Empower your development team with WampServer

If there’s one thing that I know well, its software development and the web.  While its not as easy as some people might think, its tools like WampServer that make things a heck of a lot easier than they could be. WampServer is a web based development environment for Windows, and its easy to use and admin.

Having a reliable development environment for your web apps isn’t just about a decent XML/HTML editor.  You need a web server to help you view your pages and see how they would react in the wild.  WampServer is a Windows web development environment. It allows you to create web applications with Apache2, PHP and a MySQL databases and then test them to insure they function correctly.

The functionality of a web server is to allow for the surfing or browsing of web pages. In order for that to happen, they have to be served up, or made available to the file browser.  This is WampServer’s main function. I’m not going to go into additional details here.  However, from an administration point, which is where Devs and Dev Managers will be concerned, WampServer’s easy to use.

With a left click on WampServer’s tray icon, you will be able to manage your Apache and MySQL services.  This gives your applications access to both web and database services so that specific pages can be displayed and database elements called and written to from them.  You can switch services online or offline, giving access to a broader audience or only to the localhost, or I should say, to yourself.

read full review | download WampServer

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Streaming vs. Download – What Happens when the Cloud Evaporates?

It’s all well and good until the darn cloud is gone…so which is better, streaming or downloading?

The cloud is a wonderful thing, and it can mean and be many different things to many different people.  However, no matter what it is, no matter what it does, the cloud has one big problem.  Users must rely on the internet to get access to it and its resources.

This means different things to different people, depending on your location.  In Europe, with the requirement for ubiquitous 3G coverage throughout the European Union, and with high speed internet coming from cable and satellite providers, people can get access to the cloud and its technology from just about anywhere.  In the US, it’s a little different.

There are still many states that are without complete 3G coverage and, in some cases, without broadband internet.  The problem with all of this is that many new and soon to launch services, like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and iCloud rely on internet access to provide the service.  Slower speed services like dial-up, DSL/ADSL and EDGE don’t handle the download requirements well, and performance of these services over these slower access services, is poor. So, there’s a problem with these streaming services when service is inconsistent.

When service simply stops – i.e. when your network connection is totally interrupted via a power outage or a service outage, when the cloud evaporates – there’s a huge problem.  There is no service.  Without a local copy of whatever resources you’re trying to access, you’re out of luck.

Services like Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and Amazon Prime – those that rely on streaming for service delivery (with or without any kind of local cached data) – aren’t functional when network service is interrupted.  Services like iCloud, which run through iTunes and may have a complete, local copy of the content you are trying to enjoy, may be better, provided they switch to the local copy if communication with the host service is interrupted.  At the very least, you could restart the media and fast forward the audio or video on the local copy to the point you were at on the streamed copy provided you can put your hands on it.

The problem is consistent, high speed network access and the fact that it isn’t available everywhere, all the time.  The problem is also storage space on your PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet.  SD & HD video can often vary in size from about 1GB to 4GB.  When many smartphones and tablets often have 8GB to 16GB of storage to start, it makes it hard to store a complete movie or TV show on your device. If you do, you run the risk of running out of needed space for mail, pictures or other items.

The bottom line is this – until internet access reaches utility status (like water or electricity), users are going to have to choose between using your internet access and streaming content to where ever you are, or carrying it with you. If you stream and you bump into a connectivity problem, you won’t get your content. If you store locally and need space later, you may not be able to add content (like pictures) on the fly.  You’re going to have to be willing to choose one or the other and be aware of its limitations.

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TeamSpeak 3 has been released

Extremely popular around the MMO gamers, TeamSpeak is a VOIP application suitable for voice communication via the Internet. TeamSpeak is created on a platform that offers a client-server architecture where client and server software is clearly separated. This means that the server product runs as a dedicated server, rather than peer-to-peer. In this way the TeamSpeak server software is literally capable of handling thousands of simultaneous clients or users, which results in an Internet-based teleconferencing solution that works for a repertory of different applications such as an alternative to conference calls, cutting long distance telephone costs, or just as a method of personal communication with friends and family.

TeamSpeak 3 is a complete rewrite in C++ and continues the legacy of the original TeamSpeak communication system previously offered in TeamSpeak Classic (1.5) and TeamSpeak 2. Therefore the voice quality has been significantly improved through new codecs, advanced noise reduction and echo cancelation. Also the latency has been significantly lowered compared to TeamSpeak 2 and other voice communication software solutions. Besides the obvious improvements, TeamSpeak 3 comes with a fully integrated 3D sound support which allows spatial placement of sound effects and audio streams. This creates the illusion of a sound source being placed anywhere in three dimensional space, including behind, to the left of, to the right of, above, or below the listener. No special hardware is needed. Simply use your headset or 5.1/7.1 speakers to enjoy spatial sound.

With TeamSpeak 3 you can now connect to multiple voice servers at once. This can be controlled by using “tabs” similar to what is found in most web browsers. In this way you can  administer or participate in multiple TeamSpeak 3 Servers from a single interface. In addition, support for multiple audio devices and outputs over simultaneously connected servers is also available. Preferred servers are now stored as bookmarks, similar to your favorite web browser. TeamSpeak 3 was designed with cutting edge hardware in mind. Thus, it will have full support for the latest G-keys from Logitech in addition to other currently unannounced hardware manufacturers.

