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  • The 10 most important things in the world right now

    BikesHello! Here's what you need to know for Monday.

    1. The death toll from Nepal's worst earthquake in 81 years, which struck on Saturday, has now climbed above 3,200.

    2. A new video from Mount Everest shows what a deadly avalanche triggered by Saturday's earthquake looked like from base camp.

    3. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he doesn't "regret a thing" over his annexation of Crimea from Ukraine last March, calling it an "element of historical justice."

    4. An Israeli air strike on the Syrian border killed four Islamic militants who were planting an explosive.

    5. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed Sunday to maintain communication throughout Greece's negotiations with its creditors as the country risks running out of cash within weeks.

    6. Polls predict Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev won his fifth consecutive term by a landslide Sunday with 97.5% of the vote, which will extend his 26-year rule.

    7. Chile's Calbuco volcano remains unstable and could erupt again after erupting twice in 24 hours last week.

    8. Ceremonies in Germany, Croatia, and France on Sunday remembered the liberation of three Nazi-run concentration camps 70 years ago during WWII.

    9. Serbia signed a $3-billion (£1.9-billion) deal Sunday with an Abu Dhabi-based developer to transform an area of Belgrade into an upscale housing and shopping complex, a project that opponents have called a scam. 

    10. Apple reports earnings for the quarter that ended in March on Monday, with analysts expecting major revenue growth driven by strong iPhone sales.

    And finally ...

    The New York Police Department thanked four Swedish law enforcement officers for breaking up a fight on the subway while vacationing in New York City.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This Animated Map Shows How European Languages Evolved


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  • What I learned after using the Apple Watch for 3 days (AAPL)

    Apple Watch

    It's still the early days of the Apple Watch. Besides a select group of journalists and celebrities, most people didn't get to start using one until last Friday.

    I started using one on loan from Apple. It's the steel model with a sports band that costs $599. I'll have a full, detailed review in a few days. In the meantime, here's what I've noticed about the Apple Watch after using it over the weekend.

    There's a learning curve.

    The Apple Watch isn't a mini iPhone strapped to your wrist. It's a brand-new type of gadget that has its own control scheme. It took me a good day to learn what all the various swipes, taps, buttons, and dials do. But now that I'm used to it, I don't even think about how to operate the Apple Watch. The controls may sounds complicated at first, but they become second nature sooner than you'd expect.

    The display is mostly off.

    My Apple Watch's display is dark about 99% of the time. It's always working in the background, tracking my movement, monitoring my heart rate, and pulling in notifications from my phone, but the display doesn't activate unless I lift my wrist or tap on the screen. Otherwise, it's just a nice-looking piece of jewelry.

    The Apple Watch isn't an iPhone replacement. It's a supplement to the iPhone.

    Notifications are useful, not annoying.

    I've tested a few smartwatches over the years. Most were a pain to wear because they dumped all the notifications from my phone to my wrist. The Apple Watch app on iPhone gives me better control over which notifications I see. The first thing I did was switch off notifications for most apps except for the ones I use the most.

    I also like how subtle the vibrations are when I get a new notification. It's not annoying at all, more like someone lightly tapping my wrist. Plus, the watch doesn't light up with each new notification. You have to lift your wrist to view it instead. (Or ignore the notification and check it later.) That's much better than many other smartwatches that have strong vibrations and which light up with every notification.

    My favorite function so far is texting.

    I love getting text messages on my Apple Watch. It saves me time from pulling out my phone and unlocking my device just to read what someone sent me. Instead, I can get a quick glance at the message on my watch and decide whether or not I need to respond. And even if I do, I can usually just respond with a canned response or emoji already stored in the Apple Watch. It saves a lot of time.

    apple watch animated emoji

    But I mostly use it as a watch.

    Getting notifications on my wrist is great, but I find that I mostly use the Apple Watch like I'd use a normal watch: To check the time and date. Everything else it can do is just gravy.

    Third-party apps are pretty bad.

    There are over 3,000 iPhone apps that are also compatible with the Apple Watch. But most of them stink. Too many like Twitter, Instagram, and news apps like Digg or The Wall Street Journal try too hard to shrink down the smartphone app experience on a tiny screen. It doesn't work. I don't need to squint at tiny Instagram photos on my wrist.

    I think it'll take some time for developers to figure out how to get the most out of the Apple Watch. That said, I do like Apple's preinstalled apps like the fitness tracker, Messages, and music controller.

    uber app for apple watchThe Uber app is the only third-party Apple Watch app that I think nails it so far. You just open the app, tap the watch, and boom: Your car is on the way. More developers should look to Uber's simplicity for inspiration.

