PHOTO SIZE OPTIMIZER review

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Version: 1.71
Developer: EffectMatrix
Website: http://www.effectmatrix.com/mac-appstore/image-mini.htm

 

ABOUT EFFECTMATRIX

EffectMatrix Software Studio is a professional provider for multimedia software, Paint for Mac Graphic Design applications and the related information to the international users. Since founded in Year 2002, it has been playing a more and more important role in this area. At present, there are various professional DVD, video and audio tools which are highly reputed and recommended by numerous users for the easy-use, fast-speed and powerful-function. Based on the same pursuance of providing excellent integration software and personal application to meet the different needs from numerous multimedia fans, EffectMatrix Software Studio and eTinySoft work together as cooperating partners with shared resource and independent identity.

 

WHY WE NEED IMAGE OPTIMISERS

Being a home user or business, we all deal with images everyday. As our mobiles are more and more the main interface for pictures, our pictures-collection is growing each day. Business emails many times have image-attachments which are too large to send without compression of some kind. Websites have many photo’s/images in their media files. Its all about visual information which many times say more then a thousand words. But WordPress users which is about 70% of all websites build, face a problem of maximised image size of 2mb. If more the image will be refused to upload. As there are 200.000.000 live websites there is a huge group facing the same problems. The internet provides many online compress tools which may fit your needs, but better have your own image compression utility. As there is a number of utilities to choose from, we hope our pick of Photo Size Optimizer will persuade you to consider.

 

HOW DOES COMPRESSION WORK

A digital sensor is capable of capturing far more information than the human eye can process. Therefore, some of this information can be removed during compression without the viewer noticing. The compression mechanism looks for any large areas of repetitive color and removes some of the repeated areas. They are then reconstructed in the image when the file is expanded.

The two types of compression are lossless and lossy:

Lossless Compression is similar to creating a ZIP file on a computer. Data is compressed to make it smaller, but no quality is lost when the file is extracted and opened at full size. An image that had been through a form of lossless compression is identical to the original image. TIFF is the most commonly used file format that uses lossless compression.

Lossy Compression works by discarding some information, and the amount of compression applied can be chosen by the photographer. JPEG is the most commonly used file format for lossy compression. It allows photographers to save space on memory cards or to produce files suitable for emailing or posting online. However, it should be noted that each time you open, modify, and then resave a lossy file, a little more detail is lost.

 

PHOTO SIZE OPTIMIZER

  • One-click photo size optimization on Mac OS X.
    Easy management: When a folder dragged into the application, Photo Size Optimizer for Mac will work on it immediately.
    Support 70 types of image formats:
    JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF, PDF, PSD, PNT, RGB, ARW, BMPF, CUR, CRW, CR2, DCR, DNG, EPSF, EPSI, EPI, EPS, EXR, EFX, ERF, FPX, FPIX, FAX, FFF, GIFF, G3, HDR, ICNS, ICO, JP2,
    JFX, JFAX, JPE, JFIF, JPF, MPO, MAC, MRW, MOS, NRW, NEF, ORF, PICT, PIC, PCT, PS, PNTG, PNGF, PEF, QTIF, QTI, RAW, RAF, RW2, RWL, SR2, SRF, SRW, SGI, TRIC, TIFF, TGA, TARGA, TIF, XBM, 3FR, 8BPS
    Photo sharing becomes more easier.
    More choices:
    Lossless mode (png, jpg, gif);
    Lossy mode (jpg);
  • Lossless mode will save space > 20%. Lossless mode compresses and reduces large image size significantly but keep the original resolution, quality.
  • Lossy mode will save space > 50% with minor quality loss.
  • Resize option in the interface

INTERFACE & COMPRESSION RESULTS

The images below show just some examples of compression results. The first two examples show the LOSSLESS option, where least compression is obvious. It also shows the difference between images ( color buildup ). The first added image gets a 6.5% reduction, while the second gets a whopping 20% reduction. So there is no fixed reduction in LOSSLESS mode.

We now do the same images but choose the RESIZER/SQUEEZER option and get huge compression on both images. A whopping 98% file reduction on is astonishing really. When set to 2560 * 1920 pixels the reduction still is about 90%.

Original image size 4.9 MB compressed to 473 KB !! How’s that for excellent compression !

 

THIS IMAGE IS 473KB LARGE !  Good enough for any website in terms of sharpness I think.

 

 

To show you the compression result on pixel size, the Before/After image below shows a full 200% zoom in just 1 part of the picture above. The head-feathers of the horses ( yellow-red) are enlarged.

 

COMPRESSION EXAMPLE

Example 1:  LOSSLESS compression almost no visual difference

 

Example 2: RESIZE/SQUEEZE compression ( 90%) show the expected differences when 200% zoom is used.

 

VERDICT

So we come to the close of this review and ask ourselves ” Is Photo Size Optimizer doing a great job ? “. Well its a definite YES it does! Its so easy and simple to work with, yet it does a true mathematical trick in the background. We just click and take every result for granted, but there’s more to it then just click a button. Photo Size Optimizer has great compression results and still leaves a little room for experimenting with sizes. So, if you’re looking for a image compression tool for your business or as website owner
this little gem needs your attention. For professionals we can only hope it will in future include Lossless compression on TIFF, RAW files. Try it and buy when you’re also convinced of its use. A job well done EffectMatrix.

 

 

M4P to MP3 CONVERTER review

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Version: 2.9.14
Developer: ?
Website: http://www.m4p-to-mp3-converter.com

 

REQUIREMENTS

Mac OS X 10.8 or above system. Fully support macOS High Sierra 10.13  Apple iTunes 10 or later.  To output the highest audio quality, the program now only supports converting M4P at 1X speed under macOS 10.13 High Sierra. M4P to MP3 is able to do 16 speed conversions on lower Mac OS systems. Read on to see why and how to change the High Sierra 10.13 System Integrity Protection (SIP).

