Glow Adds QuadraPop and ParaPop 38″ Portable Softboxes to Light Modifier Line for More Flawless Hard Light Diffusion

ParaPop 38"New York, NY – July 28, 2015 Glow, the award-winning brand of high quality lighting modifiers for professional photography and video production, has just announced two new additions to its softbox collection – the Glow QuadraPop 24”x34” and the Glow ParaPop 38” Portable Softboxes. The perfect solutions for speedlights, studio lights and large portable strobes, Glow’s latest models feature excellent softbox quality, marrying a sleek look with superior, innovative design for the “pop” of innovation needed in every imaging scenario.

Both models are available with speedrings for five popular types of speedlights, monolights and studio strobe heads. The interchangeable speedrings align either light modifier with virtually every brand, allowing creative imagemakers the flexibility and value of using their modifier of choice with any type of lighting and/or brand in their gear kit, simply by changing out the speedring. Because of their durable, easy-to-use and lightweight frames, both the Glow QuadraPop and ParaPop are perfect for mobile portraits, and travel photography and videography in addition to studio work. They are ideal for imaging enthusiasts of all levels, from novice to professional.

Made primarily in Korea, the Glow line is getting noticed by customers from all over for its high quality and variety of offerings. Photographer Wally Kilburg, of The Studio at 46 West, based just outside of Chicago, commented, “Glow products are engineered to compliment other vendors’ products, as in my use of Glow softbox grids. Softbox grids often cost more than the modifier they are used on, so it’s pure joy to find the Glow grids work on the standard sizes listed – and at a way low price! Well-made, priced right, and they work as good as you can find. Pretty much the same can be said of any Glow products I have used.”

QuadraPop 24"x34"“We love the Glow products, especially in studio and on location, for their affordable pricing, great build, quality and beautiful lighting effects,” adds Daniel Marcion of Belle Portwe Photography, a premier fashion, commercial and wedding photography studio located on the island of Saint Lucia. “I can recommend The Glow Line to anyone interested in great quality light modifiers. They have a variety of products that meet our needs and we plan to continue using them in our studio.”

The QuadraPop 24”x34” and ParaPop 38” Portable Softboxes are now available online at Adorama.com and at the Adorama superstore, located at 42 West 18th Street in New York City.

About Glow QuadraPop 24”x34” Portable Softbox
The lightweight, rectangular QuadraPop 24”x34” opens and closes with speed and ease, providing ultimate portability with one snap. It was designed by engineers using UV-A and UV-R diffuser materials, to reduce UV light by up to 98% and make it exceptionally heat and water resistant. With no falloff from edge to edge, it combines the strength of a portrait key light with all of the benefits of a soft wrap, blending perfectly with any additional fill. Its rectangular shape lights evenly and makes it a popular choice for fashion, portrait, child and beauty photography.

The Glow QuadraPop is now available from Adorama for 199.95 USD.

About Glow ParaPop 38” Portable Softbox
Like the QuadraPop, the ParaPop 38” snaps into action with jointed positioning rods that open, close and lock with one click. The ParaPop’s unique 12-sided shape and parabolic profile provides a huge 105-degree light spread. It creates sun-like shadows that are slight and beautifully graduated, giving dimension where it is needed the most. The size and shape of a softbox determines how soft and seamless shadows look on a subject, and the ParaPop 38” is being quickly recognized for creating a gentler, more pleasing final shot. Learn more about softbox sizes from photography expert Gavin Hoey at the Adorama Learning Center: http://www.adorama.com/alc/0015011/article/softbox-size-vs-soft-light.

The Glow ParaPop 38” is now available from Adorama for 249.95 USD.

About Glow
The Glow line of light modifiers for photography and video is comprised of universal lighting accessories that mold and shape light, changing its quality and bringing its function to a whole new level. Fully compatible with all brands of strobes and lights, Glow umbrellas, softboxes, reflectors and beauty dishes are crafted of the highest quality materials for durability and longevity. Innovative designs make our modifiers easier to use, bringing advanced lighting setups and tools within reach of the creative vision – and budget – of every photographer.