    The sport band is the best band.

    The sport band may be the cheapest one you can get for the Apple Watch, but it's also the best. I've tried all the bands, but I always end up going back to the sport. It's light, comfortable, and goes well with anything I wear from gym clothes to a button down shirt and jeans. My second favorite band is the leather loop.

    Battery life is better than I thought it'd be.

    Before the Apple Watch launched, I had a lot of concerns about battery life. Until March, Apple's official line was that you'd have to charge the watch nightly, which made me think the company was having trouble getting it to last much longer than a full day. Meanwhile, other watches from Samsung could last up to three days. The Pebble could last up to seven.

    But I haven't had any problems with battery life over the last three days. In fact, I used the Apple Watch all day Saturday and went to bed at 1 a.m. with about a 40% charge left. Not bad at all. I still have to charge the watch every night, but I'm never nervous about running out of juice at the end of the day.

    So far, so good.

    I've never been a watch person, and I've been highly skeptical of the concept of a smartwatch for years. But until now, most smartwatches attempted to shrink a smartphone down and put it on your wrist. The Apple Watch is simpler and more inviting. I'm starting to get it.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Kids settle the debate and tell us which is better: an Apple or Samsung phone


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  • The coolest thing in the Apple Watch box — aside from the watch — is the plug (AAPL)

    Apple Watch plug

    Apple Watches are starting to arrive around the world today, and one of the coolest things in the box isn't just the watch itself, but the fancy folding plug. 

    British plugs have three pins, which usually stick out of the plug. But Apple has decided to shake that up a bit by creating a folding plug which sits flat in the box, but is spring-loaded.

    Here's a Vine showing Apple's fancy new plug:

    And here's a picture of a normal British AC plug. No handy, spring-loaded action to see here.

    British plug

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    NOW WATCH: I got up at 2:45 in the morning to preorder the Apple Watch and still have to wait over a month to get it


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  • Watch these scientists freak out when they encounter a rare whale

    At 1,962 feet below the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) Hercules encountered a magnificent sperm whale. The whale circled the ROV several times allowing cameras to capture this spectacular footage. Encounters of this nature between sperm whales and ROVs are incredibly rare.
    The Ocean Exploration Trust was founded in 2008 by Dr. Robert Ballard to explore the ocean, seeking out new discoveries in the fields of geology, biology, maritime history, archaeology, physics, and chemistry while pushing the boundaries of STEM education and technological innovation.

    Video courtesy of OET/Nautilus Live. Image courtesy of Ocean Exploration Trust.
    Nautilus Live will be diving live for the next six months follow along at www.nautiluslive.org.
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  • The Apple Watch has been a massive success. It's just a pity Apple screwed up the launch.

  • Here's what getting fired from their own companies taught these famous founders

    Steve JobsImagine being the founder of a company. You start it from scratch, work like a dog, and deal with all kinds of trouble before finally taking it to the next level.

    But what if you were told one day that you will no longer be involved with the company’s day-to-day operations? Worse, what if you’re pushed out of the company entirely?

    The following five founders have experienced that in their respective careers. But they also found a way to deal with it, and in some cases, even returned to the company they once left behind.

    Here’s what they learned from their experience:

    1) Sometimes it’s a blessing in disguise - Apple’s Steve Jobs

    Steve Jobs was fired from Apple in 1985, almost 10 years after he started it in his parents’ garage. Although he returned as Apple CEO in the late 90s, Jobs said the whole experience was “devastating” at the time, and he even thought about “running away from the Valley.”

    But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as Jobs said during his 2005 Stanford commencement speech, "I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me...It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life."

    While away from Apple, Jobs launched two very successful companies, NeXT and Pixar, and became a family man. "I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple," he said.

    2) Investors could turn adversary - Cisco's Sandy Lerner

    Sandy Lerner, one of the cofounders of Cisco, is no longer part of the company after losing control to a management group led by its early investor, Sequoia Capital’s Don Valentine.

    She was eventually fired from Cisco shortly after it went public in 1990. Cisco is now worth more than $140 billion.

    Lerner said in a post on Inc Magazine that she was too naïve when she accepted Valentine's $2.6 million investment for 30% of the company, because Valentine was responsible for her firing.

    "I did not understand an investor could be an adversary," she wrote. "I assumed our investor supported us, because his money was tied up in our success. I did not realize he had decoupled the success of the company from that of the founders."