 

Want to remove DRM from iTunes M4P, M4B, M4A, M4V, protected AAC, Audible AA and AAX files? Well, look no further as this utility will be your best friend from now on.
MP4 to MP3 Converter is your ‘one trick pony’, to safely convert your iTunes codecs into a desired codec. Initially iTunes have NO DRM codec, but when you download an Apple Music track for offline listening, you get a DRM-protected version. This is where converters come to use.

 

WHAT IS DRM

Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems provide you with the ability to control how people can consume your content. Usually content owners and producers, like all the major Hollywood Studios and TV Stations, force content distributors to use specific DRM systems to protect each piece of content. Depending on the copyright requirements, Hollywood grade DRM protection is not always needed and sometimes it’s enough to provide basic protection through token based secure authentication or simple AES encryption of the video without sophisticated license exchange and policy management. Apple’s iTunes uses this protection in a similar way.

 

INSTALLATION

You might be in for a little surprise as M4P toMP3 Converter is I think the only converter-program needing a separate/additional tool to do the job. The program uses and installs ‘Audiojingle’ a virtual audio driver. The program needs this driver to record iTunes audio tracks in the background.
So what? You may think. Well, it installs itself in your Audio Preferences, and you need to be aware of this! As it is impossible to ‘delete’ or ‘uninstall’ this virtual driver with all known Uninstaller’s.

To perform a real uninstall you need to perform these steps:

1. /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL/

Audiojingle.driver folder

http://prntscr.com/hp3im6

2. ~/Library/LaunchAgents/

com.audiojinglex.soundtree.agent file

Delete that folder and file along with it and reboot (as well as the app itself; I suggest using CleanMyMac or AppDelete) your Mac.  Only now you will be able to loose the Audiojingle driver.

Of course you only need to perform these steps if you ever decide to change the converter for something else.

 

PREFERENCES

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To output the highest audio quality, the program now only supports converting M4P at 1X speed under macOS 10.13 High Sierra. This is as stated earlier due to the used Mac OS system SIP.

WORKING WITH M4P to MP3 CONVERTER

So, we’ve covered the technical side of M4P to MP3 Converter and now move on to the use and performance of this utility.  The presented interface is easy and provides all necessary information for the user.
One small critic from me as reviewer are the outdated icons used on the top bar. The visual aspect is just something I focus on, next to allround performance. Its a bit Windows like and being not a big fan of Windows, I truly love the mostly modern looks of Mac apps. The interface does however provide all information  one might need and even more. The status column shows realtime converting status. The overall Output settings and folder are nicely presented.

All in all I absolutely loved working with M4P to MP3 Converter. Alongside I tried programs like Sidify Apple Music and the latter seems to have some difficulties converting some tracks whereas M4P to MP3 never missed a track !!
Converting time was overall the same compared to 2 other utilities, so no dealbreaker here. The converting SPEED from the Preferences mentions 1 to 16, but the latest HighSierra versions will not allow for higher speeds than 1.

As you know that when System Integrity Protection is active, and MacOS 10.13 has introduced new security measures, M4P to MP3 Converter can only convert audio files with 1X conversion speed on Mac 10.13.x.

In order to convert in 16x speed, MacOS 10.13.x users need to turn SIP off. You can follow the next guide to know how to turn SIP off.

Please note that, your machine may be less secure if you do. It is entirely your decision.

METHOD to turn SIP off !!

Step 1: Shut down the Mac.

Step 2: Turn it on but hold down the “Command + R” keys on the keyboard as soon as you hear the startup chime. You can leave the keys when you see Apple logo.

The system will boot into Recovery Mode.

Step 3: When the macOS Utilities menu appears, left-click the “Utilities” and then click the “Terminal”.

Recovery Mac Utilities

Step 4: In the window that opens, type “csrutil enable –without kext” and press return.

csrutil enable --without kext

This turns off the part of SIP that iTunes Converter needs to run, and OS X complains that it is an unsupported configuration.

Step 5: Now write “reboot” to restart your Mac computer.  ( Source www.macsome.com )

 

VERDICT

So time for a final verdict. Did we enjoy working with M4P to MP3 ? Well, there is no question about its performance and lack of converting problems. It never missed a single song-conversion, where the competition is not as perfect. The maximum conversion speed of 1x under the latest MacOs High Sierra 10.13+ is something all conversion programs have to deal with as Apple has a strict SIP program. You may if needed follow our instructions for change in SIP. We feel it’s no big deal and better be safe then sorry.
M4P to MP3 converter delivers high end conversions with all information needed when doing its job. Its versatile in supporting most used codecs,  options and informative interface. Any cons found in this utility? Not really, only change the used ‘Windows like’ icons in the main-bar and you’ve got one of the best converters and I tried them all, so if you’re in for a converter don’t miss out on M4P to MP3 Converter.

 

 

 

 

MACUPDATER 1.2.0 review

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Version 1.2.0
Developer: CoreCode io
Website: https://www.corecode.io/macupdater/

 

ABOUT CORECODE

CoreCode specializes in software development for macOS and iOS. CoreCode sells commercial software alongside offering free applications. CoreCode provides more than a dozen commercial apps as well as over two dozen open-source apps for the Mac and strongly believes in contributing back the community.

PREFERENCES

Preferences are very good for a basic program like this. It offers you ‘Keep Safety Backups”, which could prove useful incase of incompatibility after updating. Notifications and Scan-planning ( daily is minimum ) are also part of preferences.
All obvious and simple.

NO REGISTRATION   Total Privacy

In contrast to competing services, you don’t need to register to use MacUpdater. Just launch it, scan & update. Even more important, everything in MacUpdater is designed with your privacy in mind. They don’t track you and they don’t sell your data – because they don’t even have it. In fact they have an industry-leading Privacy Policy that should keep you all warm & snug. ( This is their claim! )

THE APPLICATION

This is just a small but useful application tracing any available updates for your applications in use. There is not too much to write about it as it’s an small but handy app. After installation ( Free version, allowing 10 updates ), you may choose to buy.


The program initially does a full scan of your applications folder ( fast and secure) and checks their version numbers. We have a very positive experience with the suggested updates which the application will install by itself.