Glow’s Grand Softbox was named Best in Show by Professional Photographer magazine in its 2014 Hot Ones Awards. Available exclusively at Adorama, customers can visit the Glow brand store online to buy: http://www.adorama.com/brands/Glow.

TomTom Bandit Action Camera (Review)

TomTom Bandit Action CameraTom Tom Bandit Action Camera
TomTom
$ 399.00 Amazon (Prime)

The TomTom Bandit (Bandit) is an action camera that is for those who are into sports and other high energy activities. It captures moments in time in several formats, from HD to 4k, single to burst photos, slow motion, time-lapse to Cinematic video,  and viewable in normal or wide angle. The options are many. Photo size is from 8 to 16 megapixels. The suggested storage media to use is a Class 10 microSD card on which to store your video and pictures. The Bandit allows you to quickly capture, share, and continue your activities with few interruptions to the action. The TomTom Bandit Action Camera is the ultimate selfie machine. Film yourself in the action and post it. Done.

Bandit Highlight Video

While reviewing this camera, I received many comments and questions from passersby. Because of its unusual appearance, people would approach me for a closer look. Some thought it was a robot at first. Once I told them it was an action camera, they related it to a GoPro, but commented that it looks much nicer. They liked the shape and the overall design, instead of looking like a box.

Bandit connected to iPhone appNavigating the menus is easy to do by toggling through each section to select your options. There two buttons and one directional pad, which helps you flip though the choices. The main button, with the “star” on it, is your action button, both for capturing events and powering on the unit. While moving through the menus, all you need to do is use the directional pad to traverse the choices. Once you decide in which format you want to capture, you can select the “star” button and begin filming or taking photos. Using a 32 GB Class 10 microSD you can capture several hours of continuous footage.

Item Weight 6.6 ounces
Product Dimensions 3.7 x 1.5 x 2.1 inches
Item model number 1LB0.001.00
Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
Warranty 1 year limited

Sharing the video can be done in three basic ways. First, you can connect to your cell phone via the wireless network that the Bandit broadcasts. Second, you can connect through the USB. And third, you can remove the microSD card and use a memory reader. If you use the first method you can use the app, Bandit, which is downloadable from play Store for the Android or AppStore for apple phone. At that point you can let the app create a highlight video. There are several ways that can be done as well. First, and the most fun and simple, is to shake the phone. After the quick shake you have 60 to 90 seconds of video ready to play and share on your social media accounts. Second, you can select the high points yourself and lay out the time line. You can add the overlay options with either choice. The first option is your music and the other two options are speed and g-force. See the video above for a demonstration of speed.

Bandit Exploded ViewThere are a few things that this product does lack and documentation is certainly one of them.  What I mean by that is there is limited information about how to use the product and how to get your fun video to the people in your social circles. The menu it is intuitive and easy to use, so a lot of documentation might not be necessary for those who like to dive right in. One of the things that I learned rather quickly by experimentation is that I had to first enable the Wi-Fi broadcast from the Bandit.  You are then able to connect your phone to the Bandit network. Once you establish connectivity between your phone and the Bandit, you have the ability to edit, preview, control, and create videos from previously recorded activities.

“The TomTom Bandit Action Camera is the ultimate selfie machine.”

Bandit Wi-Fi ReadyEven though the documentation on how to use the Bandit is poor as I wrote earlier, the menu is much like a Timex watch from the old school days. You are able to quickly determine what to do and how to get there. We are now in a society of instant gratification in that we all love the quick and easy how to. It’s like your old Timex watch and like the apple IPhone–really did you ever read the instructions on how to use your watch or your iPhone?  No, probably not. Using the Bandit is as simple as the IPhone and the Timex watch are.  The ease of use and built-in instant gratification functionality allows you to share your videos “in the moment” and not hours  or days later, but actually while the action is still fresh.

Why it’s Frugal: The Bandit is frugal because you spend no time creating a highlights video. Just film, shake, and repeat. Time is money and that’s a frugal use of your time. At $399, it’s roughly the same price as the GoPro Hero 4, but does so much more and seems more rugged for your investment. Plus it is water resistant out of the box. 