    Noah Glass3) The company's not about you; it's about the product - Twitter's Noah Glass

    Noah Glass is one of Twitter's cofounders who came up with the name Twitter. But he's also the cofounder no one talks about. 

    It's because he was pushed out of the company back in 2006. Glass told Business Insider in 2011 that getting erased from Twitter history was difficult to deal with at first.

    “I was not in the story, which in some ways was difficult to deal with in the beginning, since it was a massive labor of love and a massive labor to get it created," he said.

    But eventually, Glass realized the company's legacy is not always about the individual founders, but the actual product, as he said, "Twitter is a phenomenon and a massively beneficial tool and it's incredibly useful and it helps a lot of people. I realized the story's not about me. That's okay."

    4) Investors could lose patience pretty quickly - Tesla's Martin Eberhard

    Martin Eberhard cofounded Tesla in 2003. He was CEO until 2007, when one day he was told by Elon Musk, the company's chairman and primary investor, that he'd be replaced by Michael Marks, an early investor.

    The board apparently held a meeting without Eberhard before they made the finally decision to replace him. "I didn't get to hear what they said. I didn't get to defend myself. I felt totally stranded," Eberhard said to Business Insider's Drake Baer.

    But the main reason behind Eberhard's firing was Musk's apparent distrust in him as CEO. Mike Harrigan, Tesla's ex-VP of marketing, said of Musk: "Once he's convinced that you can't do the job, there's no way you can convince him back again. That happened many times to many people, and that's what happened with Martin. Once he determined that Martin couldn't be the CEO of Tesla any longer, that was it. He was fired."

    mark pincus5) It's just not the right position for you - Zynga's Mark Pincus

    To be clear, Mark Pincus wasn't fired from Zynga, the online gaming company he cofounded in 2007. After all, he still holds 63% of the voting power, which means he can't be ousted unless he fires himself.

    But that's exactly what he did in 2013, when he chose to step down as Zynga CEO. The reason? It just wasn't the right role for him.

    “I learned a lot of hard lessons on the CEO front … and do not give myself very high marks as a CEO of a large-scale company," he admitted during an interview with Re/code's Kara Swisher.

    He also told Swisher, “I basically fired myself,” because the job at Zynga wasn’t something he was passionate about at the time. “Managing more than 200 people, maybe 150 people, isn’t fun to me and is not my skill set,” he said.

    But in a surprise move, Pincus had a change of mind and returned as Zynga CEO earlier this month.

    SEE ALSO: 11 super successful tech leaders who struggled when they first arrived in America

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    NOW WATCH: This simple exercise will work out every muscle in your body


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  • What it's like to work with Apple and compete against it at the same time, according to a CEO who's doing just that (AAPL)

    eric migicovsky pebble ceo

    You could argue that Pebble is responsible for starting the smartwatch craze back in 2012.

    Its first smartwatch was the most-funded Kickstarter project of all time until the Coolest Cooler surpassed it in 2014. Its newest smartwatch, the Pebble Time, also skyrocketed on Kickstarter, and is now the website's most funded campaign ever. 

    Since Pebble's first watch generated buzz about three years ago, companies like Samsung, Motorola, Google, and now Apple have been making smartwatches a priority, too.

    And that puts Pebble in an interesting position with Apple.

    Its product is considered a direct competitor to the Apple Watch, but  it's also a Bluetooth accessory for the iPhone, which means Pebble has to work with Apple while competing against it.

    Recent reports even suggested that Apple's App Store started blocking updates to apps that mention compatibility with Pebble in their description just after the Apple Watch launched. 

    "There's no specific rule book or something," Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky said in a recent interview with Business Insider. "I think they're definitely not going out of their way to make it super easy for us."

    Pebble Time smartwatch

    Migicovsky's Pebble competes with Google's Android Wear smartwatches in the same way, but there's a big difference between working with Apple versus Google. Since Android is inherently more open, it's easier to add new features for Pebble on Android than iOS.

    "I think it would be wonderful if Apple could take more of a proactive and more of a supporting role, a little bit more like what Android has been doing," he said. 

    Android, for example, gives Pebbles developers a level of access that makes it possible for them to build a feature that lets Android Pebble users send dictated voice responses to messages from the watch.

    "I think Apple [doesn't have] much tradition of being open or accessible," he said. "That plays itself out with smartwatches as well."


    Despite Pebble's success, Migicovsky is realistic about the formidable competition Apple brings to the space.

