What is “MP3” ?

August 23, 2016

MP3 (Stands for MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III) – An audio coding format for digital audio which uses a form of lossy data compression. It is a common audio format for consumer audio streaming or storage, as well as a de facto standard of digital audio compression for the transfer and playback of music on most digital audio players.

The use of lossy compression is designed to greatly reduce the amount of data required to represent the audio recording and still sound like a faithful reproduction of the original uncompressed audio for most listeners. An MP3 file that is created using the setting of 128 kbit/s will result in a file that is about 1/11 the size of the CD file created from the original audio source (44,100 samples per second × 16 bits per sample × 2 channels = 1,411,200 bit/s; MP3 compressed at 128 kbit/s: 128,000 bit/s [1 k = 1,000, not 1024, because it is a bit rate]. Ratio: 1,411,200/128,000 = 11.025). An MP3 file can also be constructed at higher or lower bit rates, with higher or lower resulting quality.

The compression works by reducing the accuracy of certain parts of a sound that are considered to be beyond the auditory resolution ability of most people. This method is commonly referred to as perceptual coding. It uses psychoacoustic models to discard or reduce precision of components less audible to human hearing, and then records the remaining information in an efficient manner.

MP3 was designed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) as part of its MPEG-1 standard and later extended in the MPEG-2 standard. The first subgroup for audio was formed by several teams of engineers at Fraunhofer IIS, University of Hannover, AT&T-Bell Labs, Thomson-Brandt, CCETT, and others. MPEG-1 Audio (MPEG-1 Part 3), which included MPEG-1 Audio Layer I, II and III was approved as a committee draft of ISO/IEC standard in 1991, finalised in 1992 and published in 1993 (ISO/IEC 11172-3:1993[5]). Backwards compatible MPEG-2 Audio (MPEG-2 Part 3) with additional bit rates and sample rates was published in 1995 (ISO/IEC 13818-3:1995).

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Source: Wikipedia


What is “Facebook” ?

August 16, 2016

Facebook – An online social networking service headquartered in Menlo Park, California. Its website was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg with his Harvard College roommates and fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.The founders had initially limited the website’s membership to Harvard students, but later expanded it to colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities and later to high-school students. Since 2006, anyone who is at least 13 years old was allowed to become a registered user of the website, though the age requirement may be higher depending on applicable local laws. Its name comes from the face book directories often given to American university students.

After registering to use the site, users can create a user profile, add other users as “friends”, exchange messages, post status updates and photos, share videos and receive notifications when others update their profiles. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as “People From Work” or “Close Friends”. Facebook had over 1.18 billion monthly active users as of August 2015. Because of the large volume of data users submit to the service, Facebook has come under scrutiny for their privacy policies. Facebook, Inc. held its initial public offering in February 2012 and began selling stock to the public three months later, reaching an original peak market capitalization of $104 billion. On July 13, 2015, Facebook became the fastest company in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to reach a market cap of $250 billion. Following its Q3 earnings call in 2015, Facebook’s market cap soared past $300 billion.

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Source: Wikipedia


What is “Twitter” ?

August 9, 2016

Twitter (/ˈtwɪtər/) – An online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through the website interface, SMS, or mobile device app. Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco and has more than 25 offices around the world.

Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass and launched in July 2006. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with more than 100 million users who posted 340 million tweets per day in 2012. The service also handled 1.6 billion search queries per day. In 2013, Twitter was one of the ten most-visited websites and has been described as “the SMS of the Internet”. As of May 2015, Twitter has more than 500 million users, out of which more than 302 million are active users.

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Source: Wikipedia


What is “Google+” ?

August 2, 2016

Google+ (pronounced and sometimes written as Google Plus) – An interest-based social network that is owned and operated by Google Inc.

The service, Google’s fourth foray into social networking, experienced strong growth in its initial years, although usage statistics have varied, depending on how the service is defined. Three Google executives have overseen the product, which has undergone substantial changes leading to a redesign in November 2015.

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Source: Wikipedia


SpeedFan (4.52) – Freeware Review

July 28, 2016

1. What Does SpeedFan Do ? SpeedFan monitors your CPU, Mother Board, Hard-drives and internal fans and even your graphic card or cards (as well as GPU’s) and gives you an easy to use temperature read out. Both in your system tray and via your Vista sidebar (If you have it running) with the correct up to date sidebar widget. So you can tell how hot your computer is running and to curb any possible damage. As well as to improve your overall system performance.

2. Ease Of Use – SpeedFan is very easy to use because all you need to do is install it and you are good to go. In most cases SpeedFan will auto-detect most CPU’s, Motherboards and Graphics Cards. There has yet to be a computer thus far that has not detected all or most of the internal components.

