CyberLink Media Suite – All You Need to Enrich Your Digital Life

CMS10If you’re like me, then you have digital media coming out of your ears – photos, music, video – and more coming nearly every day. It’s not always easy to manage when items are coming at you from all directions. That’s one of the reasons why I like CyberLink Media Suite. It’s a media management tool for Windows.

CyberLink Media Suite is a 10-in-1 software suite featuring PowerDVD for movie playback, PowerDirector for video editing, PowerProducer for DVD authoring, Power2Go DVD burner and 7 other, additional CyberLink apps, including CyberLink WaveEditor for editing your digital audio. It’s an all-in-one DVD & Blu-ray Media suite that allows users to view and work with HD content, including Blu-ray.

One of the biggest things in HD TV as of late is 3D. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of 3D content out there to be had. With PowerDVD, you can use TrueTheater 3D to transform 2D Blu-ray videos into 3D movies in real time. PowerDVD also works wonders for SD DVD’s, too. TrueTheater HD up-converts your DVD’s and vides to near-HD quality. Your SD movie collection is now free of pixilation and other distracting artifacts.

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If you have an HD video camera, PowerDVD is the ultimate media player for viewing your HD videos right on your PC. You can watch AVCHD home videos captured on your camcorder or MKV and FLV files. PowerDVD also supports two new 3D formats – MVC Transport Stream 3D (M2TS) and MK3D – in addition to MVC 1080i 3D PowerDVD also supports quality of 5.1 channels Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD soundtracks for truly HD quality entertainment

When it comes to your digital photo collection, CyberLink Media Suite has you covered there too. You can use MediaShow to organize all of your photos and home videos. You can sort items by date, album or people. MediaShow automatically organizes your photos and videos into a calendar view by the date they were shot.

Once in MediaShow, you can use its FaceMe technology to identify and tag people in your collection. The app is surprisingly accurate. Once faces are tagged, MediaShow makes it easy to locate every photo that a person appears in.

Download CyberLink Media Suite

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iOS 6.1 Update Released – Issues and Confusion

ios-6.11As with any OS update, confusion and issues are popping up with Apple’s release of iOS 6.1

As a member of Apple’s iOS Developer Program I was made aware of their rare weekend beta 5 release of iOS 6.1. The release, among other things was supposed to help resolve issues with Apple Maps as well as a few other issues. The update officially addressed the following:
LTE support for more carriers
Purchase movie tickets through Fandango with Siri (USA only)
iTunes Match subscribers can now download individual songs from iCloud
New button to reset the Advertising identifier
The full release notes can be found here. Where the API updates for Apple Maps, originally made available to developers on 28-Jan-13, one of the original components thought to be a part of this update are, no one knows. As you can see above, the official release notes make no mention of it. Though honestly, that’s a developer feature and not something that many consumers might understand the value in.

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Apple recently had said that “many updates” to Maps have already been “released.”  The reason why you haven’t heard anything about them is because the “updates” weren’t programmatic. They were data related.

So, you “got” the most recent Maps “update” when you downloaded the map data as you were navigating from A to B or searching for “X marks the spot”.  Apple doesn’t normally tout data updates like this, so you never would have known, if Apple Maps and its data wasn’t such a freakin’ train wreck to begin with…

iOS 6 also introduced the Advertising Identifier. This non-permanent, non-personal hardware identifier is used by advertisers to track users. iOS 6 gives you the ability to control this with an On/Off button at Settings-General-About-Advertising. iOS6 introduced the switch. iOS 6.1 introduced a way to reset the identifier. Its effectively the same thing as clearing out your browser history and cookies on your Mac or PC. It’s really as simple as that.

It seems as though iPod Touch users are also experiencing issues related to iOS 6.1 The latest report from Apple Insider indicates that “iTouch” users are having problems downloading the update. When they try to pull the update down, many are receiving an error message stating that their “iTouch” isn’t connected to the internet and the update “failed verification,” even though they appear to have a strongly connected device. According to Apple Insider, this issue was encountered during Saturday’s beta 5 release as well.

From what TeamBYTE sees out of this update, some of us aren’t entirely certain the update warrants a full point upgrade. There’s something going on over at Apple related to software development. They wanted to take a longer time with iOS 6.1, and they did. Beta 1 was released in November 2012. However, as a seasoned and experienced software development and testing professional, its clear to me that Apple needs to do more in this area; or at the very least needs to market the update a bit better.

The “need” for this update was the sucky release of Apple Maps. If Apple’s iOS 6.1 update didn’t resolve this, they need to say something about how and when they will address it. Appearing more proactive than they are here can only help them. Ignoring the issue – mashing it down into a hard, cold little ball in the pit of your stomach isn’t going to make you forget that the app sucks or that there’s a huge disconnect between what I’m searching for, and how I want my iPhone to take me there.