    "Apple will sell more than Pebble and Android combined, and I don’t think anyone is going to beat around the bush and not tell you a pretty straightforward answer on that," he said.

    Apple is estimated to have sold nearly one million Apple Watches in the first day of preorders alone, according to data from Slice Intelligence. Last year, 720,000 Android Wear watches were sold, which includes ones made by LG, Samsung, Motorola, and Google's other partners, according to Canalys. Pebble shipped one million watches in 2013 through the end of 2014.

    What Pebble has going for it, though, is a giant community of followers and developers that love making customized watch faces and apps for its products. This is probably part of the reason Pebble is always so massively successful on Kickstarter. (For context, there are about 7,000 apps and watch faces that work with Pebble watches, while there are about 3,000 apps for the Apple Watch).

    "People can vote with their dollars now, and choose what they want to support," he said. 

    SEE ALSO: I only used the Apple Watch for five minutes, and I'm already impressed

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    NOW WATCH: How to supercharge your iPhone in only 5 minutes


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  • Stunning time-lapse shows what LA skies would look like without pollution

    "Skyglow" shows what Los Angeles' skies would look like without light pollution. The film is a part of a Kickstarter project to raise awareness about light pollution and the ways we can reverse it. The project was put together by time-lapse artists Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinovic

    For more information for the project or to contribute to the campaign visit skyglowproject.com

    Video courtesy of Sunchaser Pictures

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  • There's a funny reason people didn't understand how to use Google when it first launched (GOOG)

    early google employees

    Back in 2000, Google found itself with a strange problem: People were visiting the site's homepage, but they weren't searching for anything.

    The company couldn't figure out why until it went to do a user study at a nearby college, Google HR boss Laszlo Bock writes in his new book, "Work Rules!"

    The reason researchers found was both surprising and funny.

    Users were so accustomed to sites that "flashed, revolved, and asked you to punch the monkey," that they kept waiting for the page to finish loading, former Google employee and current CEO of Yahoo Marissa Mayer said at the time.

    That's why they weren't searching for anything: Google's site was so unorthodox that users got fed up while they thought they were waiting for Google.com to fully load.

    "We wound up sticking a copyright tag at the bottom of the page, not so much because we needed a copyright on the page, but because it was a way to say 'This is the end,'" Jen Fitzpatrick, engineering VP, told Bock. Apparently, that fixed the problem and Google took pride in the fact that it never added ads or other distractions.

    See the difference for yourself.

    Here's Lycos in 2000:


    Here's Excite:


    And now here's Google:Old G

    SEE ALSO: The unconventional way Google snagged a team of engineers Microsoft desperately wanted

    SEE ALSO: Here's how much Google has changed since it first launched

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    NOW WATCH: 8 Tips For Google Search That Will Streamline Nearly Everything You Do


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  • What does the internet 'look' like? 17 pictures that show how people visualize it

    The Internet Mapping Project

    The internet is such a huge part of our lives, but because it's intangible, borderless, ever-changing, it can be hard to describe. 

    Kevin Kelly, executive editor of Wired Magazine, wanted to know how people pictured it, so he started collecting submissions back in 2009. 

    He called his collection the Internet Mapping Project



    All told, Kelly received nearly 200 submissions.

    "I was interested in people's metaphors," Kelly told Business Insider.

    He was initially surprised by how few people included geographical imagery in their drawings.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider


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  • I only used the Apple Watch for five minutes, and I'm already impressed

    Apple Watch

    Last week, I had the chance to play with the Apple Watch for all of about five minutes.

    I had just enough time to get the hang of how to use it, see what apps look like, and mess around with the digital crown.

    Within that short period of time, there were two things that really stood out as impressive: the watch's screen and its digital crown. 

    It's a bit odd to get excited over how sharp and colorful a smartwatch's screen is, since it's tiny and isn't really meant for long-term interaction. I won't spend hours starting at it everyday the same way I would with my phone or tablet. 

    I imagine most people will be using the Apple Watch to check notifications, make sure they're getting their daily exercise, and for summoning the occasional Uber from their wrist — all tasks that warrant a quick glance.

    Regardless, the screen on the Apple Watch looks really good. I was surprised at how bold, detailed, and colorful Instagram photos looked on the watch, especially because I've been skeptical about how useful an app like Instagram would really be on the Apple Watch.

    I still think the screen is a bit too small to really enjoy using Instagram, but that doesn't change how nice the photos looked — even if they were tiny.