After successful update a popup will appear. The program knows wether an application is only updatable by the App Store or straight from developer.

VERDICT

It is not often we write about small programs as the review might not be very interesting to read. This time however we feel we make an exception and want to share the even existence of this fine utility. I know nearly all programs have a ‘Check for Updates’ option. Macupdater 1.2.0 will check this for you and inform you of updates available. It’s no rocket-science but keeps your Application Folder always up to date. Its handy and cheap, as the lifetime license will keep you from paying again and again for updates.

 

SKYLUM LUMINAR 2018 JUPITER review

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Version: 1.2.0 (4245)
Developer: Skylum Inc.
Website: https://skylum.com/luminar

 

ABOUT SKYLUM

 

SKYLUM (Macphun,early 2018 they’ll completely switched to SKYLUM) a San Diego, USA based software company, is famous for its outstanding photo editing software products. Their latest software tool LUMINAR 2018 JUPITER has been upgraded to a new product supporting numerous improvements.
LUMINAR Neptune 2017 was launched 15th June 2017 and LUMINAR 2018 launched 16 November 2017 which makes it a real quick update. This review will discover and disclose wether the 2018 Jupiter upgrade is a true improvement over Neptune 2017 .
LUMINAR Neptune 2017 and LUMINAR 2018 are used by professionals as well as enthousiasts. SKYLUM has a great reputation for their outstanding products and aim to listen to their clients and implement their wishes in new product versions.

 

WHATS NEW

Luminar 2018 Jupiter offers a re-engineered proprietary RAW engine that can handle high-quality images faster. New filters include the ability to enhance Color with Brilliance, selective lighten or darken area’s with Dodge & Burn as well the addition of a new Sun-Rays filter. Apart from speed, the core of the update is two new features available in both the Windows and MacOS versions of Luminar 2018. They are: automatic lens correction controls and an improved Raw conversion engine that’s said to yield better exposure calculation, cleaner gradients, minimized chromatic aberrations and more robust camera compatibility.

   

Overall speed improvements are great !

LUT’s
Lookup Table Adjustments, known as LUTS. Creative color, perfect black and white conversions and even digital films stocks are just a click away. Lightroom users can convert their custom Lightroom presets into LUT’s with a free tool. There are a number of tools around, you may try this https://generator.iwltbap.com

First of all what is a LUT and what are its typical uses?

LUT means “Look Up Table.” It’s helpful to think of it like a math problem: R= S+L
“R” being your result or what you want to attain.
“S” being your source or what you start with.
“L” being your LUT or the difference needed to make up between your source and your desired outcome.

In all cases of LUT use, the LUT is the means to make up the difference between source and result.((All cases assume the colorist (or you) is grading through a correctly calibrated monitor for evaluation and finishing. LUTs in no way replace proper calibration or color correction. They only assist in the process.)) It’s never the result by itself. How does this play out? I’ll layout a couple probably over-simplified examples:

Color Correction

A very common example is printing your final film to…real, actual film. Print film came in a variety of flavors and styles. Each style had different nuances in color. The film lab would have all that nuance information or be able to send you a print test to work with. That would be your final result. The colorist grades a picture on his calibrated monitor but if he were to send that to print, it could come out looking far different due to the nuances of the physical film.

So in our math analogy, his graded film is “S” and his film print is “R.” He then uses the information from the film lab or on his own, creates and applies the LUT or the “L” to get him from his graded film to the print and to have it look as intended after it’s on the physical film. After applying the LUT, his graded film may look awful on his monitor, but will come out correct on the film print.  ( source http://nofilmschool.com/2011/05/what-is-a-look-up-table-lut-anyway)

 

NEW LUMINAR 2018 JUPITER INTERFACE

Luminar Interface is very good laid-out and intuitive as all filters show a pre-view of the actual filters capability and use. All is absolutely nicely placed on the interface and your most used filters can be set as preferred by clicking the little star at the bottom.
A full list of possible filters is present in the interface, there’s really nothing left out ! This filter collection should be enough for any user to create the best final master-picture.

Luminar 2018 Jupiter is equipped with a collection of preset effects organised into categories, and you can download more from the Skylum website. 
Each preset is a combination of filters and adjustments to create a particular ‘look’. You can browse the presets via a horizontal panel at the bottom of the screen and take a look at the filters and adjustments used in the tools panel on the right and modify them if you need to – or save your own adjusted custom preset.

 

There’s one more thing. Luminar also offers layers and masks, so that you can not only combine effects and filters selectively in different parts of the picture, but even combine different images. It doesn’t just support simple adjustment layers, but image layers too! LUMINAR 2018 has again evolved and sets itself at the top in this price-range !  Photoshop will have some bonuses but also has a huge price ticket and needs a lot of training. LUMINAR 2018 JUPITER however is easy to use for beginners but also professionals benefit from its range of (new)-filters and adjustments.

 

HISTORY & UNDO STEPS

Like Luminar Neptune 2017 we find these useful tools in the Tool-bar of the interface.

The three buttons control the Undo/Redo commands as well as let you view an image’s History. These three buttons give you complete control over reverting to an earlier state of an image.

  • Undo – The Undo Button (left arrow) cancels the last action (for example, changing the slider).
  • Redo – The Redo Button (right arrow) returns the last undo function.
  • History Panel – The History panel will quickly become an essential part of your workflow. It’s here that Luminar 2018 Jupiter keeps a list of what you have done to the image since you opened it. These are multiple undos and an easy way to go back in time. 
Simply click on an early History State to revert the photo to that stage of editing. History states are also saved with an image when you store it in the native Luminar (.mnr) file format. This allows for a nondestructive editing workflow and let’s you revert to an earlier version of the image.

 

LAYERS

Layers are a powerful way to “build up” your images, with different enhancements and use of blending modes on each layer. Using layers, you can apply corrections or enhancements on different layers, and experiment until you achieve exactly the look you’d like for your image.