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BitTorrent and Sync

bittorrentBitTorrent Inc. has released a new application that allows users to securely sync folders to multiple devices using the BitTorrent protocol. The free application has no storage limits and can serve both as a public backup system and a shared drive. BitTorrent Sync is especially efficient for groups who need to share many large files over the Internet.

The latest release form BitTorrent Inc. is an exciting and innovative application that provides users with the ability to synchronize their folders to a wide range of devices, simply by implementing the BitTorrent protocol. What are the benefits of this new application? Well, for one there are no limitations when it comes to storage – which gives users the multiple benefits of using Sync for shared drive purposes and as a public backup system. Essentially, this means that users with the desire and the need to share files across various devices have access to a practical, speedy and reliable form of distribution.

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If this sounds a tad familiar though, that’s because it is. BitTorrent is using similar technology to that of certain cloud services like Dropbox, iCloud, and Skydrive. The difference, however, is pretty clear. This is simply that there isn’t any third-party that has access to the files that are being shared, the storage is effectively unlimited and transfer services are rapid. It’s about time that BitTorrent introduced a productive way to backup and synchronise files across various devices – as BitTorrent have never really enjoyed this kind of service until now.

Sync implements a peer-to-peer platform. This means that users of the program will rely on each other for the sharing of their files, as opposed to any centralized infrastructure. This will add to the already rapidly growing peer-to-peer market that has dominated the Internet. Statistically, peer-to-peer transfers take up over 40% of the data being transferred across the net. With the cost effectiveness of this platform, more and more content owners and distributors are taking advantage of it – meaning its market domination is only likely to grow.

Legal issues surrounding peer-to-peer transfer are complicated, as the files being transferred will often make reference to copyrighted content – this means that the implemented peer-to-peer platform is often said to be synonymous to piracy. BitTorrent has established a completely decentralized network with the intention of transferring files in an effective and practical way – which raises problems in relation to existing laws within the market. The law has raised issues in terms of the liability of the BitTorrent protocol. Regardless, the amount of users making use of peer-to-peer sharing networks continues to grow.

 

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Keep your PC safe with one of the best security app – AVG Internet Security

AVG Internet SecurityComputing is complicated these days. With viruses, worms, phishing and all other kinds of malware out there, keeping your PC clean and your private data private, isn’t easy. That’s why I really like AVG Internet security. It’s a PC antimalware and security app for Windows.

AVG Internet Security provides 100% virus detection. Its scanning engine has received numerous awards for its detection of previously unknown viruses. Its unique combination of detection methods provides full protection against viruses, worms and Trojans.

AVG Internet Security has cutting-edge anti-spyware technology. It uses the latest, state-of-the-art detection technology, so spyware, adware, DLL-Trojans, key loggers, and much more don’t live long on your PC. Malware hidden in data streams, archives, or the Windows registry are also detected. Its powerful Resident Shield provides maximum protection by scanning every file opened, executed, or saved. It also prevents the opening or executing of infected files. For your protection, files can be included or excluded from being scanned based on individual file extensions; and can handle exceptions for potentially unwanted programs such as adware.

AVG Internet Security

AVG provides full email protection and checks every e-mail sent or received. It can protect your computer from any and all e-mail-borne threats; and includes spam and phishing protection and filtering. AVG supports all leading e-mail clients, including MS Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, The Bat!, Eudora, and all other SMTP/POP3-based e-mail clients, such as Outlook Express; and supports encrypted connections using SSL.

AVG Internet Security is one of the best internet suites available on the internet today. If you’ve got a home network, you have complete control over all network access. Its built in firewall monitors all communication to and from your computer, blocking external attacks and preventing Trojans from stealing confidential data. Its configuration wizard automatically creates access rules for all popular software and can switch profiles automatically, based upon the current connection type (LAN to Wi-Fi and back), ensuring seamless changeover for notebooks. If you don’t have an internet security suite, this is a great choice.

Download AVG Internet Security

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TweetDeck – Take complete command of your Twitter account

Take complete command of your Twitter account with this easy to use Windows app.

Social networking is huge and hot right now. If you active on any major social network, you’re likely active on more than one. Part of being social requires that you broadcast to as wide an audience as possible. This is why I like tools like TweetDeck. It’s a social networking tool for Windows.
TweetDeck is a social networking tool for both Facebook and Twitter. It shows you everything you want to see, all at once, so you can stay on top of the happenings within your social networks. Its social media dashboard helps you manage all of your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Like other Twitter apps, it interfaces with the Twitter API to allow users to send and receive tweets, view profiles as well as update and view your FB Status and Timeline.

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TweetDeck changed from an Adobe AIR application to native apps for both Windows and Mac OS X. there’s a web version of TweetDeck for WebKit-based browsers. The app’s most drastic update dropped support for other social networks like LinkedIn, Google Buzz, Foursquare, and MySpace. Clearly missing still is support for Google+. TweetDeck is a decent app, and you can’t beat its price. However, earlier versions were clearly more popular with users; and it would be nice if it included support for a few other networks.