    The digital crown is worth mentioning, too. Since the screen is miniature-sized compared to our phones, having something like the digital crown for scrolling becomes really useful.

    You don't need to obscure the screen with your finger while looking through tweets, reading messages, or whatever it is you may be doing. It's easy to use too — I simply rolled my finger over the crown, and the tiny bubbles that make up the watch's app screen slightly shifted. 

    Apple Watch digital crown

    Even though I'm already impressed with the watch's screen and its digital crown, I'm sure there are also plenty of things that could use improvement — I just haven't spent enough time with the watch to discover what those things are. 

    The Apple Watch may be the nicest smartwatch yet, but I'm still struggling to determine exactly why I need one. The convenience of being able to glance down at my wrist to see notifications or check how many steps I've taken within a day isn't enough for me to spend hundreds of dollars on a smartwatch just yet. 

    SEE ALSO: Everything we know about the iPhone 7 so far

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 5 clever iPhone tricks only power users know about


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  • The cofounder and CFO of Box once made an awkward appearance on a reality TV show

    dylan smith millionaire matchmaker

    Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith, cofounders of newly public cloud software company Box, are now worth more than $100 million combined, the Wall Street Journal reports

    Before they achieved fame in the tech world, however, Smith made an appearance as an eligible bachelor on Bravo's "Millionaire Matchmaker" reality show. 

    Box had about 70 employees in Palo Alto at the time (they now have more than 1,500). 

    The episode, which aired in 2010, casts a 24-year-old Smith as a stereotypical wealthy nerd. Matchmaker Patti Stanger goes so far as to call Smith the nerdiest guy she's ever met in her life. 

    "I know it's pretty rare to be a self-made millionaire at 24, but I like to think I'm a pretty smart guy," he says in the episode. "I definitely wouldn't consider myself a typical millionaire. I think most people would consider me a geek, myself included." 

    In an effort to loosen Smith up, Stanger sets him up with a dance coach. Smith shows up to the dance studio in moose pajama pants.

    dylan smith dancing Things get interesting during the dance class.

    dylan smith dancingdylan smith dancing

    Stanger plans a mixer for Smith and another millionaire on the show to meet a group of women and choose one to go on a date with. 

    "I didn't have any specific algorithms in mind," for comparing the girls, Smith says.

    He eventually chooses a 24-year-old woman named Arielle for his date. At dinner, he tells her that he used to play professional Wiffleball and that he's looking for a lead singer for his band. 

    "When I say 'band' I don't mean a real band. I mean a band that is actually a video game that I'm afraid to take out of my own living room," he says. 

    Overall, it seems the date went well. They kiss near the end, and Arielle tells Stanger she'd go out with Smith again.

    He even shows Arielle some of the dance moves he learned. dylan smith dancing

    The date never turned into a lasting relationship, however — Smith married Yael Goshen in 2013. 

    SEE ALSO: How the CEO of guy-rating app Lulu organizes her pink-filled work space

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    NOW WATCH: Barbara Corcoran Explains Why Office Romance Is Fine


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  • The most troubling thing about Russian hackers reading Obama's unclassified emails

    Vladimir Putin ObamaRussian hackers who penetrated sensitive parts of the White House computer system last year read President Barack Obama's unclassified emails, the New York Times reported on Saturday, quoting US officials.

    What makes the intrusion troubling is the content of those emails. 

    Officials conceded to the Times that, "the unclassified system routinely contains much information that is considered highly sensitive: schedules, email exchanges with ambassadors and diplomats, discussions of pending personnel moves and legislation, and, inevitably, some debate about policy."

    The exact content of what the hackers took is being kept secret — so the Russians aren't tipped off to what is known — and people close to the president said that he is careful about emailing outside of the White House system.

    Nevertheless, it's clear from the reporting that the Russians learned some things about the commander in chief.

    "Obama is known to send emails to aides late at night from his residence, providing them with his feedback on speeches or, at times, entirely new drafts," the Times reports. "Others say he has emailed on topics as diverse as his golf game and the struggle with Congress over the Iranian nuclear negotiations."

    The New York Times said the breach had been "far more intrusive and worrisome than has been publicly acknowledged."

    One senior American official briefed on the investigation told the Times, "This has been one of the most sophisticated actors we’ve seen."

    Another senior official added that it's "the Russian angle to this that’s particularly worrisome." 

    Barack Obama BlackberryA White House spokeswoman declined to comment on the report. The White House did confirm the breach earlier this month, saying it took place last year and that it did not affect classified information.

