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#4: ASUS D550MAV-DB01 15.6-Inch Dual-Core Laptop

ASUS D550MAVDB01

ASUS D550MAV-DB01 15.6-Inch Dual-Core Laptop
by Asus
Date first available at Amazon.com: July 20, 2014

Buy new: $329.00 $266.00
37 used & new from $256.99

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The rest is here: #4: ASUS D550MAV-DB01 15.6-Inch Dual-Core Laptop

#5: ASUS 15.6-Inch HD Dual-Core 2.16GHz Laptop, 500GB and Optical Drive

ASUS 156Inch

ASUS 15.6-Inch HD Dual-Core 2.16GHz Laptop, 500GB and Optical Drive
by Asus
3.4 out of 5 stars(63)
Date first available at Amazon.com: July 20, 2014

Buy new: $329.00 $271.28
43 used & new from $256.69

(Visit the Hot New Releases in Computers & Accessories list for authoritative information on this product’s current rank.)

Continued here: #5: ASUS 15.6-Inch HD Dual-Core 2.16GHz Laptop, 500GB and Optical Drive

#7: ASUS 15.6-Inch HD Dual-Core 2.16GHz Laptop, 500GB and Optical Drive

ASUS 156Inch

ASUS 15.6-Inch HD Dual-Core 2.16GHz Laptop, 500GB and Optical Drive
by Asus
3.4 out of 5 stars(53)
Date first available at Amazon.com: July 20, 2014

Buy new: $329.00 $276.26
36 used & new from $256.00

(Visit the Hot New Releases in Computers & Accessories list for authoritative information on this product’s current rank.)

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#6: ASUS 15.6-Inch HD Dual-Core 2.16GHz Laptop, 500GB and Optical Drive

ASUS 156Inch

ASUS 15.6-Inch HD Dual-Core 2.16GHz Laptop, 500GB and Optical Drive
by Asus
3.5 out of 5 stars(48)
Date first available at Amazon.com: July 20, 2014

Buy new: $329.00 $279.99
23 used & new from $261.99

(Visit the Hot New Releases in Computers & Accessories list for authoritative information on this product’s current rank.)

The rest is here: #6: ASUS 15.6-Inch HD Dual-Core 2.16GHz Laptop, 500GB and Optical Drive

The Poet, Scientist, Journalist, Boxer Approach To Entrepreneurship

Editor’s note: Zachary Hanson and Diogo Duarte are the co-founders of the Fidelity Network, a Miami-based brand loyalty startup. 

One of the great challenges for startups is figuring out where to start. Entrepreneurs believe that unless they build something now, their idea will become outdated or stolen by their competitor. However, that thought process is akin to running a marathon with one month of training. Yes, it can be done, but you run the risk of burning out and failing more quickly. What is needed is a contemporary guideline to help develop unadulterated focus for the new startup founder.

Great startup mentors understand this struggle, and the very best mentors soothe their disciples by telling them what to focus on in the beginning — things such as, iterating the core idea, creating a simple business model, or guidance on building the minimum viable product (MVP).

Based on our own experience with mentors and the chaotic birth of our startup, we have developed a linear remedy that all entrepreneurs can apply to improve their chances of success. Our theory is called “The Poet, Scientist, Journalist, Boxer Approach to Entrepreneurship.”

boxer-scientist

The Poet

“A poet is full of positive enthusiasm, his head is so full of ideas, that he can’t sleep until he expresses all his thoughts.”

The four-stage process starts with the poet. This stage is initiated the second that the proverbial “apple” falls on your head and you know that you have a great idea. The telltale signs of this experience are having trouble sleeping and feeling a mix between wanting to tell everyone about your idea and the feeling of paranoia that if you mention it someone will steal it.

Once you recognize that you have entered the poet stage, it is time to channel your inner Walt Whitman and put all of your thoughts down on paper. Putting your ideas in writing, ink to paper, is an important part of establishing a real understanding of your own idea.

Now, don’t worry about your tone or voice, just write as if you were planning to start a revolution — pour your heart and soul into it. Write your values, your vision, your goals, and focus on why and how your idea will change people’s lives.

Once you can’t squeeze anything else out of your brain, it’s time to put your lab coat on.

The Scientist

“The scientist’s goal is to find the core value for the customer, get rid of excess features, and start testing it.”

Step two, becoming a scientist, involves developing and releasing your MVP. With critical eyes, you must look back at the work of the poet and extrapolate the core theory and decide what is needed to test that idea.

Here, feasibility is key, which means that the scientist must only pick what is necessary to test the poet’s theory. The scientist, with the help of engineers, then builds a test experiment. This experiment should encompass the core idea and lead to the development and delivery of the MVP.

