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Ron"Ron" K.

6 Level 6 Contributor
  • 138 Reviews
  • 972 Helpful Votes
  • 0 Thank Yous

Experience: Computers & Technology, Reference, Business

Member since August 2009

  • Reviews

    138

  • First Reviews

    146

  • Thank Yous

    0

  • Fans

    68

  • Profile Views

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Review Distribution

About Me

Chicago's North Shore. Psychologist - love my work, Gym-rat, beach-rat, smile...tennis, dominant chord in my nature...just factual, really good food and fine film.

How I Can Help

Passion? Common-sense & honesty. I have gift of savvy intuition.

Interests

Tennis, gym, music, and film...and on...

138 Reviews by Ron

11/29/09
It is an all in one media player solution and lets you play audio & video files, cut them according to your needs or transcode them to other formats. In addition you get a photo cutter, resizer and much more. In short, it's as complete a media package as you're likely to get. It is called Media Cope.

I've reviewed plenty of audio/video tools in the past, from mp3 joiner to video trans-coding tools. If you are an avid user of such tools, you will have a nice, albeit a little lengthy, collection in your start menu. Well here is one tool that can make that list a little shorter.

The tag line doesn't overstate Media Cope's capabilities, when it says: "It is all you need". Media Cope combines the best open source software in the business to give you a killer application. It has mplayer for playing media files and uses ffmpeg for all the transcoding heavy lifting.

Let us take a deeper look on what Media Cope offers.
Media Cope supports all the major media file formats. It lets you play file formats mp3, avi, divx, mov, mkv, flac, rmvb, flv, vob, wma and mp4 to mention a few. In addition it also offers other mplayer functionality like speed change, ratio change, audio delay , framestep and screenshots etc.

_An Audio/Video Cutter

Hop over to the next tab and you can now trim audio & video files to your liking. All the formats listed above and many more are supported. Open the file, you can use the slider to go the exact location you want to start the video clip from, click "Select Start" and the starting point will be set to the current slider position. You can choose the end point in similar fashion. Now choose the output file format and you are ready to save the trimmed file as an audio/video clip.

_An Audio/Video Converter

The next two tabs let you trans-code your media files into a format of your choice. Queuing, output quality and trans-coding to and from all major formats are supported. I missed default presets or the ability to create and save your presets. Such an option is extremely useful if you trans-code files for playback on an iPod or any other device.

_Photo Cutter/Resizer/Converter

Media Cope lets you do common photo tasks like resizing and converting to different dimensions and formats. The photo tools do a fairly good job and are great for batch processing. That said, I would stick with image editors for such needs mainly because of the interface and greater control and visual feedback they offer.

_Slide Show

Media Cope also lets view your photos as a slide show. You can specify a background music and basic slide show configuration options. There is no option to export your slide show as a video file which makes it seem as misfit as a mere photo-browser amongst other tools.

_Internet Tools

You can also use Media Cope when browsing the Internet. Media Cope offers text to speech functionality in Internet Explorer and Firefox web browsers. You have to explicitly enable Internet tools from Media Cope's settings.

Media Cope offers a number of tools to meet all your media needs. There are some glitches and the user interface could use some touch up. Even then the media player, cutter and trans-coders are straightforward and easy to use. MPlayer and FFMPEG form a deadly combo and it would be interesting to see Media Cope develop further and iron out some of the shortcomings.

Enjoy it, I do!
Thanks to MUO.com
11/24/09
Please Browse to: www.dealspl.us

Looking for a place to find some good deals or bargain discounts while shopping online for electronics, clothing, accessories, etc? Well, there are a good number of sites out there other than Fatwallet, which (possibly?) everyone in the world knows about. I'm going to list a number of "good deal-finding" shopping sites. Check them out and see what you think!

dealighted.com A very cool site that's a mashup of deals from other sites like Slickdeals.com, Fatwallet.com, Gottadeal.com and lots more. Mostly tech-related stuff, but there are other things as well.

passwird.com is a web site created by a University of California student that lists bunch of excellent deals on everything from tech to shoes daily. This site is very simple and is addictive.

bensbargains.net. The nice thing about this site (and others) is that you can subscribe to the RSS feed to quickly find deals. Also, pictures of the items are included in the feed. This site also gives you info on rebates and coupons in addition to just deals.

dealdump.com. DealDump is an aggregate of multiple deal sites, covering everything from Woot.com to DealOverFlow. There are a lot of sites on here I had never even heard of before, so you might find something great.