I have more than 15 years of video editing and production experience and within in a few minutes I produced and posted video of my events to social media. Combining my passion of video/photography and bicycle riding has been a great combination for the TomTom Bandit Action Camera. In the past bringing a bike riding video from filming to editing, to producing, to viewing was a really big deal. Whereas this product allows me to film in the moment and to pass that glimpse of passion to those in my social network, even before my heart stops pounding and the before the sweat has a chance to dry on my face. Before the Bandit, I would have to ingest the video, preview the video, find the high points, edit the video manually, produce the video, and then manually upload the video.

Bandit ProfileThe TomTom Bandit Action Camera is for who want to do something and share it right away. It’s fun and easy to use. What more could you want from the ultimate selfie machine?

Rating: 8/10

Recommendation: Buy it and get ready to have fun.

IK Multimedia and Mesa Engineering announce AmpliTube MESA/Boogie for Mac/PC

July 23, 2015 – IK Multimedia is proud to announce AmpliTube® MESA/Boogie®, a new collaboration with the R&D Team at Mesa Engineering that brings some of the most legendary tones from the original boutique manufacturer’s amplifiers and cabinets to AmpliTube® 3 Custom Shop for Mac and PC.

AmpliTube MESA/Boogie

Now guitarists, producers, engineers and anyone needing the power of “in-the-box” professional amplifier software can enjoy modeled versions of several of MESA/Boogie’s most famous high-gain sounds via 5 inspiring amplifiers and cabinets. These exciting new co-developed models deliver everything from gorgeous sparkling clean sounds to the percussive aggression and tight crunch of the Rectifier series to the violin-like sustain of the Mark series to the ultra-flexible mid-gain British leanings of the TransAtlantic TA-30, and everything in between.

This first-ever officially authorized by MESA® line-up includes the classic Boogie® V-Curve EQ’d crunch rhythm and singing lead voice of both the MARK III and MARK IV Series as well as what many refer to as the biggest sound in Rock, the crushing gain of the Dual and Triple Rectifiers – these are amps that have ruled the airwaves for almost two decades. As an added bonus, the TransAtlantic TA-30 (MESA’s upscale tribute to the classic British EL84 legacy) is included as well. It roams the elusive pushed clean and medium gain territories with both finesse and attitude.

And, like all AmpliTube virtual gear, these models have been meticulously crafted to sound, look and perform just like their hardware counterparts. Each model has been meticulously scrutinized, worked, re-worked and approved by the R&D Team at Mesa Engineering. The addition of these inspiring MESA/Boogie amp models to AmpliTube Custom Shop means the world’s biggest library of officially authorized virtual guitar gear just got infinitely more versatile, and certainly more toneful.

High-gain boogie on the desktop/laptop
Nothing says high-gain modern guitar tone like MESA/Boogie. MESA literally invented the concept when the original boutique amp company burst on the scene in the late ’60s with the now legendary MARK I Boogie®. Its innovative “cascading” tube preamp introduced guitarists to a new, never-before-possible world of sustain that was, at long last, separate from volume.

Leap-frogging all existing guitar technologies of the day, that original tone was a defining part of the sound of golden-era greats like Carlos Santana, Pete Townshend, Keith Richards, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, The Grateful Dead and countless other recording artists throughout the 70s. And that original tone has also helped to set the stage for successive waves of era-defining high-gain tones over the years thanks to amps like the MESA/Boogie MARK II, III and IV and the inimitable Rectifier Series, which again completely re-defined MESA’s impact on the world of Rock. When the percussive, yet perfectly-scooped high-gain aggression of the Recto’s was unleashed on the radio via the music of Limp Bizkit, Korn, Linkin’ Park, Creed and other 90s greats, there was no turning back. Guitar forever more HAD to be menacing. Today the Recto’s continue to widen their footprint in defining Rock and Metal, and, after 21 years, they’re still in constant demand and uninterrupted production.

