BUSINESS

Ashampoo: 21 years of adventure

Sven Krumrey

I recently had a chat with one of our US partners, who mentioned in passing that Ashampoo has now been around for 21 years and has certainly come off age. Since I generally tend to forget anniversaries, I wasn't aware of that. So I took a trip down my Ashampoo memory lane, which has been under construction for 13 years now, and reminisced about how it all started. Every now and then I get emails asking me to tell you more about Ashampoo and the people behind it–so here you go: Brace yourselves for pretty women, volcanoes and software in Low German.

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TECH

Four cellphone apps to prettify your photos

Sven Krumrey

I usually do my photo editing on my home PC. From meticulously placed filters and image parameter adjustments to one-click optimizations, it all depends on my mood and the quality of the photo. When I was recently out and about, to the extent permitted by the current situation, my cellphone was again stretched to its limits. The morning mountain panorama seemed more grayish than mystical, the backlighting was anything but ideal, and I could have taken better care cropping my shots. So I spent a quiet evening in my hotel room to do some prettifying. Here's what I found!

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LIFE

Readly–flat rate news and magazine kiosk at home

Sven Krumrey

Stressfree reading is a cultural act for me. An old book with a massive jacket, my corner armchair, and some mellow music in the background is how I enjoy reading the most. I was never very fond of ebooks, since they're missing the tangible feeling of flipping through the pages and the smell of (old) books in general. As I was recently forced to spend more time at home than usual (you know why!), an ad caught my eye: "Discover thousands of magazines with only one subscription for a fixed price of $9.99 a month." A free trial month was part of the offer–that's how they got me hooked! I'm talking about Readly, and here's what you get.

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LIFE

Tidal: A better Spotify?

Sven Krumrey

Neil Young not only looks a little grumpy in his old years but is also known for being a straight shooter. Naturally, he also has an opinion on streaming offers–most of them are not his thing. He criticized the sound quality in several of his interviews. What he meant is that most services only support lossy audio formats, like AAC, MP3 or Ogg Vorbis, which, although they sound great, don't offer the full lossless audio experience. Enter Tidal, a lesser known rival that seeks to score with hi fi quality. Let's take a look!

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BUSINESS

The end of linear television?

Sven Krumrey

When I was a child, we had magic hours throughout the day. The news were on at 8 pm on the dot, and a must-watch for everyone in the household. If you looked out the window then, you'd see an empty neighborhood of row houses and mostly abandoned yards and patios. In front of a turquoise green background, male and female newscasters read out one piece of news after the other, from a sheet of paper, stoic as stones and without batting an eyelid even in the face of the most devastating of disasters. We learned everything that happened in the world–and hadn't already been covered in the morning paper. Afterwards, it was entertainment shows with hosts dressed in ghastly sports coats or crime series featuring grumpy detectives in their mid-fifties who'd solve murder cases in gray cities. We had a whopping three channels and were anxious to arrange our daily routine around them. But is television finally dying, now that video and streaming portals are successfully stealing their viewers, both young and old?

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