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TECH

The end of Windows 7

Sven Krumrey

At times, it seems the immense success associated with a product can turn out to be a curse in disguise. Case in point: Microsoft Windows 7. The company's latest OS incarnation seems doomed to always be perceived as second best, with Windows 10 only claiming a marginal lead over Windows 7 during Christmas sales in 2018. No matter how hard Microsoft has tried, many Windows 7 users still refuse to make the switch. January 14, 2020, will mark the end of extended support for the popular OS. The date has been known for years but what does it mean for end users? After said date, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates for Windows 7 by default, leaving millions of PCs vulnerable, should new security leaks be discovered. Users now have a year to think about alternatives.

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LIFE

Deepfakes: Don't believe your eyes!

Sven Krumrey

Forgery has been around since time immemorial. Comrades who had fallen out of grace with Stalin were removed from pictures, models are given a wasp waist and aunt Tilda suddenly loses weight via Photoshop. It's therefore fair to say digital images should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism. So far, videos have proven more resilient to manipulation, and if they were tampered with, the changes were easy to spot. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have now developed a method that may usher in a new era of forgery. Artificial intelligence now autonomously creates fakes that leave me speechless.

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LIFE

The Ashampoo blog team wishes you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2019!

Sven Krumrey

It's been three hours since I last heard voices outside. Since then, no one rushed past my office and the parking lot is visibly more empty than usual. It seems, most have survived this years Christmas party (though some livers may need more time to fully recover) and all remaining deadlines are in 2019. Offices are abandoned and Advent calendars emptied. Even the obligatory smell of coffee is missing. Soon, the last light will go out at Ashampoo headquarters and quiet will settle in for a few days.

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TECH

The end of Microsoft browsers as you know them

Sven Krumrey

As early as last week, a spicy rumor has been making the rounds on the Internet that led to lively discussions in many Christmas-ready offices. Would Microsoft really do it? Are we witnessing the end of an era that has had its fair share of successes, downfalls and desperation? Can you imagine a Mercedes with a BMW engine? Last Friday, it became official: Microsoft will base their next browser on Chromium. How did this happen and what does it mean for you?

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LIFE

Music streaming: easy money for artists?

Sven Krumrey

In 2014, the music industry experienced an unprecedented crisis. World-wide music sales plummeted to 14 billion dollars, 11 billion less than in 1999. In the past, the biggest threats to music sales were bootlegs and radio recordings. Today, it's the internet. There used to be a time when users could simply search for "top 100 charts download" online and find a dozen sites with downloadable songs. But with €10 music flat rates and giant song collections, music streaming has slowly taken over the market. So can it save the industry, as many believe?

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