AmpliTube MESA/Boogie recreates this historic and diverse legacy in virtual form. IK software engineers worked relentlessly with the Mesa Engineering R&D Team to ensure that each amplifier and cabinet has been rendered with the same degree of integrity and attention-to-detail that goes into the company’s physical products – the operation of both the front and the back panel controls has been fully replicated to provide exacting performance and function. The amplifiers and cabinets available in AmpliTube MESA/Boogie include:

MESA/Boogie Dual and Triple Rectifier: THE standard for modern high-gain heavy guitar tone and more. The Rectifier amps are aggressive amplifiers for aggressive players. They’re some of the most recorded and widely visible amps on big-venue stages all across the world. Effectively two different power section versions of the same amp introduced in 1989, these amps deliver maximum tone flexibility and serious rock attitude. Both have played a major role in defining the sound of grunge, metal and countless other forms of hard and heavy music. Each amp offers 3-channel, 8-mode operation and varying levels of tube saturation, plus a virtual switchable tube/solid state rectifier section. Soul, personality and feel: the Rectifiers provide a tremendous range of sounds that can be everything from crushingly percussive to liquid and elastic. These amps provide a high-gain response that can’t be found anywhere else.

MESA/Boogie Mark III: This amp from 1984 is the first original 3-channel “Tri-Modal Amplifier” design. It features an amazing set of sonic sculpting tools; it sports the original three-channel setup: Rhythm, a distinct midrange “Crunch” Rhythm, and a Lead channel with independent gain and master volume controls. Just like on the hardware counterpart, it features a full spread of tone controls plus the vitally important Boogie 5-band Graphic EQ section. When combined, it provides for a huge range of additional tone tweaking options that make it easy for players to easily recreate the sounds they hear in their heads.

MESA/Boogie Mark IV:
An improvement on a classic, this amp from 1990 takes everything that made the Mark III the standard for Boogie tone in that era and makes it even better. Three big sounds with individual controls define the tone palette for this powerhouse of a unit. Its three channels allow it deliver an incredibly wide sonic array that stretches from sparkling clean tones to ultra high-gain lead sounds that are rich with harmonics and sustain. It’s the very definition of MESA/Boogie’s signature high-gain sound, and it’s also the ultimate in versatility.

MESA/Boogie TransAtlantic TA-30: A decidedly British MESA/Boogie tribute that jumps back and forth across the sonic pond, this model captures the essence of what, for MESA, was an exercise in simplicity of operation and comprehensive tonal control. It features two-channel operation and 5 distinct “Mode” voicing choices that reference several classic British and American circuits. Throw in the Gain Boost feature, and two high-gain options (HI 1 and HI 2 in Channel 2), and this model covers everything from classic 60s to crushing contemporary, and everything in between. Each channel also features the flexibility of 3 levels of output power. This allows for a full range of power response and character that adds yet another level of accuracy and authenticity to its preamp sounds! This amp may be the most versatile yet simple-to-use MESA amplifier ever made, and it covers anything and everything the other models might miss due to their higher power ranges and gain structures.

Whole lotta gear
In the four years since its release in 2011, AmpliTube Custom Shop has established itself as the largest collection of virtual gear on the market. Its easily browsable selection of amps, stomps, cabinets and more includes officially certified models from the likes of such legendary greats as Fender™, Ampeg®, Orange®, Soldano™, Groove Tubes®, Gallien-Krueger®, Jet City Amplification™, THD® and T-Rex®, Fulltone®, Z.Vex®, Carvin®, Morley®, Wampler Pedals®, Dr. Z®, ENGL® and more. In addition to these well-recognized brands, there’s also signature gear from artists like Slash and Jimi Hendrix™. All told, there are over 280 pieces of professional-grade gear now available for trial and purchase in the AmpliTube Custom Shop!

A one stop tone shop
The AmpliTube Custom Shop for Mac/PC is a free DAW plug-in and standalone software that gives players 24/7 access to some of the most sought-after analog and digital music gear of all time. Once installed, it allows players to browse, audition and purchase collections from the world’s top gear manufacturers à-la-carte. Each model can be tested for free before purchase, just like trying out an amp or effect in a physical guitar shop. Gear models are sold in the Custom Shop using Gear Credits and are priced between 5 and 30 credits each. Gear Credits are sold in packs from a minimum of 20 credits to a maximum of 1,500 credits, with individual gear models starting as low as $/€3 each!