dealnews.com. Find the hottest deals on gadgets, computers, electronics, cameras, and lots more. The cool thing about this site is that you can subscribe to an RSS feed for the specific item you're looking for.

dealsplus.com. Takes the same concept of Digg.com and does it for deals. Users vote for the best deals and the ones with the most votes get on to the front page. Also once you join you can enter to win free stuff, etc.

techdeals.net. As you can probably tell from the name of the site, Techdeals.net is all about tech stuff likes games, MP3 players, digital cameras, computers and more. It's updated daily and has a good number of items.

cybuys.com. An online service that helps shoppers find coupons and hot deals for tons of online stores. It has a very clean interface and is one of the best sites for just finding coupons! Definitely check it out.

jellyfish.com. Not your normal deal-finding site! This site is basically a social shopping deals site, complete with a game show host and a good number of great products. You'll have to check it out yourself to find out.

dealitem.com. DealItem is another deal site for mostly tech stuff. It works best when you're searching for something by model # or by make and features. If you know what you're looking for, check out DealItem.

dealigg.com. A social bargain hunting site that changes frequently during the day, so you're looking at new stuff all the time. Again, its based on a peer voting system that brings the best deals to the front page.

slickdeals.net. SlickDeals is one of the better known deal sites and includes everything from tech gadgets to men's shirts. They also have over 800 coupons that you can use at your favorite stores. Very clean interface and easy to use web site.

gottadeal.com. Finally, GottaDeal.com is very popular site for finding deals and coupons online. Has a bunch of categories and brings in deals from many of the major retailers such as Apple, AT&T, and CompUSA.

So that's about 13 deal sites that I've run across that seem to be gaining in popularity. I hope shopping any of these sites brings some measure of savings and a good deal to boot.

Thanks to Aseem Kishore
11/24/09
Jaycut is not just an ordinary flash-based "upload-edit-share" tool since it has the core features that you will find in simple video editing software like Windows Movie Maker. You can upload clips from your camera, mobile phone or webcam then compile them into a nice video by adding captions and music.

_Jaycut has a two-track time-line interface called "Mix It" where users can drag and rearrange their uploaded clips and time the transition between clips. Jaycut's editing interface is fairly powerful for casual users who want to stitch-up clips while experimenting with its growing library of transition effects.

When you are done with the mix, you can embed the videos or you can download them to your PC/PMP.

Very handy.
11/22/09
Point Your Browser HERE: http://stereopsis.com/flux/

_You must be familiar with modern LCD screens, right? If you look carefully, most of them have a button to automatically change the attributes of the screen to adjust for the types of media which is being viewed: one specially tweaked for movies, another for photos, a separate one for text and there's one we're particularly interested about — night.

_You see, working in front of a computer screen at night raises a particular concern. The fact that you're staring at a bright screen late at night when your body is supposed to be turning in, disrupts your circadian rhythm.

_A bit of medical jargon coming your way — during nighttime, darkness permits the production of melatonin by the pineal gland. Melatonin causes drowsiness and in tandem with the central nervous system, controls the circadian rhythm. In layman's term, all this means is the bright light from the LCD screen screws up your sleep-wake cycle.

_That's why there's a customized "Night" setting on your LCD. Furthermore, there are several apps that will reduce the brightness of your screen while working at night; Shades is one example of a Mac app that will do just that. I don't know if you've noticed the LCD's reflection off a person's face at night — it's mostly bluish white. Technically, the specific colour temperature is 6500K; also known as daylight. That's right. If you find it hard to fall asleep after using your computer, this is why.

_F.lux addresses this issue but it does it slightly differently. Instead of reducing brightness per se, it actually warms the colours you see on your screen and imitates the lighting in the room during nighttime. It's quite hard to wrap your head around until you actually use it but I'll do my best to try and explain it:

THE LOW-DOWN: After downloading and launching the app, it will ask you for your location and the type of lighting that's in the room — tungsten, halogen, fluorescent or daylight. Based on the information, it calculates exactly when the sun sets in your area and adjusts the colour temperature of your screen to mimic the lighting in the room. Note that the Mac version's interface isn't as refined as its Windows counterpart — but it doesn't matter very much because all of the time, the app is absolutely unobtrusive. There are no pop-ups and you won't notice it running.

I have found the "night mode" so much more relaxing on my eyes, and I "think" a calming effect on my body.

Try IT!

