and rotate it slightly, creating the illusion of eye contact. Only the face is moved, and done so seamlessly – the rest of the image remains untouched.
Follow Stuff on Facebook at or on Twitter at @StuffTV

Family Visited By Cops After Googling Pressure Cookers, Backpacks: Report (UPDATE)

The Huffington Post  |  By  Posted:   |  Updated: 08/02/2013 10:36 am EDT

Michele Catalano, a professional writer, describes what happened in a blog post on Thursday. According to her retelling, on Wednesday morning, six men identifying themselves as being from a "joint terrorism task force" showed up at her Long Island home. She believes Google searches by herself, her husband and her son raised red flags.
I had researched pressure cookers. My husband was looking for a backpack. And maybe in another time those two things together would have seemed innocuous, but we are in “these times” now. And in these times, when things like the Boston bombing happen, you spend a lot of time on the internet reading about it and, if you are my exceedingly curious news junkie of a twenty-year-old son, you click a lot of links when you read the myriad of stories. You might just read a CNN piece about how bomb making instructions are readily available on the internet and you will in all probability, if you are that kid, click the link provided.
While she was at work, her husband was home at the time of the incident. He let the officers in, and they proceeded to give the house, garage and backyard a quick search.
[T]hey were peppering my husband with questions. Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked.
After 45 minutes they shook her husband's hand and left.
A FBI spokeswoman told The Huffington Post that the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force was not involved in the matter and said the incident was handled by The Nassau County Police Department. A Nassau County Police spokesman told HuffPost he had no record of any officers visiting Catalono's home.
UPDATE: 9 p.m. The Suffolk County Police Department issued the following statement explaining the incident:
Suffolk County Criminal Intelligence Detectives received a tip from a Bay Shore based computer company regarding suspicious computer searches conducted by a recently released employee. The former employee’s computer searches took place on this employee’s workplace computer. On that computer, the employee searched the terms “pressure cooker bombs” and “backpacks.”
After interviewing the company representatives, Suffolk County Police Detectives visited the subject’s home to ask about the suspicious internet searches. The incident was investigated by Suffolk County Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Detectives and was determined to be non-criminal in nature.

Ask and Answer Questions About Starting a Website

Ask and Answer Questions About Starting a Website
Every day we're on the lookout for ways to make your work easier and your life better, but Lifehacker readers are smart, insightful folks with all kinds of expertise to share, and we want to give everyone regular access to that exceptional hive mind. Help Yourself is a daily thread where readers can ask and answer questions about tech, productivity, life hacks, and whatever else you need help with.
If you want to make a name for yourself, it is crucial that you have a web presence. Whether you are starting your own business selling crafts or are forming a band, there is no better way to inform people who you are and why they need to pay attention to you better than a website. While Facebook and Google+ have replaced many people's websites, the importance of websites is still relevant, and you need one.
However, you likely have a few questions about starting your own site. In the past, we have taught you how to make a website from scratch and how to host it, but you may still have a few unanswered questions. Furthermore, you may not want to build your website from scratch, but would rather find an inexpensive service that allows you to build your own professional-grade website without the need to type even one line of HTML. Whatever questions you may have, ask them in the comments below. Additionally, if you have advice you want to provide for our readers, feel free to do so. Ask and answer questions about starting a website in the comments.
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How to Make a Web Site Part I: Understanding and Writing HTML

Everyone lives at least a little bit of their life on the web, and whether you develop web pages for a living, want to create a nameplate web site, or simply want more control over how your comments show up on websites, having an understanding of HTML at your command is invaluable. With that in mind, in our first lesson on how to make a web site, we're covering the top-level basics of HTML—the predominant markup language of the web.
Nowadays it's easy to put together a web presence using social media and a personal landing page, but if you want to actually make your own web site you're going to need to learn HTML and CSS. Fortunately, we can help.
The video above will get you set up with a text editor, walk you through the basic structure of an HTML document, and introduce you to a few things about HTML you're going to want to know right away. By the end of the lesson you'll know how to create a basic HTML page. If you forget something or want a little additional reference material, check out the text below. It'll provide you with the basic information about HTML that you'll need.

What You'll Need

  • A plain text editor to write your HTML
  • Your web browser of choice to test your HTML
  • A desire to beef up your knowledge of how the web works
As you can see, you really don't need much to get started.

Getting a Plain Text Editor

In order to write HTML, you need a plain text editor. This video uses a plain text editor calledTextmate, but that'll cost you. If you want something free, you've got a lot of great options, including Notepad++ (Windows), Kod (Mac), or Sublime Text for either Windows and Mac. There are several other text editors out there, so you can use whatever you want so long as it is a plain text editor. While the term plain text is kind of a misnomer (here's why), it's basically used to describe text that doesn't have any style and is simply letters, numbers, and symbols. This means no bold, no italics, no different sizes, etc. While your plain text editor may have syntax highlighting—a feature that changes the colors of the text based on what you type to make your code easier to read—this is just something you'll see in your text editor and something that is not saved into the file. Basically, you need a text editor that doesn't saveanything but the text (which means you don't want to use something like Microsoft Word).
Note: For the purposes of this lesson, you should save all the files you create in your text editor with .html as your file extension—for example, "my_first_web_page.html". You can edit a .htmldocument in your plain-text editor of choice, but you can also view it in your browser. What you see when you open it in your browser will be very different than what you see when you open it in your text editor.