    The Times notes that the president's email account itself and his encrypted Blackberry were apparently not hacked.

    Officials did not disclose the number of Obama's emails that were read by the hackers

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's what it takes to be President Obama's right-hand man


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  • All signs point to Apple announcing a monster earnings report (AAPL)

    tim cook dancing pharrell happy earth day celebration

    Apple reports earnings for the quarter that ended in March after the market closes on Monday, April 27. 

    Get ready for another monster report. 

    Analysts are expecting big iPhone sales and think Apple could provide a major update to its cash return program.

    According to data compiled by Bloomberg, analysts are looking for $56 billion in revenue, which would represent 23% growth.

    Apple's revenue growth is expected to be driven by strong iPhone sales. Analysts are anticipating that Apple sold 58.1 million units, which would be an impressive 33% increase.  

    If Apple sells 58.1 million iPhones, it will be the second-biggest quarter for iPhone sales in Apple's history. Apple's biggest-ever iPhone sales happened during the previous quarter, when it sold 74.5 million iPhones. 

    Just a year ago, people were thinking that Apple's iPhone business might have run its course. Unit growth was down to single digits, and it looked like Apple was going to have to lower prices to reignite growth.

    The newest iPhones are proving to be killers for Apple. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have bigger screens than previous models, which is all it took to make Apple's iPhone sales go nuclear.

    Apple has effectively raised prices on the iPhone. The iPhone 6 Plus costs $100 more than previous models. The iPhone 6 costs just as much as prior models, but many people are gravitating towards the mid-tier storage model, which costs $100 more than the entry-level phone.

    iPhone iPad ASPiPhone sales are all that really matter for Apple's success. However, people will keep an eye on iPad sales, which have tanked in the past year. Analysts are expecting that Apple sold 13.6 million iPads, which would be down 17% on a year-over-year basis. 

    Apple has failed to provide any sort of clear explanation for why the iPad business has cratered. The best explanation seems to be that people are skipping the iPad in favor of iPhones with large screens. The Mac business is also doing well. Analysts expect Apple to sell 4.7 million Macs, which would be up 15%. (So an iPhone + a Mac seems to cutting into iPad sales.)

    iPad SalesThe biggest question surrounding Apple is the Apple Watch. Apple released the Apple Watch on Friday. Preorders looked strong. There are reports Apple is aiming for 20 million units in year one, which would be the biggest Apple product launch in history. 

    However, Apple has already said it's not going to break out Apple Watch sales. Apple may be willing to make a one-time announcement about how many watches it sold, but we aren't expecting anything.

    As for Apple's cash program, there's been chatter that Apple could provide an updated plan on what it's doing with dividends and buybacks. 

    Last year, Apple announced a $130 billion program to return cash to shareholders. Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha thinks that plan gets increased to $200 billion this year. Apple had $155 billion in cash on hand last quarter, so it makes sense to enact a massive share buyback/dividend plan. 

    We'll be covering it live as it happens, so tune in around 4 p.m. NYC time on Monday. 

    Until then, here are the key numbers to watch, via Bloomberg:

    • EPS: $2.14
    • Revenue: $55.96 billion
    • iPhone units: 58.1 million
    • iPad units: 13.6 million
    • Mac units: 4.7 million
    • iPhone ASP: $656
    • iPad ASP: $418
    • Q3 revenue: $46.93 billion

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  • Facebook has a brilliant feature that can help anyone who may be in danger from the Nepal earthquake (FB)

    Facebook wants to use its massive network to help those who may be in danger from the Nepal earthquake with a feature called Safety Check. 

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Saturday that the company activated Safety Check for those affected by the earthquake. 

    "When disasters happen, people need to know their loved ones are safe," he wrote in a Facebook post. "It's moments like this that being able to connect really matters."

    The feature, which was announced in October, is simple and does exactly what its name implies. If you're near a natural disaster, you'll receive a Facebook notification asking if you're safe. Facebook determines your location by looking at the city listed in your profile, or by seeing where you checked in if you use the Nearby Friends feature.


    If you're safe, you can select the "I'm Safe" option, and Facebook will create a Newsfeed story to show your friends and family that you're unharmed. Your friends can also mark you as safe.

    Safety Check also sends you a notification if people you know are in the affected area and have been marked as safe. 

    Here's what Facebook's Safety Check page for the Nepal earthquake looks like. Facebook went through my friends list to tell me that no one I know is in the affected area.