(Thanks to MakeUseOf.com for description)
11/13/09
If you are a bargain hunter, but don't like to compromise on quality, then Cheapism is a website you should bookmark. What it does is simple – it searches for best quality products among the cheapest ones.

The site features budget product reviews in various categories like home & garden, kitchen utilities, computers, electronics, sports, travel and many more.

Have fun with this.

Thanks to MakeUseOf.com.
11/12/09
Exact Site: http://krilome.com/aprod/index-cse.html.

This is just a clever, savvy, fun and "must have" utility, rolled into one.

It's a very good idea to never feel so certain your private documents will always be "safe". That's simply playing with fire.

What could be a more 'benign' safety repository than Windows Calculator? Doesn't attract attention, and probably one of the last places (if ever) anyone would look for personal data. Add the fact that this safe is password protected AND data encrypted, it should look after your need for confidentiality perfectly.

The calculator is fully functional. Move your IDs, passwords, other sensitive data without fear of consequences in case of loss or theft.

After entering your PIN, Calc.EXE will encrypt and "swallow" the file(s) you've selected for hiding. You can browse your root drive for the files to be "eyes only", and simple, easily understood directions show how the files are stored, resurrected and even executed from this devastatingly clever program.

This is one of the cool "gadget" utilities that I always keep an eye out for, and generally have a price attached. This one is FREEWARE.
11/12/09
One thing I've noticed about most "hate" websites is they try hard to present a scholarly 'feel', educated, professional and savvy. It's rather that they believe sounded erudite about hate will make you buy-in and join-up.

I think most, regardless of religion or ethnicity, are offended by sites like this one.

It's not just any particular group either. Some people just love to hate. Take
"www.hatebook.org". These folks simply have a good deal of fun hating. In a world as tossed with paranoia, fear, and misunderstanding as we have, the last thing we need to do is preach hate.

There is something YOU CAN DO! One excellent place to report HATE SITES would be to: "www.ic3.gov/default.aspx". This connects to a JOINT INITIATIVE between the FBI, and The Bureau Of Justice Assistance (BJA).

At the bottom of the above sight, there is in bright, red letters a banner saying, "FILE A COMPLAINT". You can do so and it does not take long. The point the FBI makes, quite simply the more a particular site gets reported, the more likely they are to "investigate", likely close them up. The squeaky wheel get's greased.

So there IS something we can all do. The next time you spot a site like:
www.88tube.net, a notorious white supremacy gang, if you are revolted, you now have a place to report your ire. The more we do, the less we potentially will see of them.

Thanks to "Ryan Dube" at "MakeUseOf.com" for use of his thoughts!
11/12/09
Deal and job hunting - out of the box. Best "DEAL" and "JOB hunt" search in a long time.

Tink-O-Matic utilizes Craigslist, eBay, and several other search engines to help you find the classified ad that's been eluding you. Whatever you might imagine you'd care to search for, Tink-O-Matic will give you our best shot.

You can select which search engines you want to use, and with time will learn which combinations provide best results for what you seek.

Simple and intuitive, you'll be amazed, as was/am I how well this site will work for you.
11/12/09
Point your browser here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/symptom-checker/DS00671 - for "Symptom Checker" page.

The Mayo Clinic has for a long time established itself as one of the most trusted names, and facilities, for medial care.

This Mayo Clinic web site, allows one to single-out parts of the body and begin to answer questions that help pinpoint POTENTIAL problems.

This kind of "diagnostic" medical tool can be handy in providing insight into areas for further research, and Q&A with your doctor.

CAUTION: I do hope NO ONE will use this diagnostic research tool to SELF DIAGNOSE, and become panicked assured they are dying.

Hope you find this interesting, and that it aids in generalizing avenues for further study.

Good health to you.
11/7/09
This is a long one, sorry, but one I've been meaning to vent about this for some time. Unless you're really into computer maintenance and Fix-It programs, you might want to sit this review out.

Let me start by framing the point that my "opinions" are based on my experiences, thoughts/ideas shared by friends, and a good deal of research. This review focuses on Glary Utilities, but is, in fact, my opinion of all "Fix-It-All" programs available. So no personal attack Glary?

Glary Utilities is a software 'utility', bundling perhaps ten, or more, individual 'fix-it's' to improve your computer's performance - make it run like new! It will "Optimize And Improve", fix your "Privacy And Security", attend to your "Files And Folders", get your "System Tools" in order, and finally "Clean Up And Repair". Each of these "fixes" has several more sub-options and "fixes". There is a "Lite" or free version (which is perhaps missing some key attractions), and of course for a charge the "Pro" or full version.

