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DVD Catalyst Newsletter 128 – 11-01-13




Thank you for reading DVD Catalyst Newsletter 128.

I had something planned for Halloween yesterday, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, I wasn't able to get everything finished for what I had planned for yesterday.

Like last year, we were looking forward to doing something special with Halloween special, but due to some health-related and other issues coming up, our plans were changed, and because of all this, I wasn't able to get everything finished.

More about that further down, lets start with this week's tech news:


Tech News:

Google Glass Traffic Ticket:

Police ticket Google Glass-wearing driver for watching ?TV? in car | Ars Technica

It was bound to happen, earlier this week, the first person was ticketed for DWUGG, Driving While Using Google Glass.

While the user claimed that it was turned off, the police officer charged her with a fine for having a view-obstructing media-device in use while driving.

I'm sure there are plenty of people who would disagree, I do believe that Google Glass and similar devices are devices that, while used when driving a vehicle, are dangerous. Sure, it takes up only a small portion of the view, but if you are focusing on something that is displayed on top of your actual view, reading a text, looking at the weather, browsing through songs etc, even if you are looking straight ahead, your eyes are still distracted.

With HUDs, such as the ones used in fighter planes, or even some of the newer GPS HUD devices, the information displayed is used to add to the actual world view. A big arrow pointing which way to go, some lines giving an indication of the current speed and direction, but with information not related to the task at hand (driving), a distraction is a distraction.

Nexus 5:

Nexus 5 reportedly due to launch on November 1st, will be available in black and white models

Nexus 5 release set for November 1st - SlashGear

As of today, the new Nexus 5 Smartphone from Google is available. Specced similarly as the LG G2, but priced a lot cheaper.

For more information, have a look here:

Nexus 5 - Google

Lego Phone:


For a couple of months an interesting modular phone concept has been floating around on the web. The idea is simple, each part of the phone, processor, camera, screen etc is enclosed as its own module, which enables the user to customize the phone to their own needs, and, more importantly add/upgrade features when needed/desired. A faster processor, a better camera, maybe add a keyboard.

What started as a concept has now been turned into an actual project by Motorola.

The Official Motorola Blog: Goodbye Sticky. Hello Ara.

Can a phone last forever? Motorola's Project Ara aims to find out | The Verge

Motorola?s Project Ara joins Phonebloks in modular smartphone ambitions - SlashGear

Amazon Matchbook:

Earlier this week, Amazon launched its Matchbook service. If you ordered (actual) books through Amazon before, Matchbook provides you with an easy way of obtaining the (for many at least) eBook version of the books you purchased for a decent price.


Amazon Kindle MatchBook launches today: digitizing your paper library - SlashGear


Tools4Movies News:

As mentioned above, due to some unforeseen circumstances, I wasn't able to finish up everything I wanted do do for Halloween. While the app was done for 99.9%, due to time constraints I wasn't able to create any documentation for it, and to release it without any supporting information would result in a flood of questions by email causing an even bigger time issue, so I did not see any other choice that to hold off "until its ready".

With the Nexus 5 and the new iPads known and out now, I had hoped to release another update for DVD Catalyst to include profiles for these new devices, but that too slipped a little. If you do use DVD Catalyst 4 for putting movies on these devices, the iPad Air and the iPad Mini Retina both have the same specifications, and for video, the iPad 4 profile will work just fine. For the Nexus 5 smartphone, selecting the Google > Nexus 7 v2 profile will work just fine.



What a week:

For the most part, my week was spent in development code, finishing up things for Halloween, but unfortunately, over the weekend we had a scare with my wife and spent quite a few hours in the ER to get things figured out. We were aware of what was going on and actually had the house doctor set up appointments to get it addressed, but it got so bad that a visit to the ER was the best solution. After some tests, scans, and a few meds + new prescriptions, we were sent home, with the wife feeling a bit better. Not perfect, but at least better.

For some reason these things always happen late at night, so that, combined with the time spent at the ER always makes things harder the next day, lack of sleep etc throws you off and results (for me at least) in spontaneous naps, and after a while of fighting it, its better to give up and get some rest.

Aside from the above, a death in the family resulted in me playing cab for a few days taking my in-laws back and forth. It was the sister of my father-in-law, and unfortunately I was the only one able to take them.

I can go on for a bit more about this week, because it wasn't just the above 2, but I'd like to keep this as a newsletter rather than having it turn into a dairy.

Not that anything can be done about what happened, but for some reason when I have some big things going on, things "happen".

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Week 3:

Obviously I haven't been able to do a full review on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 yet, but since another week passed, I figured I'd share my experiences again.

This week, with all the running around, I've been using the Note 3 a lot.