    It looks like at least a few people are using the feature to check on their loved ones.

    The 7.8-magnitude earthquake has killed more than 2,200 people in the region, according to the AP. It's being called the worst earthquake to hit the nation in over 80 years. 

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  • Why Google+ failed, according to Google insiders (GOOG)

    Vic Gundotra Google+

    Last month, Google announced that it's changing up its strategy with Google+.

    In a sense, it's giving up on pitching Google+ as a social network aimed at competing with Facebook. Instead, Google+ will become two separate pieces: Photos and Streams.

    This didn't come as a surprise — Google+ never really caught on the same way social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn did.

    Technically, tons of people use Google+, since logging into it gives you access to Gmail, Google Drive, and all of Google's other apps.

    But people aren't actively using the social network aspect of it. 

    Here's a chart made by blogger Kevin Anderson, which is based on data compiled by researcher Edward Morbis. His research estimates active Google+ users, defined as those that have made a post to Google+ in January 2015. Morbis analyzed sitemaps from Google+ and sampled profile pages based on them to arrive at his conclusions, which he explains in a post on Ello.


    Rumors have been swirling for months that Google would change its direction with Google+. Business Insider spoke with a few insiders about what happened to the network that Google believed would change the way people share their lives online. Google+ was really important to Larry Page, too — one person said he was personally involved and wanted to get the whole company behind it. 

    The main problem with Google+, one former Googler says, is the company tried to make it too much like Facebook. Another former Googler agrees, saying the company was "late to market" and motivated from "a competitive standpoint."

    There may have been some paranoia — Facebook was actively poaching Googlers at a certain point, one source said. Google+ employees within Google were sectioned off, this person said, possibly to prevent gossip about the product from spreading. Google+ employees had their own secret cafeteria called "Cloud," for example, and others on the Mountain View campus weren't permitted.

    "There was definitely an aura of fear for a time," this person said. 

    Another former Googler, however, said the secret cafeteria was just a standard security measure; there are multiple places on Google's campus where only particular employees' security cards can be swiped. This person also said he or she didn't experience any paranoia about Googlers being actively poached by Facebook. 

    Here are some other things we heard from former Google employees:

    • Google+ was designed to solve the company's own problems, rather than making a product that made it easy for its users to connect with others. Google doesn't have to manage a ton of user profiles for its various apps and services. Logging into Google+ connects you to all of Google's products, which is useful. But it didn't yield a social experience that was as simple as those like Facebook or LinkedIn. People had to think about who they wanted to add to circles rather than simply adding someone as a friend on Facebook or adding someone to their network on LinkedIn.
    • One person also said Google didn't move into mobile fast enough with Google+. Facebook, however, realized it was slow to move into mobile and made up for lost time — now most of Facebook's revenue comes from mobile and it owns a bunch of apps. Instead, Google+ focused on high-resolution photos, which were great for desktop experiences and the Chromebook, but took a while to load on mobile.
    • Google+ was a "controversial" product inside Google, according to this person. But that's not too uncommon within Google, since it's a large company with many employees. People have opinions on everything.
    • When Vic Gundotra, who led Google+ and played a big role in creating it, left the company about a year ago, it came as a complete surprise. There was no succession plan, one former Googler said. It was like "here one day and gone the next."

    Although Google+ didn't boom into a massively successful social network, that doesn't mean it completely failed. Google made a solid platform that makes it easy for the millions of people that use its products to seamlessly log in to all of the company's apps. It made a really useful tool for organizing your photos online.

    But it's not a mainstream social network, and it never caught up to giants like Facebook and Twitter in that regard.

    Google declined to provide comment for this story. 

    Have anything interesting to share about Google+ or any of Google's other products? Email leadicicco@businessinsider.com. 

    SEE ALSO: The two words analysts refused to utter on Google's earnings call

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  • It looks like the Apple Watch's screen is nearly indestructible (AAPL)

    If you're thinking about shelling out $550 for the mid-range Apple Watch, you can rest assured that it's going to take a lot to scratch up its screen.

    Consumer Reports just performed a scratch test with the watch, finding that the only pick that successfully inflicted any damage on the screen was made of a material that is rated as 9 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness, a test created in 1812 by German mineralogist Frederich Mohs that characterizes the scratch resistance of various materials as relative to one another. 


    That means it's going to take a really hard material to scratch the Apple Watch — not your keys, or a knife, or most other sharp objects. Diamond is the only material harder than sapphire, according to the scale, which is what the Apple Watch's screen is made of.

