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5 Photo Effects Software You Need to Try

December 29, 2017 - By 

Using image-sharing apps like Instagram and Flickr is a great way to follow amazing photographers and find inspiring images.

Trying their techniques or processes can help you boost your photography. But how much of their beautiful images comes down to photo effects software?

Few images in the history of photography haven’t been altered. Before Photoshop, photographers used darkroom techniques to achieve the effects they desired.

Don’t want to get your hands dirty in the darkroom? Software will be your new best friend and we’re here to help.

We’ve rounded up five of the best programs, though you won’t find web-based applications like PicMonkey or Canva here.

We’re sticking to serious software so you can give your photography a boost. So keep reading on reading!

1) Adobe Lightroom

Want to try photo effects software to get results like this photographer? You can’t talk about photography and photo effects software without mentioning a product by Adobe. Photoshop might seem like the obvious choice but Lightroom is also an excellent option.

Why? Photoshop offers vast potential for photomanipulation, graphic design, 3D renders and beyond. But Lightroom focuses on getting the best out of your photography.

Being a specialist piece of software means it does its job very well. Think of it as a digital darkroom for your RAW photography.

Photoshop has a RAW processor within it. But Lightroom allows you to add extra effects like split toning.

It’s also great for batch processing, so you can apply the same settings to lots of images from the same shoot. You can also organize your image library, adding keywords or editing the metadata.

It’s a lighter program meaning it doesn’t hit your system resources as hard as Photoshop. That’s great news if your budget doesn’t stretch to a brand new laptop.

Try our complete guide to Lightroom if you want to learn this amazing software.

2) Affinity Photo

Brought to you by the company that made Serif PhotoPlus, Affinity Photo is a heavyweight contender for Photoshop’s photo effects software crown.

At a fraction of the price for an Adobe product, Affinity Photo offers a one-off cost. There are no subscription fees but they roll out regular updates to the software.

Its interface mimics Photoshop and the software even handles PSD files. If you can already use Photoshop but dislike its price tag, you’ll be up and running in minutes.

Alongside a raft of selection features, Affinity Photo offers plenty of non-destructive editing options. Take advantage of their Live Adjustment Layers to apply effects to one layer – or all of them.

Install your Photoshop plugins or brushes to work with the software. If you’re still not sure, download their free trial to take it for a test drive.

3) Pixeluvo

If you’re used to the handy filters in Instagram or the Flickr app, Pixeluvo might be the photo effects software for you. Its Quick Color tool offers plenty of color balance options to apply to your images.

Its selection tools are easy to use and it offers handy previews of blending modes before you apply them.

That’s better than Photoshop. In Adobe’s offering, you have to manually select each blending mode to see the effect. That can lead to plenty of pointless clicking until you find the mode you want.

The software doesn’t include layer options like styles and groups, so if they’re your favorite tools in Photoshop then Pixeluvo might disappoint you.

But that makes it easier to learn if you’re new to this software. It’s cheaper than Affinity Photo and it comes with a trial version.

4) Nik Collection

Still want to use Photoshop but want to remove some of the learning curve? Try Google’s Nik Collection.

This free suite includes seven Photoshop plugins that also work with Aperture and Lightroom.

DxO acquired the collection and will release a new set in 2018. For now, download the existing set for free. Get started on beautiful images at the click of a button.

What Are The Plugins?

Analog Efex Pro lets you fake the look of classic lenses, cameras, and films. Film photography gets expensive with the cost of developing negatives. This plugin will get you the look more easily.

Silver Efex Pro gives you tools inspired by the darkroom to help you improve monochrome photography.

Color Efex Pro uses filters to give you a range of options for retouching, color editing, and more. Or use Viveza to adjust color and tone without using selections and masks.

If that weren’t enough, you can use Sharpener Pro to sharpen your images. Or try our HDR photography with HDR Efex Pro. Finally, Define helps reduce noise.

5) GIMP

We couldn’t write a post about photo effects software and not mention GIMP. The classic alternative to Photoshop, this free open-source program even handles PSD files.

You can work with layers, apply photo actions, or install custom brushes to enjoy a similar workflow to Photoshop users. GIMP is a powerful program, considering it’s free.

Apply filters, effects, and more to achieve impressive results.

At present, GIMP’s biggest downside is the lack of non-destructive editing. If you make a mistake, you have to go back to the beginning and start again. You can’t just turn off an adjustment layer.

We say ‘at present’ since that’s going to change. Version 3.2 will introduce the non-destructive editing features photographers love, along with adjustment layers.

Even smart objects are on their way at some point.

With a price tag of ‘free’, what have you got to lose by trying it?