3. Interface – Very simple SpeedFan has a few easy to use tabs and that is pretty much it. SpeedFan is by no means fancy, but that is how I like it. Simple and to the point with no pointless filler. Dragging it down.

4. Can You Leave SpeedFan Running Without Issue ? Yes, you can no doubt

5. Is There Any Adware Or Spyware Bundled With SpeedFan ? No

6. Is SpeedFan  Stable ? Very stable

I give SpeedFan an Overall Rating of 4.5 out of 5 – This new version seems to have out done itself yet again with an even bigger and  better database of CPU’s , Motherboards and Graphics cards and GPU’s to detect from. SpeedFan yet again seems to load a little faster then the past (4.50) version. There are still a few things, I really would like to see in such as the ability to have SpeedFan load up during computer start-up. And the ability to check for updates with in the SpeedFan main UI.

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You Can Grab This Freeware Application From The Following Website: http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

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Till The Next Review,

Kirbe


Skype (7.25.0.106) – Freeware Review

July 27, 2016

AA. Cost: Free (But, there is a paid version as well)

1. Ease Of Use – Extremely easy to use. Once setup has been completed (AKA registration (Sign-up), mic, headset and or webcam have all been setup and adjusted. To you liking, it may take a little tweaking to get it just right. But once Skype has been setup. You can just leave Skype be from that point on. Unless of course you need to tweak audio and or video. Both of which can be done on the fly.)

1A. Interface – Very simple, clean and straight forward

2. Quality Of Program – Skype has improved yet again. This time with an overly dramatic blue UI (User Interface) face lift.

3. Speed of Sign-in – A lot faster then past versions. And a lot less jerky then past versions.

4. Can you run other programs while running Skype ? Yes

5. Can you leave Skype running without issue ? Yes

6. Is there adware or spyware bundled with Skype ? Yes, there is a Toolbar you can opt out of and a “Click To Call” Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Add-on. That you can also opt out of.  There are also some ads now that pop-up. I don’t really have any big issues with them (But they are really rather large). But it can be bothersome to some user. Who are not use to thous types of ads.

7. Is Skype Stable ? Yes, there is no question Skype is a very stable program. But it does depend a lot on the stability and quality of your Internet connection.

I give Skype an overall score of 4 out of 5 – I truly believe “Once you go Skype. You don’t go back.” Skype is truly a much better option. It annihilates it’s competition such as Team Speak or Ventrillo.

On A Side Note: The only major flaw of Skype is it lack of ability to host between 6-25 people. Such as playing MMOs like WOW or other such games. Skype is more of a personal experience. But since I don’t and I also don’t par-take in Facebook. I don’t feel I need anything other then Skype.

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Major Skype Technical Stability Side Note: The Skype version and devices your using matter a lot. To learn more please read on.

*I have had some reports of Skype being choppy and audio quality being very poor. When connecting to someone with an out-of-date version of Skype. In fact, I had such a bad issue with my audio quality. I had to e-mail my mates and ask them to upgrade to this version. Thankfully after they had upgraded. We no longer had any more audio or video quality issues.

**But unfortunately stability, audio quality and video quality can vastly differ based on what Skype version you are using and what device your using it on. Again, unfortunately in this case it is trial and error.  Not all devices will work together and not all versions of Skype have the same features as say the full release of the Windows Desktop version. Even the Windows 8/8.1 version has massively different set of features then say the XP, Vista and or Windows 7 versions. I’ll also goes further on the same note by saying the Android versions of Skype lack some key features and options. That the Windows desktop version has in spades.

You honestly won’t miss many of the features until they are gone. That or are hidden in some hard to find place with in Skype. While Android seems to be missing some of the more common privacy and customization options the Windows desktop version of Skype has.

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If you wish to download Skype please use the following link: http://www.skype.com/download/skype/windows/

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Till The Next Review,

Kirbe


CCleaner (5.19.5563) Free Edition – Freeware Review

July 26, 2016

The Rating Scale Breakdown:

  • 0  – 0.5 – Abysmal
  • 1.0 – 1.5 – Terrible
  • 2.0 – 2.5 – Poor
  • 3.0 – 3.5 – Average
  • 4.0 – 4.5 – Great
  • 5.0 – Excellent
  • Undetermined – Too soon to tell or lacking evidence to provide a solid answer
  • Not Tested – Has yet to be requested or there is some limitations to prevent accurate test results
  • N/A – Not Available and or Not Applicable to this program

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V. 7.5 D“CCleaner” Freeware Review Template

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Price: Free

A. Installation CCleaner – 5.0 Excellent” – Fast, Safe and Simple

B. Un-installing CCleaner – 5.0 Excellent” – Fast, Safe and Simple

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C. Stability Of Program – 5.0 Excellent” – Absolutely no stability Issues

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D. Cleaner

D1. Windows Cleaner4.5Great” – Works very well. Just 1 really important note a warning if you will. You will lose all your data on the items you have decided to check off. So check your list of “Windows Features” you are gonna clean first.