The problem I have with Glary, and most all others of its kind, is (A.) the efficacy of all these "fixers", and (B.) putting tools, so very invasive, in the hands of those who really don't have much experience. Many savvy techs will advise you to leave your computer's registry, ALONE. The registry is rather like your computer's 'central filing cabinet' or 'brain' if you will. It controls the main settings for what your computer is instructed to do, and how. If you jiggle the registry the wrong way, and change, or remove, key registry commands, you could truly cripple your system, or lose it. The only fix then is a reinstall of your OS.

So riddle me this: how safe/smart is it to give a trusting, but unfamiliar user, a terribly invasive program designed to DELETE "unnecessary" registry entries? The stories I could tell (including my own DISASTER tales of registry fixers).

OK, so much for the registry. But the same dynamic of RISK applies to all the other 'jobs' the utility is ready to do for you. What WILL it do to your security, and along with optimization, what will it "Improve? Files And Folders, "corrects the errors in your start menu and desktop shortcuts". Do you know which shortcuts you want to keep, and which, if any, are OK to delete? So how does Glary?

So what is safe? Ask lot of good questions of smart computer people. Trouble is they're not always handy and generally cost a good deal to hire.

I turn to the web sites I can trust for feedback. Trust - takes time to build trust. Here's a starter for you. Lifehackers.com is a well known resource with techs and smart computer people. They have a long history of good advice and fixes that have been around a while, work, and don't break anything. You'll learn a good deal there and also find resources for freeware fixes and options you can trust.

There are more web sites you can turn to but the process is not a quick one. Before a wizened user does a thing, they'll drop into forums and ask the "elders", "any thoughts"? Mostly the feedback will be usable and safe. Unfortunately PATIENCE is the best "fix" you can use.

Almost done. Here's a freeware program you can start with and get to know well. Ccleaner.com (originally known as Crap Cleaner) is one of the handiest tools around. It will clear out all your temp, garbage files (but you STILL have to know WHICH areas to tell it to clean), disable unnecessary items from start-up, even uninstall stubborn unwanted programs. It's also one of the few intelligent registry fixers - period. You can scan your registry without changes, backup existing registry before any cleaning (if you screw-up - UNDO the clean), and for some reasons I'm unaware of, makes better decisions about your registry than most other progs.

There. I've had my say. Be careful of promises that seem, "to good to be true", they generally are. Research and patience will keep your computer running longer, better, with a lot less grief.
10/30/09
ColorJive's own INTRO:

"Paint your home without paint!

You don't even have to pick up a brush. Paint virtually with Colorjive. We've got thousands of colors to choose from.

If you're wondering whether it's a good idea to paint your kitchen red, you can test it with Colorjive. It just takes a few clicks. Click here to try it.

You can test-drive Colorjive right away without an account, no questions asked. If you want to save a picture, you'll need a free account. Signing up only takes a minute."

_This site was actually intended to be an 'add-on' to my report on www.easy2diy.com, where dimensions will AUTOMATICALLY calculate the amount of paint needed. ColorJive is the application that allows you to actually see your living space in any colors you select.Hope this helps!
Ron.
10/30/09
http://tinyurl.com/pp8z9

This particular feature (on www.easy2diy.com) impressed the heck out of me. If your planning on jumping in on some home improvement, and tackling a painting job, this can make things easier.

Point your browser to the "tiny" URL above. You'll find a template which asks room dimensions, number of doors and windows, and will translate that into how many gallons of paint you need.

If that's not handy enough, it will let you compare various color schemes to decide what colors will look best together and on the room.

If you're going to paint, check this out!
10/28/09
I'm not one for online gaming. Most simply don't hold my attention. Submarine 6:the edge" is different. It's a strategy game that tests memory, eye for details, and in my case became addictive.

There are many games you'll find available. I just wanted to point out Sub6 and the web site for FLASH gaming online.
Have FUN!
10/25/09
Per VZOchat.com:

_"CRISP VIDEO QUALITY! With our patented Visicron video codec, we have achieved superior video quality, minimal processor and bandwidth usage in our free VZOchat video chat.

_SAFETY AND PRIVACY. Video chat VZOchat contains no harmful code, no hidden adds, no modules for tracking users. You have total control over the personal data that you share with other video chat users.