Photo Effects Software Doesn’t Have to be Complicated or Expensive.

Photoshop is an obvious choice for photo editing. But there’s a lot to learn and paying for a subscription can soon mount up.

Lightroom is a cheaper option which will level-up your photography almost overnight.

If the cost is still too much, Affinity Photo might be the right software. Or try GIMP – maybe it’s steep learning curve is less intimidating since it’s free.

Still got questions about downloading photo effects software? Please contact our support team. We’re happy to help.


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The Top 7 Software Trends to Keep an Eye On

September 27, 2017 - By 
Software Trends

Things are always changing in the world of software development. New tools, frameworks, and software are constantly being released and changing the landscape of business and technology.

If you want your business to stay ahead, you need to keep track of the latest and greatest software trends. By taking advantage of these software trends, your company can achieve greater speed, accuracy, and efficiency.

Want to know the 7 top software trends your company should be keeping an eye on? Read on to learn more.

Trend 1: Increase in Security Measures

Due to the huge increase in mobile device usage, people are relying on their smartphones for everyday needs like communicating, shopping, and storing service sensitive information. The more they use e-banking, e-wallets, and things like social media payment methods, the more vulnerable they become to mobile malware, identity theft, and cyber attacks.

Breach of mobile payment systems, hacktivism, and the cracking of cloud storage are things both users and companies should be worried about. Companies need to invest in the latest security software trends to assure users that their private information is being protected.

Here are a few computer safekeeping features to keep you protected:

IM Protection

IM Protection will protect you from any instant messages with hidden malware.

Firewall

A Firewall will prevent you from unintentionally downloading malware. A Firewall also protects you from shady websites trying to steal data from your computer.

Anti-Spam

Anti-Spam will filter email and block annoying and unwelcomed messages.

Privacy Filter

A privacy filter will warn you whenever you’re about to accidentally reveal personal information. It’s also a panel or filter you can place over your display to make it difficult for someone to see your screen without directly being in front of it.

File Shredder

A file shredder lets you erase files so that they can’t be recovered from your hard drive at a later time.

Trend 2: Cloud Technology

As people continue to use more and more devices, the need to access data from multiple devices becomes greater. Today, companies are using cloud computing as a way of storing and access data over the Internet instead of on your computer’s hard drive.

Today, electronic manufacturers are investing in cloud computing and cloud security. Industries like banking, manufacturing, and gaming are even migrating to the cloud.

In fact, it’s reported that by 2018, at least 30% of service companies will move their enterprise resource planning applications to the cloud.

Knowing how cloud technology works and any relevant software trends will then be incredibly important in the next few years.

Trend 3: Increase in Chat Applications

With the increase of applications like Slack, more and more companies are using team chat applications not just as a form of communication, but as a way of conducting business operations.

Here’s a list of just a few things chat applications can do:

  • Perform daily data look-up
  • Run builds and deployments
  • Automate tasks
  • Analyze legal contracts
  • Create financial reports

Using chat applications and bot technology can help teams ship software faster, increase the effectiveness of your product, and improve the overall user experience.

Trend 4: Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are two of the most important new software trends out there. Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence that lets systems automatically learn and improve from experience without being programmed.

They include technologies like deep learning, natural language processing, and include even more advanced systems that can learn, adapt, predict and operate on their own.

Why are these two things important?

AI and machine learning can lead to the development of more intelligent devices and programs. They can help companies more intelligently target users, more easily detect security threats, and even help things like cars learn how to operate more efficiently.

Trend 5: Intelligent Applications

One of the newer software trends is intelligent applications that help make people more efficient and everyday tasks easier. For example, some will help you prioritize emails, and even highlight the most important pieces of text so you won’t have to read the whole thing.

How can intelligent applications help you?

Intelligent apps like virtual customer assistants can help do specialized tasks for sales and customer service teams like keeping track of bookings. Virtual customer assistants can help improve the customer experience by reducing the workload for human customer service agents and speeding up the overall customer service process.

Software intelligence apps also give you the ability to detect when a user makes an error, or when there’s a performance issue so you can quickly solve any issues.

Trend 6: Internet of Things

To put it simply, the Internet of Things is the concept of connecting devices such as cell phones, headphones, lamps, etc. with automated systems.

Here are a few ways the Internet of Things will change how you do business:

Greater Access to Data

The Internet of Things will help mobile devices use data to track and record customer behavior and make intelligent product recommendations for them.

Easier Inventory Tracking and Management

Tthe Internet of Things will help businesses keep track of inventory automatically.

Faster & More Efficient Work

The Internet of Things will help you and your workers accomplish tasks faster and do things like data analysis and management with greater precision.

