Posts Tagged ‘microsoft’

Are Mac Users Dumber Than The Rest?

Comments Off on Are Mac Users Dumber Than The Rest?

Among my clients sites, around 13% of all visitors and members are on a Mac. Yet an estimated 30% or more of all their tech/customer support requests come from Mac users. For some odd reason they seem to forget their passwords and mistype their user names (that they picked themselves…) more often than the rest.

This post’s headline is click bait. Using the Mac vs. PC debate and throwing an accusatory , divisive tone at it is a favorite among tech writers. In fact there is a recent article that discusses scientific findings of how Internet Explorer users are the “dumbest” of ’em all. Expectedly this gets high search engine rankings and lots of inflamed comments.

But in this case I actually do think there’s something to it – numbers don’t lie. Anyone have a similar experience?

Disclosure: we use Macs, PCs, iOS devices, Android devices, (rarely) Linux, and all major browsers. We use what works best for the task at hand.

Comments Off on Protect your Audio Content with Inaudible Watermarking

DOMAIN - successfully defending their music with digital watermarksYou may not have heard of German Melodic Metal outfit DOMAIN but you’re about to. DOMAIN just announced that they were successful in defending their music content from illegal downloading networks by placing inaudible digital watermarks in their songs.

The watermarks identified the songs and pinpointed them to an illegal file sharer who distributed their work over 35 000 times in four weeks. He got sued, the band won.

This may be the first time a band has successfully prosecuted illegal download of their music based on inaudible digital watermarks as evidence.

I for one say: kudos!

While I understand the argument about the music industry changing and the claims that musicians just need to adjust to this new way I also know how costly, in financial and emotional terms, and time spent, music production is. Not everyone has Radiohead’s budget, matter of fact hardly any musicians do.

So taking away the few opportunities for them to earn a living by stealing their music is simply not okay. The same holds true for movies and software. Filesharing is stealing.

If you participate in this currently, ask yourself how you would like it if you spent a year recording your music (or shooting your movie or coding software or whatever) and then somebody just takes it and gives it away for free?

Anyhow, inaudible digital watermarking isn’t totally new but it seems to be gaining momentum now. DOMAIN’s success certainly helps.

Digital Audio Watermarking

Microsoft got their version patented and call it Stealthy Audio Watermarking. There are other ways of doing this. Sometimes this is also referred to as forensic watermarking. Don’t confuse this with traditional DRM (Digital Rights Management).

Forensic watermarking cannot easily be stripped out by thieves. You can’t just convert the watermarked file to another format and be done with it. That’s great news for those wanting to protect their audio content from theft. It won’t stop everyone but it helps.

And before you ask – YES, you can also watermark your visual (video) content and make the watermark imperceptible to the human eye. Video watermarking isn’t quite perfect but it’s getting there. Some content watermarked may look a bit different from the non-watermarked version because the way the digital watermark is embedded in the picture. Think of very slight grain.

In any event, one of the pioneers of digital watermarking is Digimarc. Check them out to learn how you can protect your content. (I’m not paid by or endorsing Digimarc in any way, I provide this link for your informational purposes only. Your mileage with this, or any other technology, may vary.)

HFS ExplorerSince at the time of this writing Mediafour’s MacDrive still doesn’t work with Windows 7 I thought it’s a good idea to let you know that you can access Mac-formatted hard drives via a free utility called HFSExplorer.

It’s not as easy to use as MacDrive but it’s free and it gets the job done. You will be able to move files from your Mac formatted drive over to your Windows machine but probably won’t be able to work with it like you would with MacDrive, ie use, for example, Premiere Pro to access the drive directly.


1) Install HFS Explorer (download it here)

2) Once installed, open up HFS Explorer, go to FILE > Load File System from Device

3) From the pop up select Autodetect, or select the device (= harddrive) yourself.

4) It should open up a window of your Mac formatted drive now.

5) Select the folder(s) you want to copy and click Extract

6) Select the folder on your Windows machine you want the files copied to

If it asks you if you want to follow symbolic links click select No

HFS Explorer should now copy your files to your Windows machine. Make sure you close our HFS Explorer before removing the external hard drive.

Hope this helps.

Comments Off on How to Join a Workgroup in Windows 7

Windows 7 Workgroup Name InputRunning through the current beta of Windows 7 to make sure my clients and myself will be properly prepared once Microsoft’s new OS officially launches (probably by the end of 2009), one thing Windows 7 needs improvement on is its Networking features.

Click here to read how you can join your home network…sorry, workgroup…in Windows 7.

A detailed step-by-step workaround to take Final Cut Pro Quicktime MOVs containing Apple Intermediate Codec based footage and make it work on your Windows based NLE.

Please read very carefully and understand that this workaround may or may not work for you depending on your editing program, installed codecs, and other factors. Also, read the Comments for more info.

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