    Here's what the watch looked like after Consumer Reports' test with a 9-rated pick: 


    The Apple Watch's sapphire screen fared better than that of the Apple Watch Sport's Ion-X glass display, which was scratched after being scraped with a 7-rated pick by Consumer Reports. The publication notes that the Watch Sport's scratch-resistance was still impressive, however.

    It's not surprising to learn that the Apple Watch's screen is really resistant to scratches. A few days before Consumer Reports' test was released, YouTube reviewer Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy scraped the Apple Watch Sport with various materials. The only one that did some damage was sandpaper, which Consumer Reports says includes a material called corundum that's rated as a 9 on the Mohs Scale. 

    Check out the full video below. 

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  • A great way to look at the tech bubble from a guy that survived the last one

    Dave Goldberg, SurveyMonkey

    Today, Dave Goldberg is known as the CEO of hot startup SurveyMonkey, worth $2 billion as of December when it raised a $250 million round to cash out early investors.

    But during the Internet bubble of the late 1990's he was known as the CEO of Launch Media, a dotcom-era music discovery service that Yahoo bought in 2001.

    When he needed more cash to make his company grow, he took it public, like lots of other dot-coms of the day.

    At the height of the bubble, March 2000, Launch Media was worth about $300 million, Goldberg told us. By the time the sale to Yahoo closed 15 months later, the bubble had burst.

    His stock was down 91%. Yahoo's stock was down 94%. All told the sale was worth about $15 million, he said, which was enough to give a healthy payout to some of the early employees. But "No, it wasn’t a great exit," he said.

    We asked Goldberg how he feels about today's high valuations, which many people believe is Bubble 2.0.

    I don’t know that it's going to be a bubble and that all of these companies are going to go out of business.

    His take? Yes valuations are crazy. No, this isn't incredibly dangerous.

    Business Insider: You went through the first tech bubble. Are we in a bubble now?

    Dave Goldberg: I do think valuations today, they do seem in certain segments to be getting out of control.

    Valuations are getting ahead of themselves because interest rates are still really low and that’s what happens when interest rates are low for a really long time. It's going to impact returns.

    BI: So what are your criteria for a "real bubble"?

    DG: I don’t think we’re seeing what we saw then, which was anything with a "good name" was raising tons of money and there was no business proof.

    These are real companies, most of them, not all of them but the vast majority.  I don’t know that it's going to be a bubble and that all of these companies are going to go out of business.

    I remember in my area, there was a company called MP3.com that was doing something that was clearly illegal [sharing music], with no revenue and was worth a couple of billion.

    And Yahoo almost bought Napster for over $1 billion. That stuff isn’t happening. When we see that sort of thing happening, we can call it a true bubble.

    SEE ALSO: How ditching law school and quitting a bunch of good jobs led Dave Goldberg to tech fame and fortune

    SEE ALSO: The man married to Sheryl Sandberg pulled a 'Sheryl Sandberg laundry' prank

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  • Elon Musk's Twitter account was hacked (TSLA)

    UPDATE: It looks like Musk's Twitter account has been restored.

    EARLIER: Elon Musk's Twitter was hacked late Saturday afternoon. So was the website and Twitter account for Tesla Motors.

    elon musk twitter hacked

    While Tesla's Twitter account has apparently been restored, its website still appears to be down, and now its CEO's Twitter account is hacked, too. Though the parties claiming responsibility offer up different names, it appears to be one coordinated attack on all of Musk's online and social properties.

    It's becoming commonplace to see Twitter accounts get hacked, especially when they're owned by celebrities or big brands. Though for the most part, these kinds of acts are more about defacing property and gaining notoriety than stealing any kind of important information like last year's Sony hack.

    We've reached out to Tesla.

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  • Tesla's website has been hacked (TSLA)

    Tesla Motors' website was hacked on Saturday afternoon. Its Twitter account was hacked as well, though that site appears to be restored.

    This is how TeslaMotors.com looked earlier Saturday afternoon.

    tesla website hacked

    While a group called "RIPPRGANG" claims responsibility for the Twitter hack, the website was apparently hacked by a group called "Autismsquad." It's unclear if these groups are truly different or one and the same, considering the timing of the website and Twitter takeovers.

    It's becoming commonplace to see Twitter accounts get hacked, especially when they're owned by celebrities or big brands. Though for the most part, these kinds of acts are more about defacing property and gaining notoriety than stealing any kind of important information like last year's Sony hack.

    We've reached out to Tesla about the matter.

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