Once the MVP is shipped, you send the journalist out in the field to tell the story.

The Journalist

“Unlike the poet and scientist, the journalist is unbiased, neutral, and focuses on the voice of the customer (VOC). The journalist is careful not to lead the person he is interviewing, and tries to capture their every thought in order to learn.”

Step three is to become a journalist.  It’s now time to listen to the first users (also known as early adopters) and learn from them. You no longer stand on your pulpit preaching your product’s utility, but instead inquire and listen as to whether the user sees your products in the same light.

When interviewing users, it is important to ask open-ended questions that trigger enlightened responses. The journalist then takes all of the knowledge gathered from the users and drafts the company’s bigger story — the story about the marketable product, and how it will fit into and change the market you are entering.

Now that you have validated your original idea through science and journalism, you are ready to strap on your gloves and fight to take your idea to market.

The Boxer

“The boxer knows he has to be quick on his feet, focused, and strong to fight battle after battle. He always gets up from his failures with his head and hands held high.”

Becoming the boxer is the ultimate achievement for the startup founder. When you get to this point and lace up your gloves, you will be set to face many opponents from several weight classes.

As with any great fighter, it is imperative to study your opponents in depth. The boxer becomes an expert at dealing with pitching events, customers, investors, incubators and PR relations. Pictures of all of the upcoming opponents are hanging on the boxer’s wall as a reminder of the fight to come — and the boxer can’t wait to throw the first punch.

The moment the boxer steps into the ring, there is no turning back. There are 12 rounds to be fought in order to get your product to market. Every round you can either win or lose, but every time you return to your corner you will iterate with your mentors and adapt your product to the situation before heading back into the fight.

Given the nature of fighting, you will always run the risk of getting knocked out during any round (e.g. maybe you find out the market you entered is saturated, or your product is not going to survive), or conversely, you could knock your opponent out cold (e.g. maybe you receive a buy-out offer from a large company).

As a seasoned pro you know that those are the risks and rewards of the startup fight and that the battle could end early, but you always come prepared to slug it out for all 12 rounds.

No matter the outcome, the boxer always picks himself up, win or lose, and lives to fight another day.

Post Fight Interview

The journey to the ring is a long one. It takes time and patience to make sure that you are prepared to face your opponents, and at the end of the day you will always run the risk of failure.

That inherent risk is secretly (or not so secretly) what so many entrepreneurs crave, and just as the adrenaline junky throws himself off of a building to get his fix, it is time for you to prepare yourself to step into the startup ring and feel the rush.

Express your inner poet, build the experiment, tell the story, and make sure you are training for the fight.

IMAGE BY Bryce Durbin (IMAGE HAS BEEN MODIFIED)

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#8: ASUS 15.6-Inch HD Dual-Core 2.16GHz Laptop, 500GB

ASUS 156Inch

ASUS 15.6-Inch HD Dual-Core 2.16GHz Laptop, 500GB
by Asus
3.8 out of 5 stars(32)
Date first available at Amazon.com: June 27, 2014

Buy new: $249.00 $248.99
26 used & new from $267.00

(Visit the Hot New Releases in Computers & Accessories list for authoritative information on this product’s current rank.)

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Samsung Galaxy S5 mini and Young 2 headed to the UK from August 7

Samsung has confirmed that the slightly smaller version of its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5 mini, will go on sale in the UK from August 7.

The device may be called ‘mini’ but it still offers a solid mid-range spec list, which includes a  4.5-inch 720p HD display, 1.4Ghz quad-core processor, 1.5GB RAM and an 8-megapixel camera on the rear. For comparison, the bigger brother S5 model comes with a 16-megapixel camera, 2GB RAM and a 2.5Ghz quad-core processor. The S5 mini does also offer the same fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor, though.

The company said the S5 mini would go on sale in the UK from August 7 from “selected online and high street retailers, including Samsung Experience Stores and Carphone Warehouse”. UK pricing still hasn’t been confirmed.

The second handset, the Samsung Young 2, is an altogether more low-end Android affair designed to appeal to more youthful (and therefore, cash-strapped) buyers.

Spec-wise, the Young 2 includes a 1GHz single-core processor, 3-megapixel camera, 3.5-inch HVGA display, the most recent version of Android KitKat (4.4) and Samsung’s updated TouchWiz UI.

Samsung said that the Young 2 would go on sale in the week following the S5 mini, but again, pricing wasn’t revealed.

With declining smartphone sales and close competition in the low-to-mid range from the likes of the Moto E and similar devices, Samsung will need to step up its game if it wants to keep consumers interested.