Plugging in to a world of sound
With IK Multimedia’s range of interfaces for mobile devices and Mac and PC, getting tone from AmpliTube is as simple as plugging into an amplifier. iRig 2, iRig HD and iRig PRO are IK’s latest generation of interfaces that allow players to plug in and get pristine, pure sound quality from their Mac or PC (or iPhone or iPad).

Pricing and availability
AmpliTube MESA/Boogie is now open for preorder at a special launch price of just $/€99.99* from the IK Multimedia online store and for just 100 Custom Shop Gear Credits from the AmpliTube Custom Shop.

The new AmpliTube MESA/Boogie bundle will be available from September 1, 2015 for $/€149.99 (150Custom Shop Gear Credits).

*Prices exclude taxes.

For more information, please visit:
www.amplitube.com/mesaboogie

Damage Control: Making what’s visible in Citrix/Terminal Servers invisible

Kurt Mueffelmann, CEO and President, CryptzoneArticle contributed by Kurt Mueffelmann, President and CEO, Cryptzone

The Citrix XenDesktop™ and XenApp™ solutions, and Windows Terminal Servers, are commonly used to provide remote access to network resources. They are typically located between the internet and the internal network, providing an entry point into internal servers—something that makes them an attractive target for hackers.

Citrix/Terminal Servers provide highly valuable functionality for session-based access from the server to the network, which must be very open to allow for all the differing user profiles and use cases. The challenge is that all traffic from every user using a Citrix/Terminal Server is seen on the network as coming from a single IP address, which might represent dozens of different user types, all with various levels of clearance.

For a traditional firewall, this means that an access rule is necessary to allow the server to access every resource that any user on that server could need. In practice, these access rules often become a permit all for the Citrix/Terminal Server. This open door to the network represents a significant security risk.

What cyber criminals can’t see, they can’t compromise.

Taking the recent Anthem breach and many other notable breaches that were the result of stolen credentials into account, it’s safe to say that nothing is out of reach. Accepting that Citrix/Terminal Server access will be compromised is the most proactive cybersecurity strategy you could take. Here’s why: hackers are, simply, the best at what they do. Research supports his theory: incident response provider Mandiant recently reported that 97 percent of organizations have been breached at least once.

Citrix/Terminal Server access rules allow users sharing an IP address to access every resource on a network segment. Once inside the network a cyber criminal who possess stolen credentials, can “see” applications and services, whether authorized or not. Enterprises need to move away from IP-centric architectures to a role-based security model, dynamically provisioning access depending on the user’s role and contextual attributes.

Once past denial, and on to acceptance, an organization can fully embrace a practical Citrix/Terminal Server security plan by focusing on minimizing risk. While the majority of cybersecurity spending historically has gone toward building up a perimeter, limiting the amount of damage intruders can do after they’re in is a powerful paradigm shift in a CXO’s strategy.

It’s time to flip cybersecurity strategies on their head.

The focus now becomes about user access and entitlements, including tight user-based controls around network access from virtual desktops. Enterprises must move away from IP-centric architectures to a role-based security model that maintains the distinction between individual users connecting through a Citrix or Windows Terminal, then dynamically provisions access on the network and application level depending on the user’s role and contextual attributes.

Dynamic access control considers factors such as, “Is the user on a laptop at home, or on an unrecognized tablet on an unsecure Wi-Fi network?” “Should access be granted in the latter case to sensitive data?”

Disruptive solutions allow organizations to limit the damage that can be done by cyber attacks (via privileged account and third-party users) by using identity and context to dynamically secure access to individual resources—essentially making the rest of an enterprise’s infrastructure invisible. They prevent the exposure of sensitive and confidential information to only allow an individual to access what they are authorized to access. This not only prevents someone from authenticating into a network if something seems amiss, but can also limit any damage a bad actor can take if they get in with stolen credentials.