D2. Application Cleaner4.5Great” – Works very well. Just 1 really important note a warning if you will. You will lose all your data on the items you have decided to check off. So check your list of “Windows Applications” you are gonna clean first.

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E. Cleaner Quality Test:

E1. Windows XP5.0Excellent

E2. Windows Vista5.0Excellent

E3. Windows 7 5.0Excellent

E4. Windows 8 – 5.0Excellent

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F. Registry

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G. Speed of Analyze – 5.0Excellent – Again, it will be over in about 1 or 2 minutes at max. Unless you are running a really old rig. Then even then it is faster then most paid programs out there.

GG. Speed of Repair4.5Great – It will be over quite quickly you just maybe surprised. But be warned if you decide not to back-up your registry. Before fixing your registry ERROR(S) you’ll be doing it at your own risk / peril. I say that just to warn people. I have never had an issue and I have been using this program for about 10 + years now. Perhaps maybe even longer.

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H. Registry Cleaner Quality Test:

H1. Windows XP5.0Excellent

H2. Windows Vista5.0Excellent

H3. Windows 7 5.0Excellent

H4. Windows 8 – 5.0Excellent

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I. Tools

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I1. Un-installer3.0 Average” – This option is shaky at best. This option often leaves a mess in its wake. But be warned not all of said un-installed programs components / files maybe completely gone. I often have to run a separate PC utility like Auslogic BoostSpeed or Registry Mechanic (Both are Paidware). If you want to go freeware you can give IObit Advanced System Cleaner 8. But be careful I have had very mixed results with it.

I2. Start-up 4.5Great– This option is the king of killing start-up programs and process. But there are some that programs for what ever reason fail to yield to this CCleaner option. Be warned you can cause your computer damage if you don’t allow certain programs to run on boot up. You may also cause MAJOR security holes in your PC.

I3. System Restore3.0Average” – It would be awesome if it worked every time. But sadly I only use this option as the last last resort.

I4. Drive WiperNot Tested – I’ve never tried it and don’t plan too anytime soon. Sorry, if you want to give this option a go. By all means let me know the fallout. I’d be more then happy to post your score on the next review we do.

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J. Options

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J1. Settings4.5Great” – Simple and to the point exactly what you want. You can even undo stuff you had to choose when you originally installed Cleaner.

J2. Cookies4.0Great” – this option is only great if you know what you are doing. and my friend this will take a wee bit of Computer Knowledge and a tad bit of Internet Savvy to pull of exactly what you want. And even then you may not get the outcome you want on the first or second go at it.

J3. IncludeNot Tested – I have never used this option and have really no clue what it does. Beyond the very simplistic description it offers above.

J4. ExcludeNot Tested – Same as above. I have never used this option and have really no clue what it does. Beyond the very simplistic description it offers above.

J5. AdvancedNot Tested – Same as above. But it appears simple enough to navigate.

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K. Updating4.0Great – Needs to be updated manually. Sometimes your promoted when there is a new version of CCleaner out. And other times your not. I’m not really sure why that is because, I have the option checked off.

L. CCleaner Support – Not Tested – Never needed it before and I doubt I will in the future. But I imagine if it’s anything like CCleaner itself. It would be pretty awesome.

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My Overall Score: 96.5/105

91.9 % = A +

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My Final Verdict Part 1-: CCleaner still remains at the top of it’s class when it comes to the freeware model of a PC Utility programs. They really don’t make freeware programs like this very often. I have never really had any real issues with CCleaner. Other then maybe it tries to do too much and it falls flat or stretches itself too thin.

Perfect examples of this are the uninstaller and restore features. Why not drop them and add that vim and vinegar in improving other aspects of CCleaner Free.

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My Final Verdict Part 2-: I have to admit at first glance CCleaner looks too good to be true in it’s freeware package. Even my score is an almost perfect, which absolutely floors me every time. As I don’t normal see that type of score or quality in most programs. Let alone a freeware version of a PC Utility.

I honestly wonder if there will be a time where there will be a small cost to even the basic CCleaner version. I hope not. But I do believe it is possible at some point down the line. That or they could strip the program down to be even more basic.

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1. http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download (CCleaners Main Download Page)

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Till The Next Review,

Danny


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