Another intersting new addition is the Friends/Foes list. When a friend or foe is added, the TeamSpeak 3 Client remembers your friend or foe’s unique identity regardless of whether they change their display/nickname, and regardless of what server you’re connected to. TeamSpeak 3 allows you to assign a custom nickname to your friends and can play a custom sound event when your friends come online. TeamSpeak 3 also tracks your friends/foes “last seen” date and allows you to permanently mute/ignore your foes.

In order to complete your social experience, Teamspeak 3 features file transfers.  Depending on your permissions, you can recursively upload or download files on a per-channel basis or into a common folder tree. All files are stored directly on the TeamSpeak 3 Server. Users no longer need to worry about how to setup FTP or mess with complicated firewall issues or other file sharing solutions. TeamSpeak 3 makes this automatically.

download TeamSpeak 3 for Windows | download TeamSpeak 3 for Mac

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Simple, powerful, easy to install and manage – BulletProof FTP Server

FTP servers are like hidden gold mines.  All over the internet, FTP servers are caches of some of the best software repositories available. If you like what you see and you want to create your own FTP server and have the required server space and/or custom domain(s), then BulletProof FTP Server 2011 is the software you need to get the job done.BulletProof FTP Server is a powerful FTP Server for business, corporate or even home use. Both easy to use through a fully graphical control method and powerful with control over everything, BulletProof FTP Server has all RFC-959 features plus many other options, such as resuming upload / download, viewing server activity in real time, ban, kick, anti-hammering, ratio, quota group management, event manager, real time stats generator, plus many, many more.

Read the full review | Download BulletProof FTP Server

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TrueCrypt the open-source encryptor

TrueCrypt is a free encryption utility designed to keep your data safe from curios eyes and prevent data theft of destruction. With TrueCrypt you can create three types of encrypted volumes: file-hosted (very useful for DropBox users) ,partition/device-hosted or you can encrypt an entire partition or system drive.

While using the services of any backup provider, you need to secure your data before uploading it on their servers. With TrueCrypt you can encrypt and decrypt your files on your computer, so they’re already encrypted prior to being uploaded. That means the backup company can’t access those files, whatever happens. In order to secure your data, you can choose between several strong AES (Advanced encryption Standard) algorithms such as: Rijndael, Serpent or Twofish with up to 256-bit keys and 128-bit blocks.

TrueCrypt is a little bit hard to set up, because of its open-source character, but its functionality will convince you to carry on using it. The biggest advantage, compared to other similar paid-for products, is that with Truecrypt you can encrypt folders much larger than 2GB. Another advantage is the fact that TrueCrypt comes in three editions, one for Windows users, one for Mac users and one for Linux users, so you are not limited to a single operating system. The program can also be used on removable devices, such as a USB Flash drive. No installation is required on such a device. It is enough to unzip the content of the downloaded archive and copy the directory named ‘Setup files’ onto the removable drive.

read full review | download TrueCrypt

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A new toy for multimedia professionals

Antrica a specialist supplier of Video over IP products has released the ANT-32000A Full HD 1080P30 video server and decoder. The ANT-32000A is the flagship product in a full range of servers and IP cameras. Offering features normally found on products costing several thousand dollars the ANT-32000A starts at prices under $1000. Video or PC images in YPbPr or RGB format can be streamed over a LAN or WAN via the HD SDI or HDMI inputs plus DVI . The ANT-32000A can be configured as an encoder or decoder hence offering the ability to convert Video to IP and back to Video with no PC involved. High quality stereo AAC audio in both directs offers Broadcast, Home entertainment, Digital signage plus many other applications.

A USB port allows for local recording to memory stick or hard disk and power can be external or PoE. Multicast is also supported where many viewing clients will watch the same video stream. The ANT-32000A offers standard streaming protocols to allow other products such as set top boxes to view the streams, RTSP MPEG Transport stream are the main two formats. Using the latest H264 video codec technology, in common with all Antrica products, ensures low bit rates of 4-8MBits/sec for full HD. A Free suite of viewing and recording software is provided or alternatively the video stream may be viewed with Internet Explorer or VLC player.

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Absolute Time Corrector – Not a second late

This program is designed for people who really care about the time setting on their computer, or on the computers from their network. If you consider that you should at all times keep your system time synchronized and precise, ATC does an excellent job.

Absolute Time Corrector

read full review Download Absolute Time Corrector

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Send files at the fastest speed without worrying about size, broken downloads or the issue of failed transfers

I was recently trying to send a large file over the Internet to a friend when I discovered that a simple task that should be piece of cake can become sometimes a real headache. I’m not necessarily talking about slow file transfers (via my instant messaging client), I’m talking about the issue of failed transfers. Thankfully, while searching for a solution, I came across a great program called HTF – HTTP File Server.

You can find out more by reading the full review of HFS or downloading HFS.

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