This concept is taking hold at places like Coca-Cola, Google and others. It’s IT’s job to ensure that every enterprise, regardless of their size or resources, can reap the same benefits. In order to truly protect corporate data and resources, tighter user-based controls around network access from virtual desktops is critical.

10 Questions to Ask to Make the Most of Your Data Center Investment

FortrustContributed post by Josh Moody, Fortrust Senior VP of Sales and Marketing

While outsourcing your data center services often can be less expensive than maintaining your own in-house data center, it is still a considerable monetary commitment. That’s why most companies want to maximize their ROI by finding the right data center partner.

“Knowing what to ask and what to look for in a data center partner can help companies save valuable time and resources,” explains Josh Moody, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at FORTRUST. “Businesses entrust a large component of their livelihood to their data center, so it’s important to work with someone with integrity and who will follow through.”

Here are 10 questions to help ensure you find a data center that fits your needs and can help you make the most of your data center investment.

1.     Have you considered consolidating data centers?

If your company’s main focus is to prevent downtime and data loss, you may be considering colocation at multiple, lower quality sites. Instead, consider colocating in one or two facilities that have an impeccable uptime record. This solution will remove redundant IT assets, software, maintenance and support, and disaster recovery contracts while maintaining the reliability you require.

2.     Is your hardware rationalized?

Rationalizing your hardware will provide a clear look at your inventory, giving insight into which machines are used effectively and which are not. By paring down your equipment, you can lower maintenance and support charges as well as lower energy costs, freeing up capital to allocate more wisely elsewhere.

3.     How secure is your data center?

Security is one of the biggest concerns for businesses looking to outsource their datacenter services. Your data center partner should deploy a combination of multi-layered and progressive security measures to control personnel access with multiple points and types of 2-factor authentication, including card readers and biometric scanners, dual mantraps, security identification points, CCTV, and 24-hour onsite security guards combined with offsite security monitoring. Your data center should be doing all they can to protect your business’s assets from attack.

4.     Does your data center provide constant customer support?

In addition to security teams and a skilled operations team, your data center should provide a professional, highly available customer support team. A problem, question, or a need to alter your services or environment could come up at any moment. A live support staff should be made available to you 24/7/365 to handle any questions, concerns, or requests for assistance quickly and with competence.

5.     Can your data center accommodate you now and in the future?

It’s important to select a data center that can accommodate your legacy hardware, extend its lifetime, and yet allow for future growth when customer computing demands or technology increase. A typical data center traditionally over-provisions, but a datacenter that provides a fit-for-purpose solution to match your requirements now and in the future optimizes your data center investment.

6.     Have you considered data modules?

In terms of energy consumption, security, and design, data modules offer some of themost efficient methods of colocation. Modules segregate hot and cold aisle containment and adjust cooling parameters based on the customer’s real time IT load. Their effective method of cooling allows for higher density computing, which maximizes space and efficient energy utilization, thus reducing operation costs by as much as 18.5 percent. By providing the infrastructure to perform high density computing, as well as savings from the energy efficient design and an extra layer of security due to its containerized architecture, modules are an effective colocation solution.

7.     How efficient is your data center?

Consider storing your infrastructure at a facility that maximizes operational efficiency. A highly efficient data center will have lower operations costs, which results in lower rates for the customer. Efficiency also speaks to how well a data center is run and maintained. Look for features that keep the data center’s IT equipment running longer and at peak operating efficiency like seismic enhancements, custom air filtration systems, closed loop cooling systems, a comprehensive Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM).

8.     Can you be sure your IT environment is optimized and your SLA is being met?

Most data centers today use a DCIM system that allows them to monitor the datacenter’s critical infrastructure, but a few progressive facilities are now offering their customers a real-time view into their data center environment as well. This virtual window offers insight into how and where your resources are being expended without speculation. This visibility ensures your SLA is being met, and informs you of any adjustments that need to be made.