Sony’s PlayStation 4 now supports 3D Blu-ray films

Originally posted here: Samsung Galaxy S5 mini and Young 2 headed to the UK from August 7

#4: ASUS 15.6-Inch HD Dual-Core 2.16GHz Laptop, 500GB

ASUS 156Inch

ASUS 15.6-Inch HD Dual-Core 2.16GHz Laptop, 500GB
by Asus
3.6 out of 5 stars(11)
Date first available at Amazon.com: June 27, 2014

Buy new: $249.00 $219.99
130 used & new from $219.99

(Visit the Hot New Releases in Computers & Accessories list for authoritative information on this product’s current rank.)

Read the original here: #4: ASUS 15.6-Inch HD Dual-Core 2.16GHz Laptop, 500GB

Why A Stupid App Like Yo May Have Billion-Dollar Platform Potential

Editor’s note: Sangeet Paul Choudary is the director of Platform Thinking Labs and analyzes platforms and network effect strategies at his blog Platform Thinking.

Yo! Is tech turning too stupid for its own good? Attempts at building better healthcare systems do not get the kind of investor interest that a new app called Yo seems to be getting. While the whole world was deriding (and downloading) Yo, the company quietly (well, not quite so quietly) raised further funding at a $10 million valuation.

Is the app worth $10 million? No. Will the app itself ever be worth $10 million? No. Is there the tiniest of possibilities that there’s a billion-dollar potential hidden behind the stupid app? Yo!

Let’s look at a bit of history to set the future of Yo in context.

Competing with Core Mobile Experiences

While the likes of Android and Apple created an extendible platform with the smartphone, they continue to own most of the core user experience of the phone. Angry Birds and Pinterest may create apps for the phone, but they don’t really challenge the core use case of the phone. Most apps typically extend the phone to new use cases.

However, every once in a while, a new experience emerges at the app layer to challenge the core experience of the phone. At the very basic level, these new experiences create compelling substitutes to the core experience. Evernote creates a substitute for the phone’s note-taking app, for instance, and Dropbox for the native cloud sync.

Some substitute experiences take it to the next step and develop network effects in ways that the original experiences did not. Instagram turned the phone into a camera-centric community in a way that the phone’s camera app never had. WhatsApp turned the phone into communities of chatter with much more flexibility than the original messaging app.

But the power of such substitutes can truly be realized when it ends up creating a new standard that dictates the core experience of not just the phone but of any app built on top of the phone. With such a move, the substitute becomes embedded into the platform layer of the phone.

Curiously, Yo has the potential to play in such a space.

Creating a New Standard

As an app, Yo is utterly stupid. Let’s all agree to that. It probably isn’t worth a tiny fraction of its current valuation if we were to evaluate it as an app. But as a platform, Yo has an outside chance at a moonshot.

Alerts and notifications are part of the core use experience of a phone. They come naked into the smartphone platform, and any app built on top of the smartphone leverages the alerts and notifications layer. This is where things get interesting: Yo isn’t about messaging; it’s about alerts and notifications. Yo’s potential to be much more than an app is in its ability to potentially be a platform.

As users, we hate alerts and notifications. No one’s particularly excited about interruptive alerts jumping up on the phone screen. Yet, in a short span of a few weeks, we’ve had millions of people downloading an app that does little more than send an alert. In fact, the alert doesn’t even mean anything, but usage continues to grow.

If the history of standards is anything to go by, standards do not have to be technologically intense, they just need to get adopted fast enough. And Yo seems to be ticking that box for now. The Betamax vs. VHS battle is testament to the nuances of multi-sided adoption that standards require.

For Yo’s moonshot chance at becoming a billion-dollar platform to work out, it has a long road ahead and an arduous journey to get the chicken and egg problem solved. As with all development platforms, it needs to drive rapid and simultaneous adoption among consumers and developers.

Yo has now opened itself as a platform and we’re already seeing “serious” use cases coming up. Israeli missile notification service, Red Alert, is using Yo to warn Israelis of incoming missile strikes.

What Yo has going in its favor right now is the massive adoption among consumers. For all we know, this may just be a fad. But if this massive adoption continues, and if Yo can pull up its platform play and get enough developers building real value using Yo as a notification service for their apps, Yo has the potential to be the next big thing.

The Next Big Thing

The Christensen-Lepore debate notwithstanding, the next big thing has always started out looking stupid. The experts derided Wikipedia for its errors, no one saw beyond the filters of Instagram, Eric Schmidt called Twitter ‘poor man’s email’ and Airbnb was a hipster mattress-sharing website until it completely blindsided the hotel industry.

Will Yo disrupt notifications? We can’t quite say at this point. But having seen the massive adoption, one has to believe that someone will. Notifications need a substitute. And given the massive growth in adoption, Yo may have as good a shot as any at it.

