Thank you for reading DVD Catalyst Newsletter 99.
The new www.dvdcatalyst.com website is live ! Months in the making, this week it was finally time to “release” it. Along with the website, considering the magnitude of a website update, I also updated DVD Catalyst 4 to v4.4. Of course, more about both of that later.
Lets start with this weeks
It’s not “big brother” that we have to watch out for when it comes to privacy, but more about the people around you.
While attending a conference, a few guys were joking around with eachother, and someone that was standing close-by felt somewhat offended about the jokes, and decided to, rather than just saying something to them, take a picture of them and tweet her grief to her twitter account.
This started a snowball effect, with the guys being escorted off the conference, and as a result, one of them got fired. From there things continued and resulted in the tweeter geting fired from her job as well.
With services like Twitter, Facebook, texting and even XBOX Live providing direct communication with friends (and family), no matter where they are, are we, as a society, getting so uncomfortable with direct human interaction that the only way we communicate is through technology?
I’m sure this isn’t the first time something like this happened, but it sure did get some attention.
All of this could have been avoided by simply talking to eachother, but instead, it was an un-personal approach that was put to use to “handle” this.
Internet Slowdown, Spamhaus vs Cyberbunker.
This week, a battle between an anti-spam company and a company commonly associated with sending spam has been causing havoc on the internet. You might have experienced email issues or slower internet speeds than usual.
I hate spam and malware as much as anyone, but I also have had my run-ins with these so-called “security companies”.
Companies with an integration into the internet such as Spamhaus (a lot of internet providers use them) have a large impact with everything they do.
Similar as some of the big-name virus scanners such as Symantec/Norton and McAffee, when they mark something as bad, even by mistake, which only takes a matter of seconds, it can bankrupt a company. One such trigger will resonate across the world.
I have had it in the past, where either Norton or McAffee falsely detected something bad in DVD Catalyst, and of course received a lot of questions from existing customers as a result.
Once even my website was falsely flagged (McAffee Security Advisor), and it took me a number of months to get removed from their black list.
For them, a small human error, for me, loss of income and a damaged reputation.
Communication between a victimized company and the security company is like pulling teeth. The times that I had to deal with them, their support departments force me to install a trial version (and with some you need to provide creditcard details in order to install) of the software in question and use the build-in submission service to get it resolved.
Of course mistakes can be made, but when these companies have complete control over what people run on their computers, it should be a lot easier (and faster) for the affected companies to get their issues resolved.
DVD Catalyst News:
A big week this week. A completely new website, and a big update-release of DVD Catalyst.
Let me start with the release notes for DVD Catalyst 4 v18.104.22.168:
Quite a big jump this time, going from v4.2.6 to v22.214.171.124, but it was needed.
For the last 8 or so months, I have had a public beta of DVD Catalyst 4.3 available along-side the official version with its main purpose the testing of the new “Boosterpack 2″ conversion engine. This particular engine-set in DVD Catalyst has as its main purpose the includion of support for newer video and audio formats, and is of course used for the majority of video file conversions, and, if you have the requirements mentioned in the Bluray Guide, Blu-ray as well. Everyone who has used the beta for these types of conversions and reported back to me, mentioned that it has been working great, and fixed issues related to the “older” engine.
With this version, the Public Beta is officially over, and the new engine has become a permanent part in DVD Catalyst.
This particular DVD Catalyst update happened at the same time as the new website. Because the website has been re-created from scratch to make it as easy to navigate as possible, many support shortcuts in DVD Catalyst were no longer accurate, so with this release those are also modified to point to the new locations.
Partially due to a new method of guides on the new website, I added a collection (600+) of new profiles, including new and upcoming devices as well as a collection of older ones that some people are still using. I also included a bunch of lesser-known branded devices.
Lately I have been getting a lot of questions for settings for streaming solutions such as PS3 Media Server, TVersity and Plex, and media-center apps like XBMC, so I added some high-quality profiles for those as well.
With the profiles added in this update, and the ones added since DVD Catalyst’s original 4.0 release, startup-time has been affected a bit, so with this release, since I had to rebuild the dll’s to include the new engine set, I put quite a bit of time into tweaking the startup time to be a bit faster.
These tweaks also enabled me to reduce the memoryload of DVD Catalyst quite a bit, so more of your system is available for the conversion. Especially on older or lower-end systems, this should make things a bit more snappy.
In addition to that, a few visual tweaks have been applied as well. The splash-screen now has the new website logo and the DVD Catalyst installer has been redone and made to look more of this century.
Onto the new website.
The www.dvdcatalyst.com website has been a bit of a battle for me. After using it for quite a few years, the hosting company I was using back then lost my domain in 2008. I setup a new website on www.tools4movies.com, and have been using that since.
Last June, I managed (with a bit of a battle) to get the www.dvdcatalyst.com domain back. The Tools4Movies website worked great, but the information on it was a bit hard to find, so with a fresh slate, I started to re-organizing the tools4movies information on www.dvdcatalyst.com.
Since then, I’ve been maintaining 2 completely different websites, for the same products, and of course resulted in confusion, and information on one but not the other.
