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TECH

Meltdown and Spectre: the great processor disaster

Sven Krumrey
As a computer scientist, I deal with security vulnerabilities on a daily basis since the perfect operating system has just not been found yet - but this time I almost spilled my tea when I read the news. This issue was different and it affected the core of all computer calculations: the processor itself. And it wasn't just any processor that was vulnerable but practically all of them whether they were built into PCs, cellphones or servers all over the world. This time, the remedy wasn't a simple browser patch. Every operating system had become unsafe taking the wind right out of the sails of Apple users who like to point their fingers at the supposedly inferior security of Windows systems. They were all in danger. Even those who owned none of the CPUs listed couldn't just sit back and relax because the servers that host and process all of our data could also be affected. Read on to learn what happened and how manufacturers are dealing with the dire situation. more
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LIFE

The Ashampoo blog team wishes you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2018!

Sven Krumrey
I just looked at my inbox. There were a few nice comments from you on the most recent blog article, a couple of colleagues who're heading off on vacation and - nothing else. Only a week ago, everyone at Ashampoo was firing on all cylinders to tackle this year's last program releases and the mood was tense. Now, a little peace and quiet has returned. Offices are mostly understaffed and the few who remain casually chat about the schedule for the coming year. As I return to my workplace, a cherished female colleague has lit the candle that has been in my office since the beginning of December, unnoticed - Christmas must be just around the corner. more
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LIFE

Offline Christmas shopping - a self-experiment

Sven Krumrey
I recently read about the precarious situation retailers across the country are facing today. The articles conjured up the image of gray and lifeless inner cities with only a couple of hairdressers, knick-knack stores and bakeries able to brave the exodus. At the same time, package delivery services are buckling under an ever increasing barrage of packages. What would it take to keep me from ordering my gifts from Amazon and others online and instead make my purchases downtown? more
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TECH

Can a smartphone replace your digital camera?

Sven Krumrey
I recently saw the news that Nikon is shutting down a huge production plant in China as of now. The reason was unusually clear: the market for digital cameras had shrunken too much thanks to the victory march of smartphones and the plant had gotten into a little pickle as a result. If you look at Canon, who had a truly miserable year in 2016, and then check out the cameras even highly affordable smartphones come with nowadays, you might wonder whether the end of the glorious age of digital cameras has finally come. Will specialists and enthusiasts be the only ones to still use digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) in 2018? more
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TECH

The return of Firefox

Sven Krumrey
In the life of a tech aficionado, there are many old favorites, i.e. programs you stay faithful to even in the presence of better alternatives. For years, my favorite browser has been Firefox. Not owned by a large corporation, reasonably fast and with support for countless good extensions, Firefox was my go-to-browser until, eventually, sand got in the gears. The visuals hadn't been updated for years, display errors kept coming up and the speed was hardly on par with the available alternatives. I made the switch and, with a heavy heart, put Firefox on the scrap heap along with my old love, Netscape. Did I grieve too soon? Version 57 promises nothing less than a revolution. Is this the return to its old strength? more
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