9.     Does your data center provide ample connectivity?

Internet and WAN connectivity is vital to maintaining normal business operations in a connected world. Be sure your data center has a robust network infrastructure and employs several carriers with intelligent route optimization capabilities and regional peering points. Diversified connectivity, high redundancy, and intelligent load balancing ensure you experience low latency and a lower risk of uninterrupted service, which can be costly to your company.

10.  What is your data center’s uptime record?

Recent reports show that the average length of an outage was 86 minutes. When you factor in the average cost per minute of downtime — $7,900 — that means the average total cost of an outage was a whopping $690,200. With that in mind, smart IT organizations need a data center that does everything it can to prevent a costly unplanned outage. To minimize the chance of an interruption of services, choose adata center with risk mitigation features, a resilient critical systems design, a thorough DCIM, a well-trained operations team, and frequently tested redundant components and critical systems infrastructure. Be sure to ask for the data center’s uptime record, as well as the frequency of critical systems infrastructure (Electrical and Mechanical distribution) maintenance windows, which are the true measuring stick for any datacenter provider.

Every data center is different and will offer varying levels of service. Invest in a facility that offers all of the above to ensure that your organization receives the benefits and protection it needs. At the end of the day, your data center should be more than just another expense; it should serve as a valuable business partner to make your job easier.

# # #

FORTRUST is one of the most progressive high-availability data center services providers in North America, serving clients across the globe who depend on colocation services for a critical lifeline of their business. FORTRUST Denver is the largest data center in the region with over 300,000 square feet and 34 megawatts ofdata center capacity. FORTRUST offers agile, reliable, sustainable and secure raised floor and modular data center capacity for any-size enterprise supported by optimal power infrastructure and connectivity to safeguard mission-critical business services. In addition to the national headquarters in Denver, FORTRUST has data centerlocations in Phoenix, Arizona and Edison, New Jersey. www.ftdc.com

Categories: Contributed Articles

BoinxTV: Broadcast Quality Video Made Easy (Review)

BoinxTVBoinxTV
Boinx Software, Ltd.
$499.99 for the Professional version*
$49.99 for the Home version

BoinxTV is broadcast quality video casting software that turns your Mac into a TV studio. With BoinxTV, you can create your very own high quality TV show that includes, split screens, picture-in-picture, transitions, crawls, bugs, multiple cameras, automatic upload to YouTube and much more.

BoinxTV on Location

If you want to see me and my videographer, Joseph Butler, creating videos at the Social Media Tulsa event this year with various guests, check out our work. Using BoinxTV on location was easy. Once you make a few basic decisions (video capture resolution, on-screen effects, and lower thirds), you can capture video over and over like we did over a stretch of a few hours.

For our videos, we used the same backdrop, the same lighting, and format throughout the process to keep a consistent look and feel. We also used a directional microphone, but used a second microphone that allowed some ambient sound to leak in because we liked the “busy background” it imparted to the videos.

At the SMTulsa Conference, we created 12 videos. Some of them were done back to back and only required about two minutes of file saving of the previous video and queueing of the new one in between. Joseph created the opening transition that you see just prior to each interview.

BoinxTV is your best friend on location. Seriously. It’s easy to use, easy to queue one recording right after the other, easy to use with multiple sources (cameras), and easy to create great looking, professional video (as demonstrated by our interview dozen). We never had to restart a recording because of a BoinxTV fault nor did we experience any technical issues during its use.

Video Input:

Video Cameras

  • SDI cameras supported via SDI input devices such as the Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder.
  • HDMI cameras supported via HDMI input devices such as the Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder.
  • HDV/Firewire cameras supported on Macs with Firewire connectors or via Apple Thunderbolt to Firewire adaptor.
  • USB Webcams
  • Select AXIS network cameras supported via AXIS camera layer
  • The number of video inputs is only limited by the number of interfaces and the bandwidth of the internal bus of your Mac
  • See example configurations for guidance on multi-camera setups

Video and Graphics Files

  • Playback video files of almost any format
  • Use PDF, PNG, JPEG and many more formats for graphics
Presentation Recording

  • Capture PowerPoint or other presentations from a presentation computer via VGA, DVI or HDMI via a capture device like the Epiphan DVI2USB3

Skype and Hangout

  • Skype calls or Hangouts can be recorded using the screen capture source

Screensource

  • Capture output from any application on your Mac via screen recording

See all technical specifications for video, audio, output, and effects.