Of course for GPS stuff, where the large bright screen works wonders. GPS was something I used on my old Galaxy Nexus every now and then, but with a hard to see screen and the weak batterylife, it wasn't as friendly to use. The faster processor also makes things a lot smoother when you are moving around on the map to get an idea of whats coming up next.

Plants vs Zombies 2, released (and mentioned in the newsletter) last week was an instant install, and while I haven't had the time at home for it, on the road, I have been able to get some zombies of my lawn.

Kindle App. Its not always appropriate to fight zombies on the go, so I got a Kindle book from Amazon to read, a Star Wars book I read a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. (That last part was actually quite fitting, not because it is from the intro of the movies, but I read the book about 18 years ago when I was travelling Australia), Heir to the Empire (link), the first part of the "Thrawn Trilogy". The books were the first books that were not directly tied to George Lucas, and were set after the original movies. With work on the new Star Wars movies already in progress, its a bit late I guess, but if they are looking for scripts, please do consider these. They are stellar in my opinion.

Anyway, about the reading itself, I prefer to read on an e-ink device rather than screen made for more "moving" entertainment such as movies and games due to the flicker, but reading on the Note 3 with the Kindle app set to white text on black background is very comfortable. I'd still go e-ink if I have both in reach, but with the Note 3, I'm no longer bringing an e-ink with me if I know I'll be spending time reading a book.

Batterylife: Yesterday, Thursday, was actually the most torturous day I have put the Note 3 through since I've had it. In total my wife and I spent about 12 hours on the road. We had a number of errands to do, in towns I only know from seeing their names on the weather map, and the Note 3 was the center of it. GPS enabled for the full day, with Google Navigation active for about 5 hours or so total. Email checking for me, with every now and then looking at the emails to see if it was something I could reply to right away or if it was something better done from a full PC, About half an hour of Plants vs Zombies 2, Some Facebook digging (needed an address for someone) and web browsing, an hour of listening Pandora, some reading, and still it had 20% of charge left.



Well, that is it for this weeks DVD Catalyst Newsletter.

I should be able to finish up my delayed Halloween Surprise somewhere in the next week or 2 (with the documentation writing I often run into other things I'd like to implement), so keep an eye out on the website (link), Facebook (link) or Google+ (link) for release information.

Thank you for reading, and have a great weekend.



About DVD Catalyst:

DVD Catalyst 4 is the fastest, easiest and most affordable software available for converting and optimizing 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.

Don't let the price fool you!

DVD Catalyst beats
most similar applications in terms of conversion speed AND visual quality of the created videos and with smaller file-sizes.

Computers were created to make life easier
for the people who operate them, however, when it comes to media conversion tools, this is something that has been forgotten a long time ago.

DVD Catalyst was designed to work with the least amount of work needed from the user. It offers the same (and much more) functionality as the competition, but rather than requiring the user to make adjustments based on the different types of video sources they are working with, DVD Catalyst is capable of doing everything automatically.

* Volume, something that differs greatly depending on what you are converting. Some movies are louder than others, but when played on a portable device such as a tablet or smartphone, volume is always a bit low.

DVD Catalyst automatically adjusts the volume of all your videos to a fixed volume level. Aside from boosting the volume, this also eliminates the "loud commercial" effect when switching between different videos.


* Black borders. Especially with older movies, black borders often are part of the actual video, and while most conversion tools can strip these off, the process requires manually selecting each of your movies and marking them.

With DVD Catalyst, this process is fully automated. It detects these borders automatically and removes them if they are there.

* Language selection, subtitle selection and even closed captions can be included (when available) with your videos.

DVD Catalyst 4 enables you to set your personal preferences as a main language and a backup language, and can even automatically enable/select subtitle languages when your main language isn't available.


On top of the above, DVD Catalyst is capable of folder monitoring (downloads/recordings etc), drag&drop filtering (drag files/folders onto DVD Catalyst, and it will pick out what it likes),batch conversions (convert 100's of videos with 1 click) and much more.

For more information, visit the website on

Here is how it works:

Step 1: Download and install DVD Catalyst 4 on your computer.

If you have not done so already, download the free trial version (link) or purchase the retail version for a limited time for only $9.95 (link).

Note: DVD Catalyst works on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.
Apple MAC/OSX or Linux are NOT supported at this time.


Step 2
: Start DVD Catalyst 4 and select your device profile.

DVD Catalyst 4 includes profiles for all the latest tablets and smart phones, including the Apple iPad Mini and iPhone 5, Amazon Kindle Fire HD,Barnes & Noble NOOK HD, Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2 and much more.


Step 3
: Insert your DVD or drag your video files over onto DVD Catalyst 4, and tap Go to start the conversion process.


After the conversion is complete, connect your device to your computer and copy the created movie file over.


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