For the last couple of months, I’ve been working on getting everything together, writing new guides, rewriting old ones, organizing things, eliminating old stuff etc, and this week it was time to replace both old sites with the one new www.dvdcatalyst.com.
The core idea behind it all is to make things as easily accessible as possible. While I am always quick with answering questions, we all don’t like waiting, so whatever I could think of that would be useful and applies to the current version of DVD Catalyst (I even went through about 7 years(!) worth of support questions) I added to the website.
Information that relate to each other are grouped or cross-linked, so rather than having to look all over, the information is quite easy to find.
Earlier today a friend asked me about so-called Mobile Hotspots. I looked into them a while ago to see if it would be something I’d use, but it just doesn’t justify the price.
Of course I can see the use for such a box, being able to use work with your laptop/ultrabook or tablet when you are camping or something similar, but at $10 per GB (on average), it just seems a bit much to be useful on a regular basis.
Do you use a Mobile Hotspot, alongside a smartphone?
Another question I got this week was for advise between an Android tablet (Galaxy Note 10.1 in this case) or a Surface Pro.
Unfortunately, there is no direct answer to that. Each tablet has its advantages and disadvantages, and it all dependa on what you intend to do with it.
Between the Note 10.1 and the Surface Pro, the build quality of the Surface is a lot better. While Android has a lot more mobile-optimized apps and games, the Surface Pro has the ability of running full-blown desktop apps. The basic stuff as well as pro-apps like Photoshop, AutoCAD, and lets not forget the Android App Player, BlueStacks.
So with the Surface Pro, you are able to do everything you already do on your computer, without any compromise.
But, on the other side, an Android tablet such as the Galaxy Note features a considerably longer battery-life. Playing a game on the Surface Pro, and after about an hour and a half you start looking for a power-outlet, and the Android tablet, like an Energizer bunny, keeps on going for another 7+ hours.
Arrow TV show (and others)
If you have been reading the newletter for a while, you might remember me mentioning that I like the Arrow TV show. I still do, but I don’t like it when these studios do stops.
I have a hard enough time in keeping interest in TV shows on a weekly basis and usually watch my shows after a season is complely over, so for these media companies to do random skips, either a winter break or just skip a week for some reason is just making me lose interest.
I used to watch Arrow at the same night it was aired. Usually I let the Tvi get a bit of a head start and watch half an hour or so after it starts to be able to skip commercials, but I have even started at the actual time and endured the commercials.
Now, thanks to these breaks, I don’t care much anymore. I still love the show, but after a break, it aired again last week, and I watched it last night. The episode of this week, maybe I watch it this weekend, or maybe next week, or I’ll go back to saving up a bunch of them.
I remember that it started getting annoying with Lost. Some excuse of episodes not being ready, so after the first few were done, there was a wait of a few months for the others.
Then other shows (Battlestar Galactica for example) started to do the same. But, back then, it was one break in the middle of the season, which, annoying as it was, wasn’t as annoying as it is now. We had a winter-break, and then after a few episodes, it skipped again.
When something big is causing an episode to be rescheduled for airing it is understandable, but just a random skip isn’t a good thing to keep viewers interest, especially when many people are already cutting cords in favor for streaming solutions like iTunes, Amazon, Hulu, Netflix and Redbox.
Razer Edge Gaming Tablet.
This week, many of the technology websites published reviews on the Razer Edge Gaming Tablet. Mostly similar in specifications as the Microsoft Surface Pro and the Acer W700, but with a few big differences.
The Razer comes with a dedicated nVidia graphics chip and, the tablet can be ordered with a quad-core i7 processor, both something that by itself pushes performance a bit further, but combined, they turn it into the perfect portable companion for gamers.
As many readers know, for me, a tablet with such capabilities would be perfect, full desktop power, and the ability to play my favorite games.
While the Razer is quite appealing, I don’t have it on my shopping list.
With the Surface Pro and the W700, I have the ability of running recent games on it. They both run Fallout 3, New Vegas and even Skyrim nicely, even at reasonably high quality settings. It is nice, but with most of the games not really optimized for touch-screen use, a controller of some sort is a necessity, and with that, it nearly eliminates the advantages of a tablet over a (less expensive) laptop of the same specifications.
The Razer does have an option for controller system, but at an additional $250 on a $1500 (i7 version) tablet you are getting at the same point for a much more powerful gaming laptop.
I’d love to have the performance of the Razer in such a form-factor, but I just don’t think we are there yet. Games still have some catching up to do.
And thats it for DVD Catalyst Newsletter 99.
A crazy week this week, with the new website launch and the DVD Catalyst 4 update, and a few personal things on top of that, so I didn’t get to spend as much time as I wanted for this newsletter, but I promise I make it up with Newsletter 100 next week.
Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend,
About DVD Catalyst
DVD Catalyst is the easiest and most affordable software available for archiving your movies and TV shows from DVD and for converting popular (AVI, MKV, ISO etc) video files into the right file format for PCs, smartphones and tablets.
Convert DVDs with a single click of the button, convert 1 or 100 video files in batch-mode by using Drag & Drop, remove black bars, include subtitles or closed captions.
It includes pre-configured device profiles for 1000s of devices, including the latest Apple devices (iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPhone 5) Barnes & Noble NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, Amazon Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HD 8.9, Google Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and much much more.
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