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 of 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.
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?
Being the calm and relaxed spirit that I am, I tend to miss the occasional piece of news. Naturally, I am acutely aware that we're currently under siege by a new virus. Still, I recently stared in disbelief at the empty shelves that used to carry loads of toilet paper and cooled my heels for a total of 40 minutes in the lengthy line at the checkout. The air was tense and conversations brief. I almost felt tempted to ask whether we were at war again. No doubt, the corona virus has found its way into our parts. As a company, we're supposed to keep our cool and that is reflected in our systematic and prudent preparations. Let's take a quick look at Ashampoo, our strategies in dealing with Corona and how we feel about it.
Our web developers at Ashampoo are quite pleasant fellows. Gentle folks with fawn eyes. But even their looks turn to stone once the I word is dropped, i.e. Internet Explorer. For years, IE set the standard, being both a bane and blessing. Whether unadventurous private user or member of an IT staff, Internet Explorer was the gateway to the world-wide web for many. And web developers in their quest to have their websites render correctly more often than not suffered the many awkward development decisions by Microsoft. During my time as a QA clerk, I had to report time and time again that sites that were working fine in Firefox or Safari didn't behave as expected in Internet Explorer. But that's all in the past, since Edge is now built on Chromium! Old name, new underpinnings! So what's new?
Have you heard of PSD2? No? No biggie, many companies seem to be feeling the same way! That's surprising since PSD2 stands for the European Commission's latest payment services directive and will govern all credit and debit card related payment transactions above €30. Third-party payment providers like PayPal are also affected. PSD2 will come into full effect on September 14, 2019 and will usher in a new era of credit card payments. After that, the information usually given on the back of the card (owner, credit card number and security code) will no longer suffice to authorize transactions, making successful credit card theft considerably harder. But, although only a few days away, both credit card companies and banks are currently struggling hard to implement the directive.