Google Nik Collection Now Free

Google made the announcement yesterday to make the Nik Collection for free. Free as in beer.

Photo enthusiasts all over the world use the Nik Collection to get the best out of their images every day. As we continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed, we’ve decided to make the Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it.

The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities — from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.

Starting March 24, 2016, the latest Nik Collection will be freely available to download: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund, which we’ll automatically issue back to you in the coming days.

We’re excited to bring the powerful photo editing tools once only used by professionals to even more people now.

Partition Hard Drive As Apple Partition Table

A few days ago, I wrote about repurposing my 1TB hard drive as a storage device after a SSD upgrade. I won’t be using this drive for booting up the OS. I reformatted my hard drive and created a new partition using the GUID Partition Table. Using this table allows you to have the option to boot from this device.

Since I will only be using this drive for extra storage, it probably wasn’t the right choice. In addition, it was constantly asking me to enter the root password every time I created a new folder. The obvious fix was to repartition the hard drive and select the Apple Partition Table instead of GUID partition table. It worked.

If you’re on the same boat, then do exactly what I did. Repartition the drive and select Apple Partition Table.

The Transformation of Microsoft

Microsoft has been going through a transformation over the years. It has been slow, but the changes are dramatic if you haven’t been paying attention. Microsoft no longer makes a ton of money on the Windows platform. Far from it. Just take a look at the areas where Microsoft made the most money this past year based on revenue.

  1. Server and Cloud Services (Azure)
  2. Gaming (Xbox)
  3. Microsoft Office
  4. Windows OS

Windows OS is only 10% of Microsoft’s total revenue, and it grew a paltry 5% despite the Windows 10 release last year. Sales on Azure on the other end, grew a whopping 140% more than last year.

Using My 1 TB Hard Drive As Storage

When I migrated to SSD on my Mac mini, I kept the original 1 TB hard drive to store my old Mac OS data. That was just in the SSD migration failed. After two weeks of non-event, it was time to blow up my 1 TB hard drive. That means deleting the entire drive and using it as a backup drive for storing miscellaneous and less frequently accessed files. I’m not worried about the new SSD failing, because I have Time Machine. I can always restore the entire OS from my Time Machine backup. So, I dumped everything on the 1 TB drive and emptied the Trash Can. I took awhile, but now I have all that real estate for storage.

First Mac Ransomware

Ransomware is no longer just for Windows users. It’s now made its way into the Mac OS. The ransomware called KeRanger, was distributed via a legit and popular BitTorrent client called Transmission.

Users who have downloaded Transmission 2.90 since last Friday are infected. Transmission has removed the malicious version of their software and made a patch. Users should upgrade to version 2.92.

The KeRanger malware imposes a 72 hour lockout window requiring victims to pay 1 bitcoin or equivalent to about $400.

Microsoft Decides Not To Buy Slack

If you were shopping for an app, at $8 billion dollars, would you buy Slack?

Slack is one of the hottest app in the last year. Microsoft doesn’t think so. They were thinking of it at one time, but apparently former CEO Bill Gates doesn’t think it’s a great idea.

Slack has $2.8 billion valuation. They have 2.3 million active users, and about 650,000 paid users, and they recently received $160 million funding.

15.36 TB SSD

Samsung is now shipping the 15.36 TB SSD based on a 12Gb/s Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface. It’s will not be cheap. Samsung has not revealed the price yet.

In addition, Samsung will also release different versions at 7.68TB, 3.84TB, 1.92TB, 960GB, and 480GB. The speeds of this new SSD are going to be other worldly with sequential read and write speeds of up to 1,200 mbps.