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Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Ultra HD: a product test

Sven Krumrey
20 Comments
Streaming is gradually replacing traditional TV (especially for younger viewers). Amazon Prime, Netflix, Spotify and many other services offer around-the-clock entertainment. Let's take a closer look at what is likely the most popular piece of streaming hardware: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Ultra HD. Compared to its somewhat sluggish predecessors, this device is said to deliver lag-free 4K and decent processing speeds at an attractive price point (usually $50, $25 on sale). Reason enough to order one and put its through its paces! more
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$200 for nothing–fleeceware: a new threat

Sven Krumrey
12 Comments

Do you remember the scene where Indiana Jones is chased by a giant boulder threatening to crush him? Think of the boulder as major Ashampoo projects and me as Indiana Jones–but less agile and with somewhat rusty hips. That's what it's been like around here recently! And every boulder caught me straight on! The blog was the first victim of this deadline frenzy and, though it hurt, there was nothing I could do about it. Naturally, a lot has happened during my forced absence as blog writer so let's start with a particular crummy topic that could potentially cost cellphone users hundreds of dollars each month: fleeceware!

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Virtual reality with Oculus Quest—a self-experiment

Sven Krumrey
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For as long as I can remember, virtual reality (VR) has been a dream of many creative minds, and movies like "Avatar" have given this idea mainstream appeal. I, on the other hand, find myself standing very visibly in one of Ashampoo's kitchenette, wearing glasses and frantically waving controllers around. Wandering virtual worlds invisible to outsiders always exposes yourself to a little bit of ridicule. Still, the physical effort pays, as the Oculus Quest, that I'm putting through its paces for you today, is a fairly intriguing piece of entertainment technology. No longer do you need a beefy PC and spread sensors around your room to experience VR. Grab a pair of glasses, a controller and off you go!

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One for all—a new type of OS

Sven Krumrey
37 Comments

The trade war between the US and China is raging on, and it's prompting both parties to look for ways to reduce their mutual economic dependency. In the IT sector, one of the biggest bargaining chips is the declaration of a national emergency concerning telecommunication, as already done by president Trump. This decree can, and already has been, used to ban Chinese companies from cooperation with US companies. And it has become painfully obvious that companies like Huawei, so far, don't have viable alternatives once they're cut off from cooperation with Alphabet/Google. Naturally, the most prestigious Chinese company didn't take this lying down, which is why Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei, recently presented an operating system poised to run on virtually every device, including cellphones, tablets, TVs and cars. Enter Harmony OS.

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Forced Windows 10 updates – is update 1903 worth it?

Sven Krumrey
47 Comments

Microsoft sure are having a hard time with their customers. Their trust is limited, they have ample bad experience with purported software "enhancements" and they dislike being surveyed. This becomes particularly apparent once new Windows updates are about to be rolled out. Many users like their systems the way they are (and fear that updates will cause issues). On the other hand, Microsoft want a consistent OS level across their user base to facilitate future modifications. And since Microsoft are calling the shots, they are about to force updates down our throats.

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