 

DENOISE & NEW FILTERS

This tool is useful as it allows you to slightly blur an image to reduce the amount of noise and any image artifacts. The tool is similar to our Noiseless application and offers easy to use presets to control the strength. When you switch to the Denoise tool, Luminar zooms the image to 200% magnification to make it easier to see any noise or artifacts. Use the Amount slider to refine the results.

Also available: impressive filters to stylise, tone, and enhance your photos, including Sun Rays, Dodge & Burn, LUT Mapping, Hue Shift, Brilliance, and a cool new Matte Look.

 

NEW PRESETS FREE

Find a number of great presets here: https://macphun.com/luminar/new-presets?
product=luminar_2018_main_mac_welcomescreen_presets&c_url=2

OUR 10% COUPON to USE

When buying use code MACSOFTREVIEW for a great discount!!

EDITING EXAMPLE

 

VERDICT

So is this the great improvement (again) we’ve all been waiting for ? Well my opinion is Yes, it is now more mature and incorporates more filters and tools then ever before. The improved RAW engine is not only much faster but delivers less noise and better color.
LUT’s support is a long awaited addition for Adobe Lightroom users enabling them to import/convert their Lightroom Presets for use in Luminar 2018. Overall Luminar 2018 Jupiter is much faster and handles all changes in a great clean interface. The sun-rays filter and real-time noise removal sets it at the top of its competitors. Shame on Skylum that the promised  free update in 2018 throwing in the all new DAM image browser, is still NOT published. I guess buyers opted for the earlier release expecting a great new database handling(DAM).

Its stunning, its easy to learn, it takes photo-editing to a new level.

 

 

iBOYSOFT MAC DATA RECOVERY review

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Version: 2.6 (8)
Developer: iBoysoft
Website: https://iboysoft.com

 

ABOUT iBOYSOFT

iBoysoft is a software company located in Chengdu, China. iBoysoft committes to research in the field of data security, has developed and released iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Windows, NTFS Assistant, iBoysoft Drive Manager and iBoysoft File Protector.

 

ABOUT IBOYSOFT MAC DATA RECOVERY

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is one of a few data recovery software that fully supports APFS file system on macOS High Sierra. Technically, it goes beyond most of data recovery program which claim they can recover data from APFS drive. iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is the only one in the market which can recover data  from encryped APFS drive and recover deleted/lost APFS partition. Also, it can recover data from formatted, corrupted, unmountable, unreadable, inaccessible APFS drive. Besides, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery supports file systems HFSX, HFS, HFS+, exfat and FAT32. 

FEATURES

  • Recovers deleted files (even from the recycling bin)
  • Recovers data from formatted/reformatted drives
  • Recover data from RAW, inaccessible, corrupted or damaged partitions
  • Recover data from deleted or lost partitions
  • Recover data from APFS drive & encrypted APFS drive ( ONLY PRO VERSION )
  • Provide technical service to clients ( ONLY TECHNICAL VERSION )
  • SUPPORTED STORAGE DEVICES

    Hard drive, external hard drive, USB drive, USB stick, flash drive, SD card, CF card, memory card, memory stick, micro card, digital camera & other storage device (RAID reconstruction is not supported by iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery)

COMPATIBILITY

  • Compatible with Mac OS X – 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.11 (El Capitan) and Mac OS – 10.12 (Sierra), macOS 10.13 (High Sierra)
  • Supported File Systems for Mac OS – HFSX, HFS, HFS+, exfat and FAT32, APFS

USING iBOYSOFT MAC DATA RECOVERY

After all technical blabla.. we come to the point where we actually start using the recovery utility. The initial setup was as usual, just drag and drop the application in your applications folder and you’re all set. Your Mac will prompt you every time for your system password as this utility wants to change your basic data. All done, we face an overview of all detected (storage) drives and we may choose which to examine for lost files.

First check the preferences for the correct settings!

In order to find as many lost files as possible we have the Deep Scan option available. This option however will take a longer scanning time which is obvious as it digs deeper in the lost data. The scan however is done fairly quick and it all makes sense to even a novice user. iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery has an easy interface (which could do with a visual update) and all steps are simple to follow. Once your lost file is found and located, you can choose ‘Recover’ and the file is set in its location.

Apple’s High Sierra 10.13 has some build in security settings, preventing ANY Data Recovery program to just simply scan/update the system startup drive !! If you want to look for lost files on your startup drive you need to perform some extra tricks in order to do so (below copied from iBoysoft website)

 

How to recover lost data from startup drive in macOS High Sierra 10.13

“System Integrity Protection” (SIP) is a security mechanism built into the operating system that prevents normal programs from reading the startup drive, so System Integrity Protection would prevent iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery from scanning startup drive in macOS High Sierra 10.13. To recover lost data from startup drive in macOS High Sierra 10.13, we need to temporarily disable System Integrity Protection (SIP).

Step 1: Boot to Recovery OS by restarting your machine and pressing & holding down Command + R keys at startup.

Disble SIP step 1

Step 2: Launch Terminal from the Utilities menu, enter the command: csrutil disable and press Return.

Disble SIP step 2

Step 3: Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, choose the startup drive and click “Next” to scan lost data.

Step 4: After the scan completes, preview all found files, choose the files we expect and click “Recover” to get data back.

Tips: If lost files are not found in quick scan mode, please check “File types” option in Preferences panel, check deep scan option and try again.

SUPPORT PROVIDED

iBoysoft have a support page setup  (https://iboysoft.com/support/) on their website which is explaining all how to’s and questions. Well done iBoysoft !

VERDICT

We found iBoysoft Data Recovery doing a very impressive job. Easy to use software that recovered our data with no hassles. There are more data recovery utilities on todays market but his is a pleasant and great working well adapted and explained application.
The only remark I personally can make is the plain interface which would be more attractive if somewhat coloured. However this is just personal taste and makes no difference in using the utility. I think it performs really well and fast. So if you’re looking for a Data Recovery tool check out this baby as it is surprisingly good.

