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TECH

A high end cellphone for $150? A Chinese adventure

Sven Krumrey
My beloved Samsung S4 mini hasn't aged well over the years. Buttons are loose, the Android version feels ancient and the battery is on its last legs. What to do? Certainly not spend $600 on a high-end cellphone, my contract didn't warrant any subsidized replacement so I ventured into the legendary realm of China cellphones! The risk: These phones are not made for Western markets and there are no official distribution channels. Read on to learn about the entailing disadvantages and why I've begun to feel slightly paranoid. more
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BUSINESS

Inside Ashampoo: The everyman test

Sven Krumrey
Lately, almost whimsical things have been happening at the desk next to mine. Complete strangers are coming into our office, get placed in front of a PC and are then drilled with questions while using an Ashampoo application. Sometimes, things are more relaxed and you can almost detect a sense of timidity in their clicking but other times it's a clicking frenzy like rapid gun fire. Once that person left, there's always the same questions: "Who was that?" or "What was he doing here?" that are met with responses like "My neighbor.", "A friend." or "A long-time customer from around here.". But what are all these people doing here? more
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LIFE

"Antivirus XY has detected a suspicious program ..." "Shut up!"

Sven Krumrey
There's one piece of news that has our staff gnarl like a pack of raging dogs. It's usually something along the lines of "Antivirus XY has detected a virus in our program YZ". If bad vibes could be turned into energy, we'd be able to power all of Germany! We know the story all too well. At the risk of ruining the punchline: I can assure you that these are always false alerts, we don't distribute malicious code. That doesn't stop antivirus software developers, malware scanners, operating systems or even browsers (!) from happily raising hell whenever one of our applications or applications from other developers are about to be run. To make it brief, there's a race going on, a race for trust - and millions of Dollars. more
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TECH

Windows 10 Upgrade – Free is too expensive?

Sven Krumrey
It's a bizarre situation: Microsoft offers a free upgrade to the latest operating system to its users - and they just say no! Or more precisely: They do upgrade but not in droves as Microsoft had planned. Windows 10 was supposed to run on more than one billion computers soon, that was the goal. At the beginning of 2016, roughly 200 million have installed it. And then Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo's current CEO who used to be a reliable ally, made the situation worse by openly criticizing the many issues especially users of older machines were facing with Windows 10. But Windows 10 still has a lot to offer and runs, to sum up the many tests, quite smoothly. Read on to learn about what you can expect from Windows 10, who really needs the new operating system and what risks are involved! more
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LIFE

The anti-social networks

Sven Krumrey
I'm not a very nostalgic person and I consider "Everything was better in the good old days." utter nonsense. For one thing, everything couldn't have been better because we were offline. But lately, I find myself pondering over how the Internet is changing us if it is changing us at all.
Admittedly, cussing online has been with us since the beginning of the Internet, preferably overblown and vulgar. Online, anything's up for a heated debate and, surprisingly, I've encountered the most heated discussions when the topic was either the keeping of animals or nutrition. How the most amicable of characters can turn into animals and start a holy war when discussing the keeping of cats or the benefits of a vegan lifestyle will most likely be comprehensible to like-minded spirits only. This has the potential to turn into fanaticism and rot people's souls. more
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