What Is an HTML Document?

If you read the above section, you may have guessed that HTML—which stands for HyperText Markup Language—is just a bunch of text saved as a document type that your browser identifies as using HTML. If you see an image on a web page, it's simply referenced in the text of an HTML document and not physically included as part of the file. All an HTML document really does is provide a set of text-based instructions that a web browser can interpret. It does this by encapsulating the page's text in tags, which we'll learn more about in a minute. It also uses these tags to tell the web browser to do things like display images, add line breaks, and more. Going further, HTML can be styled using CSS—which stands for cascading style sheets—which we'll learn about in the next lesson. For now, just understand that HTML is a set of instructions for your browser that you are going to write.

What Are Tags?

Tags are used in HTML to specify certain elements on the page so the web browser knows how to render them. Here's what a set of tags looks like:
How to Make a Web Site Part I: Understanding and Writing HTML

The above tags are the HTML tags. Your entire HTML document goes inside of those tags. All tags start with a less than symbol and end with a greater than symbol. They're called tags, in part, because those symbols make them look like tags. The starting tag simply has the term HTML inside of it, but you'll notice that the ending tag has a / before the term HTML. The / is what designates it is the closing tag. This tag tells your web browser that the first HTML tag is the start of the HTML document and the second /HTML closing tag is the end. Most tags look like this. For example, if you want to make text bold you might see this:
How to Make a Web Site Part I: Understanding and Writing HTML

How to Make a Web Site Part I: Understanding and Writing HTML
Note: There are other ways to make text bold, too, so be sure to watch the video for a full explanation as these differences can sometimes be very important.
You'll also see tags that look like this:
How to Make a Web Site Part I: Understanding and Writing HTML
The above tag is an image tag. You've probably figured this out already, but its job is to display an image. There are two noteworthy things that are different about this tag. First, it doesn't have an ending tag. This is because the img tag is a self-closing tag. It doesn't need an ending tag because there is nothing that would go between a starting tag and an ending tag. You'll notice a / at the end of the img tag, however, and that's to designate the end. Back in the early days of HTML you didn't need to add that / to an image tag, and technically you still don't, but it's proper form. The other difference you'll notice is that the tag has a bunch of attributes. Attributes are things like src="" and height="", and they contain information describing more about the tag; in the case of the img tag, the source (src) attribute is always necessary.
The src attribute specifies that the image file we want to display is image.jpg. Because we're just listing the file name, the browser will assume we're keeping that image file in the exact same location as our HTML document. If you had a folder called images in the same place as your HTML document and kept the image in there, you'd set src to "images/image.jpg" because the / designates that we're going into a folder. If you wanted to load an image from an external web site, you could just but the full URL to the image (e.g. The other attributes simply specify the height and width of your image. Only the src attribute is required for the image tag, but if you don't specify the height and width of your image the browser won't know how much space to leave and it'll keep readjusting the page as it load. This looks kind of weird, so it's always better to specify the height and width in your img tags.
For a quick reference of some of the basic tag elements you can use in your document,this cheatsheet is a good place to start.

The Structure of a Basic HTML Document

Now that you've got basic tag structure down, let's take a look at a basic HTML document's structure. You should know this is a very basic look and doesn't include absolutely everything you'll probably find in a fully developed HTML document, but it works just fine and keeps things nice and simple. Here's the very basic structure:
How to Make a Web Site Part I: Understanding and Writing HTML
You'll notice that inside the HTML tags are HEAD and BODY tags. The HEAD tag encapsulates information that's not necessarily going to directly display on the page, such as the page title (which shows up as the window or tab title on your web browser), CSS styles, and other metadata. The BODY tag encapsulates information that will display on the page—your text, images, and rich media. The resulting HTML document opened in your web browser (just double-click the saved file or drag it into a browser window) will look like this:
How to Make a Web Site Part I: Understanding and Writing HTML
As you can see from the example, the body tag has a few things inside of it. First there's a DIV tag with an ID of header. DIV tags are used to contain bits of content so you can style them and move them around with CSS. You'll learn more about this when we dive into CSS in the next lesson.
Inside the header DIV tag is some text. The first part of the text is inside an H1 tag. H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 tags are all used to create header text. H1 is the largest and H6 is the smallest. By default they result in bold, larger text, but you can style them however you like using CSS. Because this HTML document has no CSS style information, the H1 tag will make the text My Page look bold. This effect is very similar to the big section title text you see in this post.
Below the H1 text is just some regular, un-styled text. Most browsers render un-styled text in the Times New Roman font at a size of 12pt. When you start adding CSS styles you'll be able to style this text however you like by setting a default style.

That's all you really need to know about basic HTML. In our next lesson, we'll be taking a look at basic CSS. After that we'll look at combining those skills to make a web site and then wrap up with additional resources to help you learn more about web site creation. 
See you tomorrow!

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