WEEPIE COOKIE ALLOW PLUGIN review

 

 

WeePie Cookie Allow – Complete GDPR Cookie Consent Solution for WordPress

AVG and GDPR REGULATIONS

There are about 1.5 billion websites running on our global World Wide Web. However only 200 million are actual live websites. By Live “Website” we mean websites with a unique hostname (IP Address).
Many of these provide our daily information source and companies large or small offer or present their goods. This all serves good purpose but the more we use the internet, the more personal information is left on websites wether you
know or not. The average internet user have their own private dossier known to those interested in your way of life. You are by default tracked every day and all the way from shopping to the tax man.

Ever wondered why when on Facebook you get relevant advertisement just for you ? I guess if you followed the news lately , you know by now they probably know more about you then your relatives.
To put things simple, privacy doesn’t exist on the internet for most. The majority of users is ‘ ignorant ‘ and have no clue of cookies,IP’s and consent to almost any request made by a developer in order to read the stuff they are interested in. The average user just can’t resist saying NO to email-addresses asked and top it off with, dates of birth and more, if that would mean not to have access to the information or website.

So, most of us just do as asked for and consent to anything! Later on you find yourself receiving spam mail and phone calls.

The first and best thing to do for anybody, is to get yourself the best VPN connection. This solves one end of the problem, your IP and stop to any kind of tracing or tracking. BUT if you still fill out the personal information in order to take part on Facebook, Twitter or whatever you’re done. Computer crime is getting more and more advanced and criminals are no longer ‘ thugs’, strong and able to do you over with a single blow. No, computer crime is done by highly skilled people as it is no easy job.
As the revenues can be huge, this area gets more sophisticated time after time. Hacking Bitcoin, Banks,Companies and private computers (ransomware) is delivering billions of dollars.

So Governments are faced with new threats, as are people who can be victims of identity theft and can have their lives wrecked as there is no solution for this really. A new law (AVG and GDPR) is coming and implemented on 25th of May 2018.

AVG (EU) and GDPR law:

The General Data Protection Regulation  (GDPR) which is designed to enable individuals to better control their personal data. It is hoped that these modernised and unified rules will allow businesses to make the most of the opportunities of the Digital Single Market by reducing regulation and benefiting from reinforced consumer trust.

The Data Protection Directive: The police and criminal justice sectors will ensure that the data of victims, witnesses, and suspects of crimes, are duly protected in the context of a criminal investigation or a law enforcement action. At the same time more harmonised laws will also facilitate cross-border cooperation of police or prosecutors to combat crime and terrorism more effectively across Europe.

The GDPR was ratified mid 2016 and immediately became law. Member states now have a 2 year implementation period. Enforcement will commence by 25th May 2018 at the latest.

This document summarises the key components of the GDPR – it should be noted that this is only a simplified summary and that the full text (all 204 pages) contains much more detail.
( source: https://www.dataiq.co.uk/blog/summary-eu-general-data-protection-regulation)

 

 

So, as everyone else we needed to comply to these new rules and set ourselves searching for some or one great ‘plugin’ making our life easier, rather then opt for a website update. We tried the most mentioned and praised plugins but found
only a few really doing the job. Mind you, this also depends a bit on the websites functions. Do you have registered users or not, subscribers or live chat functions this all has impact on the scope you need to tackle.
But there’s one rule for all. We NEED to comply, being a private website owner or business!!  WeePie Cookie Allow plugin for WordPress is the best we’ve found so far. The best means, installable and usable for any website owner being novice or
skilled.

 

AUTOMATIC COOKIE BLOCKER PLUGIN for WORDPRESS

This cookie consent WordPress Plugin with a lot of styling options makes it possible to easily and fully comply with any cookie law:

  • EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • EU cookie law
  • UK cookie law
  • Dutch cookie law + Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming (AVG)
  • Italian cookie law
  • German cookie law
  • Etc.!

This plugin is more than a notification bar: it really can block cookies before consent !

AVG / GDPR required? YES! If you have an European website or a website directed to an European audience, a website visitor has to be informed about and give consent for placing certain privacy sensitive cookies on your website.
Depending on what you are doing with these cookies, this consent may be implied or must be explicit.

  1. Select your consent method (with or without possibility to decline cookies)
  2. Edit style elements (like colors, texts and sizes) to your needs

…and you’re ready to comply with the EU cookie law!

 

FEATURES

Compose your consent settings, edit some elements like the texts and colours of the cookie bar/box to your needs and you’re done! 

Style to your liking:

  • Colors
  • Texts
  • Choose between a bar or a box
  • Positions and sizes
  • Add a closing cross (X) to close the cookie notice / decline cookies
  • Shadow

Choose the cookie consent type

Choose between ‘implied’ (accept after click/scroll) and ‘explicit’ (accept after click the accept button) consent, with the following cookies before consent:

  • Necessary (functional)
  • Necessary and analytical
  • All

After consent all cookies will be placed. Or the possibility to decline cookies!

Fully automatic cookie blocking. Blocks 3rd party cookies automatically, like:

  • Social media cookies (e.g. Facebook and Twitter)
  • YouTube cookies
  • Advertisement cookies (e.g. Google AdSense)
  • Google Analytics cookies

Additional option to block all i-frames automatically

Full list of 3rd party applications blocked automatically or by choice  

Click here to enable/disable your thirdparties manually.

AddThis
AddToAny
Amazon adsystem
Bandcamp
Cloudflare
Disqus
Facebook
Google Maps
Google Adsense
Google Analytics
Google+
Google Tag Manager
Hupso Share Buttons
Instagram
JotForm
Leadpages
LikeBtn
LinkedIn
Matomo (Piwik)
Pinterest
Sharethis
Sharethis platform API
Slideshare
Soundcloud
Twitter
Vimeo
Vine
YouTube

Cookie Policy page linking:  Easily create a link to your Cookie Policy/Information page / post / custom post type / attachment (PDF) directly from the cookie bar.

Responsive design:  Fits different devices like: pc, laptop, tablet and smartphone.

