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TikTok: a billion users but hardly any criticism?

Sven Krumrey

There's a new star in the fast-paced world of social media and it's taking the hearts of millions upon millions of kids and teens by storm. It's name is TikTok and it just smoked WhatsApp in terms of download figures for 2019. ByteDance, the company behind the app, consider their users part of a cheerful and creative community with few cases of critical content. Data privacy advocates and journalists beg to differ and warn against potential censorship, lackluster youth protection and the long arm of the Chinese government. ByteDance have admitted to some mistakes and are now fighting to regain the trust of their users.

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Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Ultra HD: a product test

Sven Krumrey
Streaming is gradually replacing traditional TV (especially for younger viewers). Amazon Prime, Netflix, Spotify and many other services offer around-the-clock entertainment. Let's take a closer look at what is likely the most popular piece of streaming hardware: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Ultra HD. Compared to its somewhat sluggish predecessors, this device is said to deliver lag-free 4K and decent processing speeds at an attractive price point (usually $50, $25 on sale). Reason enough to order one and put its through its paces! more
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For our 20-year anniversary: An interview with founder Rolf Hilchner

Sven Krumrey
Ashampoo's turning 20! Instead of throwing a huge party, we've moved into our new headquarters! Still, it's a great opportunity to look back on how it all began–from our humble beginnings in an extended corner office to the modern software company we are today. more
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$200 for nothing–fleeceware: a new threat

Sven Krumrey

Do you remember the scene where Indiana Jones is chased by a giant boulder threatening to crush him? Think of the boulder as major Ashampoo projects and me as Indiana Jones–but less agile and with somewhat rusty hips. That's what it's been like around here recently! And every boulder caught me straight on! The blog was the first victim of this deadline frenzy and, though it hurt, there was nothing I could do about it. Naturally, a lot has happened during my forced absence as blog writer so let's start with a particular crummy topic that could potentially cost cellphone users hundreds of dollars each month: fleeceware!

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Virtual reality with Oculus Quest—a self-experiment

Sven Krumrey

For as long as I can remember, virtual reality (VR) has been a dream of many creative minds, and movies like "Avatar" have given this idea mainstream appeal. I, on the other hand, find myself standing very visibly in one of Ashampoo's kitchenette, wearing glasses and frantically waving controllers around. Wandering virtual worlds invisible to outsiders always exposes yourself to a little bit of ridicule. Still, the physical effort pays, as the Oculus Quest, that I'm putting through its paces for you today, is a fairly intriguing piece of entertainment technology. No longer do you need a beefy PC and spread sensors around your room to experience VR. Grab a pair of glasses, a controller and off you go!

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