By 2020, more than half of new businesses will use the Internet of Things to some extent, so jump on this software trend now!

Trend 7: Mobile First

Mobile devices are being used more today than ever before. So it’s important to optimize your mobile experience and make sure it has the most up to date features and security measures.

Take advantage of VR and AR technology, and make sure your security is up to date to prevent malware from accessing or stealing user information.

How to Keep Up With Software Trends

Keeping up with the latest software trends isn’t easy. Here are some tips for staying in the know:

1. Check out Twitter and social media feeds for conversations surrounding new technology.

2. Visit news aggregation sites like Reddit and Techmeme for recent tech developments.

3. Read blogs, connect with software industry experts, and search YouTube for videos on new and exciting software.

Was this post helpful? Are there any software trends were missing? Let us know in the comments below!


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How a Digital Communication System is Improving Healthcare

September 14, 2017 - By 

When it comes to life and death situations, there is no room for error. Digital communication system benefits are helping the medical and healthcare stay accurate and efficient in their patient care.

With cutting-edge technology and improved communication systems, doctors are able to make informed decisions as they stay updated on patient information entered in real time. Medical teams are offered easy access to consolidated patient information with advanced communication systems.

Doctors can also quickly learn and incorporate new treatments and procedures into their work as they learn about them through digital systems.

In American adults, 87% of the population use the internet. Of that 87%, 72% have gone online to look for health information. With patient portals and a plethora of information available, we are entering a new wave of optimal health care.

Here’s why.

The Web is an Informative Digital Communication System

There is so much being researched, refined, and updated in the medical field. What once was unknown information unless you knew a doctor, is now available online for everyone and anyone to read.

More and more people are using the internet to research their medical issues. Learning what symptoms mean or what home remedies might work can be invaluable information. It’s never a good idea to rule out the doctor completely, but with helpful information at your fingertips, you can start down the correct path to healing.

Social Media

Social media is changing marketing, relationships, and how we get medical information. This digital communication system is one of the most efficient ways to reach mass amounts of people.

Most medical facilities have social media accounts. This is helpful to you when choosing which healthcare provider or which hospital you’d like to go to. With comment sections and reviews, you’ll get insider knowledge-based on first-hand experience. Go where the glowing reviews are.

Better Treatment

With an updated digital communication system, health care providers are able to give new treatments, machinery, and medicine to their patients. Sophisticated medical practices are helping patients heal while making healthcare more effective.

Lives are constantly being changed in very practical ways through communication systems that are fast, accurate, and proven.

Employee/Worker Efficiency

Digital communication system collaborations have made patient care more reliable. How? Doctors and nurses are using hand-held computers and devices to record a patient’s medical progress or history, which is then sent directly to the database.

Recording test results, vital signs, and medication levels will contribute to a mass amount of information that will allow any doctor to make an educated decision on what their patient needs.

Easy access to all of the information necessary for a patient by whoever is caring for them will ensure that a patient gets the best care.

Everyone Is Easier To Reach

With smartphones, iPads, and portable lap tops, a medical team can access the information that the nurses have been at work collecting. Doctor’s can look up case studies while checking a patient’s detailed history.

Doctors can then use video remote interpreting, e-mails, and even texts to schedule conferences or to collaborate on a decision for a patient if everyone isn’t in the same place.

The New Age

Technology is rapidly helping us stay healthier by having access to large amounts of information. An informed life is a healthy life.

For more health tips, click here!


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4 Things to Look for in Salon Booking Software

September 7, 2017 - By 
Salon Booking Software

There’s nothing like running a salon.

You get all the benefits of running a small business with the perks of a job that lets you be creative and follow your passions.

But if you can’t book any clients, forget it.

There are dozens of ways to keep track of bookings—from entering everything into your phone to writing them in a little black book. If you want to make your booking easier and more powerful than ever, you’re going to need a good salon booking software.

In this article, we’ll go through four things you need to look for in a salon booking software that will work for you.

Online Booking

How do your clients make bookings now? By telephone? Do they have to (gulp) walk in?

As a business owner, you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to do business with you.

And the best way to do that is through online booking.

A good salon booking software will give your clients access to set their own appointments. They’ll be able to see their favorite stylist’s openings and book on the spot.

If your booking software offers a mobile app, even better. Mobile apps lead to better client retention and can bring in more customers.

Powerful Customer Management

You already know your customers, right? After all, the salon is a breeding ground for conversation.

Customer management software can take your relationship with your clients to the next level.

Keep track of personal data like birthdays and anniversaries, and send them a congratulatory discount.