Multisite ready:  Supports WordPress Multisite (WPMU). ATTENTION: You’ll need 1 license for each unique domain name.

Officially WPML Multilingual compatible:  Supports translation with the WPML Multilingual Plugin.

Placeholder for blocked cookie content:  Possibility to show a placeholder at the place where the cookie content is blocked.

Reconsider cookie consent:   Add a cookie reset button in your WordPress website (by a Shortcode)

Extra features!

  • Fully translatable (pot-file included)
  • Possibility to add custom CSS easily
  • Disable for logged in users
  • Minified JavaScripts
  • Based on our WeePie Framework

INSTRUCTIONS

Instruction guide WeePie Cookie Allow Plugin

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USING EXPERIENCE & SUPPORT

This is the easiest part of this review. Using WeePie Cookie Allow plugin is a breeze !!  Installation is somewhat different to normal procedures however. Check and read the Instruction carefully as there are two separate folders to be installed (through WP-Dashboard or FTP) in order to create two folders in your public_html/xxxx/wp-content/plugins. This path may differ as we are running a multi-website and have a slightly different ‘tree’. These are essential for the plugin to work. Once done, the actual setup and styling is for dummies. Choose your consent type and other setup options and you’re on your way. Of course the Privacy Statement is something you need to make yourself. An internal link option to your Privacy.Stat. is available in the setup.

As the first given consent by users might be wanted revoked for any reason, a Reset Cookie Consent button is available through ‘shortcode’ and does a wonderful job.
For any site-owners running there websites from cached-servers you might want to adjust the cache settings as we experienced a long delay before actual choices were made visible. This has nothing to do with the script but all with your hosting companies cache setup.

Finally and very important is service provision by the developer. Which is really outstanding, no question about it. When you check the Automatic Cookies block/unblock list ( above), you may find your cookie is not listed.
The developer will if possible help you add your cookie with additional code. To place the code you need FTP access and change the functions.php in your domain/wp-content/themes/ !!  Not in the basic root if you run multisite . But in case you’re stuck, service is available.
This is one aspect of our great experience so far. So if you own a website and need to comply to AVG or GDRP don’t hesitate and order this plugin for $ 20.  This price beats any fine placed on you if you fail to comply.

 

 

iBOYSOFT DRIVE MANAGER review

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Version 2.8.6
Developer iBoysoft
Website https://iboysoft.com/mac-drive-manager

 

ABOUT iBOYSOFT

iBoysoft is a software company located in Chengdu, China. iBoysoft committes to research in the field of data security, has developed and released iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Windows, NTFS Assistant, iBoysoft Drive Manager and iBoysoft File Protector.

 

INSTALLATION & PURPOSE

Installation of this application is easy and needs no extra steps. iBoysoft Drive Manager is a handy application for connecting/mounting and unmount your external drives. You can unmount drives through System-Preferences, but not everybody wants to mess with system settings. Drive Manager will make your wishes come true with just a simple click to mount or unmount etc. No need to pull physical connectors and the risk of corrupting your drives. This is just a reliable tool making your life easier. Your physical drives all appear like Folders in your Finders interface. ( see below ).

This application will make it easier and safer to work with any external connection. The Preferences section has some great options like activity depending on the computer status ( sleep or not i.e ), and notifications.

 

 

PREFERENCES

FEATURES

  • Manage an external and/or network drives from the menu bar.
  • Eject and unmount drives without the need of physically removing the connector from your mac.
  • Mount/unmount all external drives in one easy click.
  • Connect/disconnect all network drives in one easy click.
  • Configure automatic ejection and remount of drives dependent on the status of the computer.
  • Configure auto notifications of the status of your drives i.e. unplugged safely, mounted.
  • Mount NTFS drive as a regular drive in read-only mode.
  • Remount USB storages.
  • Map a file share (FTP, SFTP) server storage as a local disk in the Finder, open remote files with any application and work like on a local volume.
  • Supported storage devices-External hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, CF card, MicroSD, SDHC, memory card, memory stick, micro card ( Encrypted drive is not supported by iBoysoft Drive Manager).

  • System Requirements-Supported OS: macOS 10.13 (High Sierra), 10.12 (Sierra‎) and Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan), 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.7 (Lion)

 

For me there is one real issue with iBoysoft Drive Manager. It doesn’t store/save your external drives passwords. So when your drives are password protected, you will not be able to mount the drives !! Only the default Mac prompt will ask you to enter your password in order to unlock the drive. So at system start or reboot, you will always have to fill the password(s) yourself. When running your Mac, it works flawless mounting/unmounting. No probs at all.

VERDICT

We found this software easy to configure and use. The preferences section has some nice features for setting up the way we want our drives to be mounted depending on your computer status. A clean menu-bar add-on, adds to the feel and use of iBoysoft Drive Manager. Furthermore, being able to mount/connect or unmount/disconnect all drives in one mouse click is perfect. Check out the trial version if you are interested in this helpful utility. We like it, it works flawlessly.

 

DESIGNEVO LOGO MAKER review

 

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Version:  Online version
Developer: PearlMountain
Website:  https://www.designevo.com

 

ABOUT DESIGNEVO

PearlMountain, has focused on the research and development of graphic design software since 2006. They aim to make professional photo editing and graphic design capability accessible to everyone. Their most popular product, FotoJet, has millions of users spreading over 200 countries and areas. DesignEvo is a free online logo maker with 4000+ templates that anyone can use to bring to life a compelling, unique logo in minutes.

 

WHY USE DESIGNEVO

Starting a new business big or small? Well they all need a name and something to get recognised by like a great ‘logo’. A ‘logo’ is a kind of paper trademark to be used on your website, letters and promotions. You may of course get yourself a paid designer to create a unique logo for you. But do you really need a designer or is it possible to create your own logo? One of your options is to make use of DesignEvo, an excellent online logo maker for creating Free and Paid logo’s.