Download TweetDeck

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Google Drive – A Foggy Cloud Experience

I’m in the middle of a love-hate relationship with Google Drive…

Google-DriveI’ve been living in the cloud for quite some time. I’ve had my Outlook contacts syncing with Plaxo since 2003 or so. I’ve also had accounts on Microsoft SkyDrive, Drop Box, and LiveDrive.  In some way, I’ve found all of these services wanting. But make no mistake, I’m very comfortable with my data in The Cloud. If you think about it, its very much like the dumb terminal-mainframe/mini computer model that everyone started using back in the 1970’s or so.

Most recently, I’ve switched to Google Drive; and there are some specific reasons for that. First and foremost, it works at the office.  The company I work at allows Google services through the firewall, and Google Drive works through Google’s standard Google Account authentication. None of the other client solutions I’ve used work the way they’re supposed to at the office. They’re all blocked.  Secondly, its nice to be able to have important files accessible on any the hard drive of connected machine, where and when I use them.

The biggest plus I have with the service is also the biggest problem I have – the client app. It keeps on crashing at the office.

The office PC runs Windows XP SP3; and while that’s hugely antiquated – its 3 major OS revisions (not releases) behind (Windows 7, Windows 7 SP1, and Windows 8) – it is what the organization trusts and is supporting as a whole throughout the enterprise.  I think Google Drives WinXP support is a bid dodgy. When Google Drive does crap out – and it errors out at LEAST once a day, if not more – I either get an error from Google Drive saying that its encountered an error and needs to close or Explorer itself crashes.

The first error is easy to recover from. All I have to do is restart Google Drive.  The second isn’t.  I have to wait for Windows to recover and then I have to bounce the PC.  If I don’t, I can’t access all of the previously running programs or System Tray extensions. The PC also becomes rather unstable.  This usually comes about because I’ve tried to browse to a deep, nested folder on my hard drive.

One of the things that I’ve learned to do is to quit the Google Drive client app before I browse my PC for files.  There’s no other way to prevent the app from erroring out.  Since the Windows 7 PC I have, doesn’t experience the problem, the only thing I can assume is that is related to the OS.  My Mac also doesn’t have client issues.

I’m not sure if Google plans on doing anything about it, but my gut tells me no. Unfortunately, that leaves me with a very foggy Cloud based experience with my data.  I just hope that the errors I know I’m going to bump into don’t damage my data.

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Keep your web surfing habits private with Ultrasurf

UltrasurfProtecting your privacy while surfing on line is a big problem, and something that we take seriously here at Soft32. This is the biggest reason why we like applications like Ultrasurf. It’s a privacy application for windows that helps keep your surfing habits secret.

Ultrasurf provides strong privacy protection with none of the confusing setups of other proxy tools. You’ll be ready to privately and securely surf the internet with Ultrasurf’s fast, private proxies moments after installation finishes. Ultrasurf is very easy to configure.

When you launch this program for the first time, Ultrasurf loads Internet Explorer automatically. Thankfully, it also supports other browsers. Ultrasurf has a very simple interface with Home, Retry, Option, Help, and Exit buttons. However, its golden lock icon, which showed up on our Windows Taskbar after we started the program, is a bit awkward. However, we were able to hide it.

Ultrasurf

If you like to protect your privacy or can’t access certain Web sites due to censorship, Ultrasurf will be the easiest gateway for you. It doesn’t have a lot of options, but it does what it’s designed to do.

Overall, Ultrasurf is very easy to use and page-loading time while browsing is fast. Its ideal for people who don’t know much about how proxies work. You don’t have to assign any port numbers or play with the features in order to hide your IP address. Those who are familiar with proxy servers can also change their settings manually if they wish.

Download Ultrasurf

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Free CUDA Video Converter

FCVC03Edit nearly any and all video formatted files for use on your mobile device with this must have, free Windows utility.

Bringing your multimedia content to a point of usefulness isn’t always easy. Changing or upgrading computing platforms and operating systems can be a challenge to content interoperability. Sometimes, content that plays on one computer won’t on another, especially if you’re moving content across OS platforms. This is one reason why I really like CUDA Video Converter. It’s a multimedia content converter for Windows.

CUDA Video Converter converts your videos into different audio and video formats. It has an easy to use interface; and figuring out how to do what you want or need to do is easy to determine. You get additional features, besides just the standard conversion codecs that the app is famous for.

CUDA Video Converter also includes the ability to Clip, Merge and Edit video as well. The features in Clip and Merge allow you to copy and paste scenes from different files into a single file and to edit out the unneeded/unwanted footage. Edit gives you access to special effects, including image flip and cropping.

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This software was easy to download and install. It also uninstalls well. The free version of the app is good, and is also upgradable to the paid version of the software, though the free version has a few buttons and options faded out. If you’re looking for something that allows you to do format/ codec conversions, basic editing, and formatting. The app is fairly easy to use, and offers a great deal for its price point (free).

Download Free CUDA Video Converter

 

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