While Yo may have fast-growing consumer adoption going for it, an alternate notification substitute (which will look just as stupid, if not more) may yet gather traction, surpass Yo’s adoption and get taken up by more developers. Any investment in Yo at this point is highly risky, not unlike one in a service some seven years back that allowed you to type 140 characters.

Yo’s success or failure lies in its ability to kickstart a platform for notifications that one day becomes the standard for all apps using notifications. As an app it is little more than Facebook’s poke. But as a standard, it could become embedded in the workings of every other app out there. And that is Yo’s outside chance at venture scale returns.

For all we know, Yo’s brilliance may yet lie in its apparent stupidity.

(IMAGE HAS BEEN MODIFIED)

Here is the original post: Why A Stupid App Like Yo May Have Billion-Dollar Platform Potential

Enterprise Investments Surge To Over $5.4 Billion

After years of backing headline-grabbing consumer internet deals, it seems that venture capitalists are paying more attention (and more money) to the seemingly staid and stodgy enterprise technology companies (the businesses that sell technology to make businesses work better).

Their mission: to explore new ways of organizing data, to seek out new models for efficiency and security for business customers of all shapes and sizes, and to develop new technologies for marketing and selling on devices that no one has done before.

Investments into enterprise software companies of all stripes are soaring. The amount of capital invested in these startups has already surged to over $5.4 billion in the first half of 2014. That’s roughly the same amount that enterprise-facing companies raised in the entire year for 2013, according to data from CrunchBase.

Much of that capital was invested in the monster financing for new database technology, Cloudera, but it points to a belief among investors that there’s a huge change coming in the way that technology effects business. And these venture capitalists are hoping to cash in.

The surge in investment dollars is actually accompanied by a slowdown in commitments to new technology companies, indicating that investors’ confidence in the sector’s strength is matched by a belief that this current crop of business technology companies is maturing. In the second quarter of 2013, investors backed 328 startups in the enterprise software category, by the second quarter of 2014 that number had declined to 205.

While the numbers indicate a slowdown in the commitments going to business-focused technologies, some investors insist this is only the beginning. The idea of selling software as a hosted online service has been around for nearly a decade, beginning with the Salesforce.com customer relationship management revolution, but the technologies that are moving to the cloud were never part of core business operations, they argue. Now, these hosted software businesses are everywhere, and taking over core functions that used to be the purview of internal information technology departments.

Data storage is now a service, and even enterprise resource planning software can be bought as a service (and if there’s anything more important to a business than where it keeps its information and how it manages and organizes the use of its resources I’m not sure what it would be). Furthermore, new companies are taking advantage of the extremely powerful new infrastructure technologies that are available to rethink how customer service and other business processes can be automated to a degree that wasn’t possible before.

That’s why Salesforce.com is snapping up young cloud computing companies as if it were Oracle a decade ago, Microsoft has its head in the cloud, and why IBM and Apple have partnered to deliver software to mobile business users.

One need only look at the fact that Salesforce and Red Hat now trade above Oracle to see how momentum has shifted away from the traditional software vendors (although at 179.67 billion Oracle’s market capitalization is still over five times that of Salesforce.com’s $33.7 billion market cap). Not to mention the big bets that venture capitalists, corporate investors, and hedge funds and money managers are placing on technology like Hadoop and NoSQL.

“This is that next future data platform that in 30 years from now the vast majority that structured and semi-structured data would be stored in,” said Joseph Ansanelli, a partner at Cloudera backer Greylock Partners, in an April interview. “Oracle? Their core database is basically under attack from Hadoop.”

If Hadoop and NoSQL are eating at the core of the infrastructure businesses use to operate, then a slew of software as a service offerings, and technology solutions are attacking big enterprise companies on their periphery with services that better apply the new architecture of hardware, software, and cloud-sourced services with open interfaces for application integration.

“One of the themes we’ve invested heavily behind is this intersection between big data and traditional enterprise application software,” says Ajay Agarwal of Bain Capital Ventures. Indeed, Bain’s newest partner, Enrique Salem, the former chief executive of Symantec, sees business technologies on the cusp of a still-greater transformation.

“Historically some of these cycles have been a five-to-ten year change, but we are just at the beginning of this transformation,” says Salem. “Historically, $120 billion was spent on hardware implemented inside data centers. Now consumers will start running and picking their own applications and that $120 billion spend that was inside the four walls of the data center? A majority of the spend will not be in the data center, but in companies that are delivering services.”

Photo via Flickr user Scott Maxwell

(IMAGE HAS BEEN MODIFIED)

Excerpt from: Enterprise Investments Surge To Over $5.4 Billion