 

DESIGNEVO FEATURES

 

 

 

 

WHAT DOES DESIGNEVO OFFER

4000+ Pre-made Logo Templates

DesignEvo offers an impressive selection of 4000 great designed logo templates, covering multiple categories. You will always find a template that suits you. You can browse through them for inspiration, or use them to recreate a new logo.
So this all sounds great for you, but is there a catch? Well No to be honest, you may use the templates ‘free’ or ‘paid’. The templates are the same as are the options for creating, only the final download differs in quality and aspects like
copyright ownership, transparent background and filetype output.

 

 

LOGO ICONS AND FONTS

DesignEvo has a built-in graphics search library, providing free access to millions of high-resolution logo icons. Enter some keywords in the search bar and the smart search engine will search for any related icon options. DesignEvo is also packed with 100+ logo fonts to use freely. There are two types of font styles available- classic and art. Also, all the icons and fonts are customizable which gives you full freedom to build your perfect logo.

 

 

HOW IT WORKS

DesignEvo provided a small video, explaining the works. The online workspace is really easy to work with and doesn’t take a learning curve. Its loaded with templates, Fonts and Art to give you ultimate power in creating your unique logo.
For a business its important you get Copyright and ownership over your design, so only you can use the logo. The use of DesignEvo doesn’t need you to register in order to make use of its templates.

DesignEvo supports various logo outputs – normal image formats like JPG and PGN, plus vector formats like PDF and SVG. Logo resolution depends on your own settings, but the maximum logo resolution is 5000 x 5000 pixels.

 

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VERDICT

DesignEvo turns every user into a real designer. No special skills needed, its all magic. DesignEvo is available Free and Paid. Its easy and simple to use interface, makes it truly enjoying creating your own logo. Its versatile and when opted for a Plus subscription really worth every penny. Don’t want to spend money, no problem create your logo for Free ( with limitations).
Our verdict is easy, want to have your own logo? Look no further as this is a great deal Free or Paid.

 

NORTON SECURITY DELUXE 2018 review

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WE HAVE A NEW WINNER 2018

Version 7.6
Developer Symantec
Website https://www.norton.com.

 

ABOUT SYMANTEC

Symantec Corporation /sɪˈmænˌtɛk/ (commonly known as Symantec) is an American software company headquartered in Mountain View, California, United States. The company provides cybersecurity software and services. Symantec is a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500 stock-market index. The company also has development centers in Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru (India).

On October 9, 2014, Symantec declared it would split into two independent publicly traded companies by the end of 2015. One company would focus on security, the other on information management. On January 29, 2016, Symantec sold its information-management subsidiary, named Veritas Technologies (which Symantec had acquired in 2004)[4] to The Carlyle Group.[5]

 

INSTALLATION

Installation of Norton Security Deluxe proofed simple and straightforward. The basic installation needs a reboot for completing, nothing special as some other developers have an equal procedure. Make sure to uninstall any other antivirus on your Mac before adding Norton. Two similar programs can produce a lot of problems on your running Mac.
During installation the installer asks for permission to install a helper tool. After reboot, open Norton and make sure to run LiveUpdate.

Now the big question Why do we need Antivirus software for our computers ?

So do Macs get viruses? And do Macs need antivirus software? Answering both questions is simple Yes and Yes. Although a Mac is considered more safe to PC’s, they also face the same treats as PC’s do.
In the past Mac’s were not widely used on our planet so they were less interesting to people trying to pry in your computer software and look for any interesting data like your bankaccount and used passwords etcetera.
But in recent years, as the Mac’s popularity has grown, Macs have gained the attention of those looking to hijack data. We have a complete list of all the Mac viruses, malware and security flaws that have hit the operating system here.

Despite this interest, Macs have generally remained secure. Thanks to the fact that MacOS is based on Unix, a kind of default security is build-in.
Apple itself has included Gatekeeper and number of security measures that make attacking a Mac particularly challenging. Gatekeeper, blocks software that hasn’t been digitally approved by Apple from running on your Mac without your agreement.

Still plenty of risks left, and Macs haven’t managed to completely avoid being targeted. According to a report from Malwarebytes in August 2017, there was a 230 per cent increase in Mac malware in 2017. So YES your Mac needs protection!
Now there is a fast growing list of developers specialised in antivirus security all claiming to be best to buy. Of course if life was that simple, there would be only one software application available on the marker solving all our problems.

We ( Macsoftreview )are not able to simply setup a full known malware and virus database for checking the software’s capabilities in catching exploits and vulnerabilities. We just rely on AV-TEST which is the best known It-Security Institute from Germany. They are able to test in absolute equal conditions for every package, and measure system impact is most accurate on their systems. Updates are performed on a regular bases to check if later software-editions have evolved.
Below the latest independent test shows all scores. Symantec Norton Security Deluxe scores a full 100% detection rate ! So top marks for detection, but check the system impact performance of Norton Security Deluxe ! BEST of all tested packages.
Infact, its nearly as good as their reference system. PERFECT scores for Norton Security Deluxe.

 

 

 

PREFERENCES & INTERFACE

A well designed interface shows all information and adjustable settings. The firewall is not as strict as I would like it to be. As the connected network is ‘trusted’ automatically all installed apps seem to be trusted.

Symantec™ DeepSight

Symantec™ DeepSight Early Warning Services provides organizations with timely, relevant threat and vulnerability exposure intelligence delivered through an intuitive web-based portal as well as through real-time alerts. Organizations can use this valuable global visibility and intelligence to help ensure that they adapt their security and risk profile to keep pace with the rapidly changing threat landscape.

FEATURES of NORTON SECURITY DELUXE 2018

  • Automatic scans
    Scheduled scans
    Idle scans
  • Firewall
    Application blocking
    Connection blocking
    Vulnerability protection
    Location awareness
    Deepsight
  • Safe web
  • Activity log
  • Upto 5 PC’s/Mac’s/Tablets
  • Defends against ransomware

Activity is really well captured with Norton Deluxe. The build-in firewall is pretty impressive and a true bonus in this package. All outgoing communication is monitored and needs users-approval to communicate with outside world. Its a more basic version of Little Snitch application. Network activity is showing you all information about in-outgoing connections specified with IP’s, Ports, Remote ID’s, Traffic, etc.
An absolute bonus for every user and made available in a simple interface.

