DVD Catalyst Newsletter 144 – 02-21-14

Discussion in 'Dvd-Catalyst' started by dvdcatalyst, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. dvdcatalyst

    dvdcatalyst Guest

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    Hi,

    Thank you for reading the 144th DVD Catalyst Newsletter.

    Not much to write about this week. A few things caught my interest, but most companies are all waiting for the conference in Barcelona next week to announce their new stuff.


    Anyway, lets get started.


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    Tech News:

    Facebook buys WhatsApp for $16 billion.

    This week, Facebook purchased WhatsApp, a popular messenger application for smartphones, especially in Europe (info).
    2014 February

    The app is being used by 450+ million users daily, and does make a nice addition to Facebook's portfolio, however, with the announcement of the purchase, even though WhatsApp claims nothing will change, people are already worried as to what will happen with the app, and of course their personal information in regards of WhatsApp such as phone number and messages/images etc.


    Late last year, Facebook was working on a buy-out of Snapchat, a similar application with one big distinction that gains a lot of popularity due to Facebook and Twitter being "permanent", self-destructing messages, but the $3 billion offer was rejected. It wasn't until later that major security flaws with Snapchat came out and about, which helped push Facebook towards WhatsApp.


    Anyway, if you are worried about getting flooded with Candy Crush Saga help requests sent through WhatsApp, there are plenty of alternatives worth looking into:


    Telegram
    : https://telegram.org/

    Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram is cloud-based and heavily encrypted. As a result, you can access your messages from several devices (including desktops!) and share an unlimited number of photos, videos and documents (doc, zip, mp3, etc). Thanks to our multi-data center infrastructure and encryption, Telegram is also faster and way more secure. On top of that, Telegram is free and will stay free — no ads, no subscription fees, forever.

    Blackberry Messenger
    : BBM for Android & iPhone iOS - Download Free Instant Messaging - US

    While Blackberry is no longer the company it used to be, Blackberry Messenger (BBM) keeps the name going strong.
    Facebook WhatsApp buy triggers unexpected BlackBerry boost - SlashGear

    Kik Messenger
    : Kik Messenger | Fast, Simple, Personal Smartphone Messaging

    As the first smartphone messenger with a built-in browser, Kik Messenger lets you talk to your friends and browse and share any web site with your friends on Kik.

    WeChat
    : WeChat - The new way to connect

    WeChat is a new and powerful mobile communication tool. It supports sending voice, video, photo and text messages. You can also do group chats, or you can find new friends nearby to talk to. WeChat works on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian and BlackBerry devices.

    Viber
    : Viber - Free calls, Free text messages, photo and location sharing

    Viber Out lets Viber users from all over the world call EVERYONE (even if they are not Viber users). Call any of your friends at low rates using Viber on your phone or desktop! Viber to Viber calls are always FREE.


    Of course, aside from feature differences, the most important thing to take into account is that your friends/family will need to be able to use the app as well.



    Galaxy NotePro/Tab Pro 12.2


    This week, first reviews on the new 12.2 line of Samsung tablets started to appear. 12.2" screen. Crazy in my opinion. My Xoom (I grabbed it this week again to get an idea of the size) is 10", and that is already a little on the big side for me, but now 12.2", that is just nuts.


    Of course with the larger screen, the resolution is larger, but at that size, it defeats the purpose of a tablet, and moves itself into laptop territory.

    While it is a bit easier to move it from one location to another, for me, something that size should be able to offer more functionality, especially with a price in the $700+ range for 32GB. My Xoom was the same price and offers, aside from the pen, the exact same functionality, 3 years ago, with only a different resolution and a different processor.
    Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 unboxing and first impressions
    Galaxy Note Pro review | The Verge
    Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review - Engadget


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    Tips:

    Movie Organizing:

    When your video collection grows, some form of database organisation tool to keep track of what you already have becomes essential. With all the DVDs we have, it is nearly impossible to know which ones we have, and thanks to the bargain bins at the store, we end up picking up movies we already have on a regular basis.

    When you have a large collection, the biggest problem with organizing your collection is the actual entry of each of your items. Adding items whenever you come home with some isn't that big a deal, but months of work go into it to start from scratch.


    Earlier this week, someone asked me for some suggestions on movie database systems, and while there are many, 2 of them stand out for me.


    * All My Movies (link).

    Are you fed up with cataloging
    your DVD collection manually? The easy-to-use movie organizer All My Movies™ changes everything! Requiring no typing, All My Movies catalogs video files (AVI, MKV, etc), DVDs, Blu-rays, VHS tapes by automatically downloading film info from online databases.

    * iTrackMine (link).


    It all started one day in Best Buy while I was browsing the bargain DVD racks, and there it was "The Princess Bride" special edition for only $9.99. Well, how can you pass that up? I couldn't, but when I got home, excited at the prospect of adding this gem to my collection, I found, to my dismay, there was already a copy of "The Princess Bride". I didn't have time to worry about my mistake, I was already late for lunch with friends.



    I tried AllMyMovies a couple of years ago, and found that it worked quite well, but for some reason I can't remember I never did get it. Maybe back then it was more a manual approach. Anyway, I see a lot of people mentioning it on the web, so it is worth looking into.


    For my own organizing of DVD/Bluray, I use iTrackMine. It provides an easy way to check your collection using a webbrowser on your phone, enabling you to just hold the barcode of a DVD/Bluray in front of the camera and see if you have it or not, and for entry of your collection, it works the same (or just add it to your collection when you scan to see if you have it).


    One thing I would like to see with it is for it to check if you have a different version of the same movie. If you picked up one version at release, and months later you run into a different version it shows up as you not having that particular one. It would be nice for it to show similarly named movies you do have in your collection.


    If you are using a different app to organize your collection, please share your experienced with it in a reply.



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    Thoughts:

    Google Project Tango:


    Yesterday, Google released a video of one of its many projects it is working on, Project Tango.

    ATAP Project Tango ? Google

    The project basically uses additional sensors in a smartphone to map the area around the phone. Intended uses for the system are of course inside area mapping, which might lead into reverse mapping as well so you would know where you if it has been mapped before, augmented reality apps for playing virtual games with realistic surroundings, virtual reality etc.

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    Just some food for thought here, but I see a counter-side to the project. While it isn't at the point of a Batman-style sonar system yet, for someone else to be able to access real-time data of the surroundings is quite risky. Imagine walking into a bank with a phone with mapping capability, hidden in a pocket, or even with some chewing gum stuck underneath a desk, it will be able to generate a full layout of what and where, even time-based to track guard movement, making it a lot easier to break in. With an increase of sensor resolution, it might even be able to work with facial recognition.


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    Closings:

    Unfortunately yet another short newsletter this week, but with the World Mobile Conference (link) around the corner (24-27 feb), I'm counting on a lot of interesting tech-news, which will make it a lot easier for me to write. Anyway, thanks for reading, and have an amazing weekend.

    Sincerely,

    Mitch

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