_COMMUNITY: Tell the world about yourself and make new friends. Use the blogs and photo albums on our site. Look for people with similar interests. Communicate your preferred way and JOIN our video chat VZOchat community!

_INTEGRATION WITH OTHER WEBSITES: Insert our video chat VZOchat web client into your homepage or blog and stay in touch with your friends!

_STABLE CONNECTION, EVEN THROUGH PROXY AND FIREWALLs.
Special technology allows video chat VZOchat clients to work through any HTTPS/SOCKS proxy, and does not require additional firewall settings for a stable and reliable connection.

And finally: Video chat with up to 120 of your friends in VZOchat!"

I've tried VZOchat and found, for my simple purposes, audio, video and size reproduction rival Skype. That's quite a compliment.
10/24/09
Here's how the site describes itself:

_"How do community members receive information about criminal activity in their neighborhoods? Community members can visit www.CrimeReports.com any time to view crime incident reports for any participating jurisdiction. Based on the type of data the agency chooses to make available, community members can also sign up to receive daily, weekly or monthly email alerts regarding criminal activity and police dispatch calls for service in their neighborhoods. The majority of crime and call incident records are available indefinitely on CrimeReports.com".

_This very handy. I often wonder how my neighborhood 's safety compares to others, especially after a shot of the evening news. Simply sign-up, select the particular 'crimes' you're interested in being alerted to (i.e. theft, assault, quality-of-life threats, etc.), enter your zip code, the activity within a particular radius, and your done.

_You can select a weekly, or daily update so this will not become overwhelming. You can also opt to become part of an active community of those who keep an eye on their neighborhoods if you wish.

The service to citizens is FREE.
10/15/09
"Welcome to Pissed Consumer! Bookmark and Share. The best consumer product reviews and complaints site. Write Review and share opinions about products or services."

It's that simple. A large and very popular (probably second to RipOffReport.com), CONSUMER REPORTING SITE. Register free, write your report detailing your bad-business experience, add photos to support your claim and POST.

Posts appear within an hour (generally less). Another great way to let businesses that practice BAD business you're letting the Internet know!
10/14/09
This is a "user created" database of phone numbers associated with people/businesses that manage to piss-off more than just yourself.

Each time someone has a bad experience with a company, found them RUDE, UNRESPONSIVE, TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE etc., he/she goes to WhoCallsMe.com,checks the company's phone number to see if others have had similar bad luck. If nothing cames back from your search, you may be the first to comment which might help the next who checks in.

Rather like a BBB by phone number. I ran a couple numbers of businesses I'd had trouble with and two searches came back with others who had upsetting things to report. This will hopefully give you some idea of who you're doing business with - or to check a business BEFORE you use their product/service.

If you miss a call and are curious about who placed it - zap - search the number and see what you find.
10/12/09
In short, GetHuman.com is a web site compiling phone numbers (so that you can actually Speak to a PERSON regarding your concern) that are typically hard to find.

It does become an extremely handy repository of numbers you might need to use or might want to at some point (eBay, AT&T, Verizon, Facebook, Apple, Ticketmaster, etc.).

If YOU have a "hard-to-find" phone contact, submit it to the data base so someone else can benefit from your nightmarish search.

UPDATE: Sorry I left a period out of URL in Title. SHOULD BE:
www.gethuman.com.
Goby
10/11/09
This isn't going to find you a dating service or the best singles bar. What Goby will do is hunt down anything from the best bed & breakfast, best assortment of family fun, pubs and bars, restaurants, and you name it from there - all in your zip code.

You input three pieces of information on a very simple attractive interface:
1. WHAT you want to do, 2. WHERE (name a city & state or a zip code), and
3. WHEN you'd like to get going.

Each category has a drop-down box to offer most obvious recommendations, but you can certainly type-in your particular interest.

Once you hit 'search', a text frame flashes by as Goby considers your interest and request. It then displays results with name, address, phone, and a thumbnail of each item.

I think you'll be surprised at how well this web site hunts down your interest, and the scope of it's offerings. Check Goby out and see if you don't find it a keeper for finding stuff to do!
10/6/09
Videos, pic, weird and funny stories. Some material here can be rated "R", bear that in mind.

There are a host of other web sites you can spin-off to. Many are rather sexually explicit with predominantly male oriented humor. Other sites are humorously appalling to both sexes.

Purely a diversion - time killer.

Ron Has Earned 972 Votes

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