SCAN-TIME NORTON vs BITDEFENDER

Now we know that the protection level of Norton Deluxe is best and system impact is unbeaten, we move on to check Scan-Time performance. Our earlier best performing antivirus application was Bitdefender so its fair to pu these two in a simple test.
A created file of 43Gb was created with mixed data containing pictures, docs, dmg files and such.

Our test show a huge win of Norton over Bitdefender od approx. 38% faster scanning of the created Test-map. Well done Norton. !

PRICING

Bitdefender will set you back for approx $ 29 and Norton Security Deluxe costs $39.99. Mind you this price is a special 1-year offer. If Norton keeps their pricing at this level, they have a true Antivirus for Mac winner in store.

VERDICT

Norton Security Deluxe really surprised us with best detection rates, topped with best ever ‘system-impact’ levels putting Norton Security Deluxe on 1st place. Scan-Time was great beating Bitdefender by 38% when scanning mixed-data.
Norton added some great features as a Firewall and control of in – and outgoing communications making Norton the winner of best Antivirus application for Mac. Great network activity information is provided as well as internet protection.
Includes100% guarantee: From the moment you subscribe, a Norton expert will help keep your device(s) virus-free or give you a refund. Defends against ransomware to provide safety and piece of mind for the user.
Norton Security Deluxe provides installation up-to 5 Pc’s, Mac’s and or tablets. Want the best available Antivirus for Mac? Norton Security Deluxe is the best as of today Febr. 2018.

Norton Security Standard, Deluxe, and Premium

AMOYSHARE ANYMUSIC review

 

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Version. 5.0.0
Developer   Amoyshare
Website https://www.amoyshare.com/anymusic/

 

ABOUT AMOYSHARE

Established in 2014, AmoyShare is constructed with young people who want to share fresh ideas and as well have strong willing to make life better. A dedicated team with whole-heartedness, is looking forward to share the best products and services.

AmoyShare puts customers’ needs to the top priority, right now, they offer:

High-Quality and Easy-to-Use Software on Windows and Mac

  • All products provided aim to make you do more with less – more convenience with fewer clicks, easier operations with less confusion, and more functionality with less money…
    – Photo Collage Maker provide you with massive templates under various styles to easily create stunning photo collages.
    – AnyMusic is an all-in-one music solution for you to discover, download, transfer, play free MP3 anytime and anywhere.

Free Online Music & Video Service

  • The online music & video service is completely free, which includes Free MP3 Finder, Free Video to MP3, and Free Video Downloader.
    – Free MP3 Finder enables you to discover and stream unlimited free music online.
    – Free Video to MP3 empowers you to effortlessly convert video files to MP3 files for free.
    – Free Video Downloader helps you to download free videos from various video sharing sites.

 

ABOUT ANYMUSIC 

AnyMusic is a music & Video downloader for Mac and Windows. There is a number of downloaders available on the internet off which some lacks found resources or are limited. AnyMusic will enable you to find extensive resources for download.

Its so easy to use. Its brilliant really. Just enter the desired album or artist and AnyMusic will start searching in over 1000+ sources !! So you’re always likely to get a number of hits. Now just press Download and a nice layed out screen informs about the different quality downloads available. Pick your quality and the real download starts right away.

Great, your album is downloaded and stored on your local disc in probably the Music folder. AnyMusic is not ONLY a downloader for music or video . It can also convert your downloaded or private music collection. Just check the image below.

There’s number of File formats available like: MP3  –  M4A  –  FLAC. –  OGG. –  WAV. –  WEBM.  Set the Quality to your liking and Convert. Simple and straightforward interface. It works like a dream, it really does.
You may also notice the Start and End Time option in the interface above. This is a true bonus when downloading Full Albums. Many full albums are uploaded to the internet in not a .Zip file, but in a full .MP3 file like in this example.

The full MP3 is 1:17:50 long, so it contains numerous songs. Now if you are happy with this full album and have no songs you want to skip, you’re done. But I rarely like all songs on an album so I want to pick the ones I like.
This is where this ‘option’ comes as a truly nice feature as you will not find many free applications on the internet that can do this same trick so easy. ( I think there’s 3 older utilities available ).

Start play the album in the same interface and check the timer. At the end of the song, make notation of passed time and set this in the Start / End Time above. Now press ‘Start’, and AnyMusic will convert ONLY the selected song.

For Video downloads, there is the same procedure. Only difference is the available File Formats for Video. ( check image below )

AnyMusic up to 10 features

– Support multiple video and audio formats
– Playing before downloading
– No ads, no plugs-in
– Support more than 1000 sources, such as YouTube, Facebook, TED and so on .
– Easy to search music by song name, artist name and video url.
Convert your local media file to the format you need.
– Batch download YouTube playlist
– Easy to Manage Music Library

Official download links for software

Win 64: https://www.amoyshare.com/anymusic/download-win.html

Win 32: https://www.amoyshare.com/anymusic/download-win.html?v=32

Mac: https://www.amoyshare.com/anymusic/download-mac.html

Trial version is available for you to test. https://www.amoyshare.com/anymusic/download-mac.html
For AnyMusic, trial version has all the features of the full featured registered version for a 14- day  period that allows for up to 10 music downloads per day.

 

LEGAL or NOT ?

This needs to be mentioned as laws in many countries forbid these downloads !!  Its up to you to decide, Macsoftreview is not responsible for any use or downloads.

VERDICT

This is a real simple and great working music and video downloader/converter. There is not much to tell besides the fact that I feel all reader should give it a go and try the Free version. If it’s up to your expectation and I guess it definitely will, you may decide to go all the way and buy AnyMusic. It has a great interface and you do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what to do. So a well developed utility, worth every penny! Keep in mind that any use of free downloaders deprives artists of income and publicity. Use it for downloads or convert your local media, AnyMusic is your best friend.