You can also track their appointments. Introduce a loyalty rewards system for frequent visitors. Give a coupon to anyone you haven’t seen in a while as an incentive to bring them back.

A good customer management software may also include customer surveys. This opens up a two-way conversation between you and your clients and lets them feel heard and valued. And when customers feel valued, they come back.

Reporting and Data Analysis

It’s important to have an accurate picture of your business’s financial health.

These days, it’s not enough to just check the calendar for appointments or look at the checking account balance.

Sure, that will give you a general picture. But to learn more about your salon’s financial shape, you will need a salon booking software that can track and analyze data.

How much is the average appointment? Are more people getting cuts or dyes? How much money does each appointment cost you in materials?

You can even track how much money you spend on social media ad campaigns compared to how much those promotions bring in.

Inventory Management

Have you ever had a customer come in for a dye job, only to find out that you’re out of toner?

It’s more than just an annoyance: that’s the sort of thing that drives people to find a new salon.

A good salon booking software will also track your inventory so you can avoid those sorts of aggravating slip ups. And that keeps you and your customers happy.

Make Your Salon Smarter with Salon Booking Software

Having trouble breaking your salon into the next level of success?

A powerful salon booking software can give you the boost you need.

Make sure to follow our blog for more business tips!


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5 Things to Know Before Downloading Bitcoin Software

September 5, 2017 - By 
bitcoin mining software

The internet has fundamentally changed the way we view many things. From entertainment consumption to public discourse, the web has connected the globe in a way that cannot be ignored.

But in addition to our entertainment, the net has also given way to a brand new form of exchange. Known as cryptocurrency, anyone can now create their own form of virtual currency.

From the meme-driven Dogecoin to Burger King’s Whoppercoin, it seems as if there’s a currency for everyone. Yet none have sustained the popularity of the original, Bitcoin.

Through a powerful Peer-to-Peer network, Bitcoin mining software has slowly taken over the web. Thanks to its low processing fees and relatively low mining cost, Bitcoins are more popular than ever.

But before you start mining, you’ll want to read our guide. Here are 5 things to know before downloading this software.

1. The Basics of Bitcoin Mining

So how does it work? In essence, the process is actually fairly simple, but be sure to consult Bitcoin’s guide. A user installs mining software on his or her computer and lets it run continuously.

As the software connects to other networks, each network connects back to a central network. So while there isn’t a central bank system for Bitcoin, all transactions are stored on the network.

The stronger the network, the more powerful the value of Bitcoin.

2. Not Everyone Accepts Bitcoin

One of the only downsides to paying with Bitcoin is that not every site accepts it. While lots of online sites such as Overstock and Dish accept it, it won’t replace your debit card anytime soon.

The good news is that sites all around the globe accept Bitcoin as payment. Furthermore, Bitcoin transactions are often faster than a PayPal transaction.

3. You’ll Need a Strong Power Supply

While it’s tempting to view Bitcoin as a way to make free money, that’s not quite the case. You’ll need a pretty powerful machine to mine Bitcoin. In fact, it requires so much power that many individuals rent out spaces and servers.

While the software itself is easy enough to run, processing power can be an issue. You’ll need a PC capable of long hours and tons of power consumption.

Check if your current computer is capable of running Bitcoin mining software on a regular basis.

4. The Bitcoin Market Fluctuates

The primary concern among Bitcoin miners is the temperament of the market. Bitcoin has a tendency to ebb and flow at a rate that “normal” currencies just don’t see.

If you choose to download Bitcoin mining software, expect to see the value drop and rise rapidly. Check the Bitcoin Market Journal for up-to-date info on the current Bitcoin rates.

5. Most Bitcoin Mining Software is Free

Now for a bit of good news. Aside from hardware, it costs virtually nothing to get started! You can download most software for free.

Take a few minutes to research the various types of software. While they all perform the same task, some work better on certain systems than others.

Download Bitcoin Guides

Despite its flaws, Bitcoin is still a tremendous force in the marketplace. Check out our selection of downloads to learn more about how you can start mining Bitcoin today! You’ll get great information from highly trusted sellers.

And don’t forget that we offer tons of other downloads. From movies to music to software, we have all the options you’ll need!


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How to Download Easy Graphic Design Software

August 14, 2017 - By 
graphic design

In order for your website to compete with other online businesses, you need to have a sophisticated graphic design scheme.

But achieving that isn’t as easy as you might think.

People go to school for years to learn effective graphic design techniques. If that isn’t a possibility for you, how can you keep up with them?

Downloading an easy graphic design software can solve this problem. With easy graphic design software, most of the hard work is done for you.

In this post, we’ll show you how you can find and download an easy graphic design software solution for your company.

Identify Your Needs

Figure out exactly what you need in a software. The more features a software has, the more complicated it will likely be. It’s important to be sure of what you want so you are not intimidated by the software you choose. Plus, there’s no point in paying for features you’re never going to use.

Ask yourself what kind of business you run, and what kind of business do you want to be?

If you want your web design to be cutting-edge, you need software that helps you translate your vision.

If your target market doesn’t call for complex design techniques, you may be fine with simple software.

You should also consider the length of time you want to devote to graphic design matters. Will your design project be a one-time thing? Or, will you have a consistent need for design work?

If your design projects are mostly ongoing, you should think about hiring a dedicated designer. Look for someone who knows the ins and outs of complicated software. The right software for you is out there. It just takes a little digging.

Easy Graphic Design Software Can Be Free

The best thing about graphic design software is that it is possible to find high-quality versions for free. Even the most professional software packages often have free trials that allow you to use the software for a limited time.

This is important because it gives you the chance to try out a few different graphic design software options without making a substantial financial commitment. If it isn’t working for your company, you can just delete it.

But if you’ve done your research and you know what you want, don’t be afraid to take the leap. Even the most complicated graphic design software can be conquered if you take some time to learn how it works.

Download It!

The final step in the process is to download your graphic design software. First, figure out if the software you are downloading is compatible with your Mac or your PC, depending on what you’re using.

Then, follow the instructions to save the files and install the graphic design software. Now, your software is ready to be explored and tinkered with.

Trends in graphic design are always changing. So, it’s important that you have the software that enables your website to stay relevant.

If you have any more questions about downloading graphic design software, please contact our support team. 


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5 Reasons Your Business Needs Fleet Management Software

March 8, 2017 - By 
Fleet Management Software

Are the challenges that come with running a fleet of vehicles getting on your nerves?

Sure, managing a fleet of cars, vans or trucks comes with a unique set of challenges and risks. Management costs can easily spiral out of control and tracking efforts can cause you unnecessary headaches.

But now all that is about to change!

By utilizing fleet management software, you can solve the various vehicle management problems your business is facing.

Keep reading to find out the important reasons your business needs fleet management software.

The Need to Keep Costs Low

Whether you own a small or large business, every mile logged on each vehicle will affect your bottom line.

A fleet management software can help to reduce your operational costs.

For example, it can be customized to alert you every time a vehicle stays idle for a longer period than expected. Since idling wastes fuel, you can take a necessary action to ensure your long-haul drivers don’t prolong idle times.

What’s more, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that driver feedback devices can improve fuel economy by up to 10 percent!

The Need to Improve Efficiency

Without fleet management software, you have to call your drivers and dispatch them to various delivery sites.

This can be very inefficient, since some drivers may be out of reach. With the software, you’re able to make dispatches with a few clicks. You can even monitor the location of your vehicles on a single screen.

Route optimization is another fleet management software feature that helps to enhance business efficiency.

With built-in mapping information, you will be able to identify the shortest routes to various destinations before dispatching a vehicle.

Minimize Accidents

Accidents can stifle the growth of your business.

When an accident occurs, your risk losing your vehicle, personnel and the goods being delivered. Even if it’s a minor accident, delivery will be delayed and your clients may get impatient.

Although fleet management software can’t eradicate accidents, it will provide you with the information you need to minimize their occurrence.

You can monitor the performance of your drivers, detect those with erratic driving behaviors and take an appropriate corrective action.

The software also gives you the power to monitor the mechanical condition of your vehicles. You can take them in for maintenance before they develop major problems.

The Need to Comply with Regulations

The trucking industry is heavily regulated by the federal and state governments to ensure the safety of other road users.

Violating a regulation can result in lawsuits and hefty fines that can reduce your profit margins.

As a business owner or fleet manager, it’s your job to:

  • hire qualified drivers
  • develop and implement driver training programs
  • prevent overloading
  • ensure vehicles are well-maintained

Fleet management software helps you to maintain compliance and stay on top of new government regulations.

The Need to Stay Two Steps Ahead of Competitors

In today’s modern world, staying on top of technology trends can mean the difference between business success and failure.

If you want to gain an edge over other trucking businesses in the market, then you should acquire the best fleet management software for your needs.

Conclusion

Fleet management can be an incredibly easy task, or it can be much harder than it needs to be.

The good news is you have the freedom to choose which side of the coin you want to be!

If you want a hassle-free experience, you know what to do. Get fleet management software that can enable you to reduce fuel expenses, increase efficiency, and minimize accidents that can cost your business.


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