The only downside of BoinxTV is that it doesn’t work with a lot of DSLR cameras which is bad for YouTubers. It doesn’t work with my Canon T3 nor Joseph’s Canon 60D. It does work with every web camera, my Panasonic HM-TA1, and an older Canon XL1S professional camera, but DSLRs are kind of hit and miss.

Why it’s Frugal: BoinxTV Professional is frugal because it is an all-inclusive TV production studio. You can create anything with it from technical videocasts all the way up to professional TV programs. Frugal.

If you ask me what I think of BoinxTV, I’d have to say I love it. It is a professional studio that is easy to use. So easy that I can do it and before I used it I had no experience with this type of software. At all. The software is easy to use, but extremely powerful. You can do anything with it that you see on Headline News or CNN. I don’t know if they use BoinxTV for their programming, but they probably could.

Joseph has a little different take on BoinxTV. His is from a professional videographer viewpoint. “The application is fairly easy to use, but the interface is a little clunky and pre-recorded video could be easier to use.” Joseph also told me that the video sources would drop when you add a new one to BoinxTV. I noticed the same behavior but had forgotten about it.

BoinxTV is the ultimate production package for YouTube shows. I’d highly recommend it for anyone who wants to create professional, high-quality video programs. In fact, as I discovered, you can do so much on-the-fly with BoinxTV that you might not need to do any “post” work at all. It can all be done in BoinxTV as you’re working.

One of the things I really like about it is that you can create a template for your show so that it looks the same every time–even on location. BoinxTV is everything I could ask for out of a professional studio production program.

Rating: 9/10

Recommendation: Buy it. Use it. Become a YouTube millionaire.

*This review is for BoinxTV Professional

Get To Know an MSP: Breakthrough Technology Group (BTG)

Breakthrough Technology Group, Inc.Breakthrough Technology Group, Inc. – BTG
Managed Telecom and IT Services
Morganville, NJ.
(732) 978-4443
sales@btgroupinc.com

CEO – Jeff Kaplan

May 27, 2015 was a red-letter day for Breakthrough Technology Group, Inc. (BTG) in that it had two major announcements for its new partner programs: BTG Partner and BTG Private Cloud Partner. I spoke with CEO Jeff Kaplan about the new partner programs and BTG’s cloud offerings.

Podcast Info: Length: 26:15 minutes. Format: MP3. Rating: G (All audiences).

BTG Partner Program

The new BTG Partner Program opened to consultants, systems integrators, vendors and agents to offer cloud computing and services to enterprise, and midmarket and smaller businesses.

“When you look at the consulting community, there’s a ton of partners out there who don’t have a recurring-revenue stream and who are looking for the right partner, and the right reliability for their customers,” Kaplan said. “Those are relationships we’re looking to build.”

This program really focuses on the consultant community in an attempt to broaden BTG’s reach into smaller companies and to bring recurring revenue to consultants. BTG is also trying to help those consultants and VARs extend their reach and transform their businesses into a more sustainable format by enabling these new partners to leverage cloud services for their customers.

The program includes three levels for participation:

  • Adviser, which qualifies a customer, and initiates a discussion between BTG and the customer;
  • Reseller Billing Only, which becomes BTG’s client on behalf of the customer in terms of billing; and
  • Reseller White Label, in which everything, from the support portal to answering of phones, will be branded as the partner.

For consultants and vendors who want to use BTG’s infrastructure and cloud services as their own infrastructure, BTG offers a so-called “White Label” partnership where BTG becomes an extension of the partner for customer support. This partnership enables small consultancies the opportunity to offer a wider range of services and technologies to their customers with extended support from BTG.

BTG Private Cloud Partner Program

Systems integrators, VARs, and agents are now able to deliver secure cloud solutions, offer Tier-1 data center, applications and services without capital investment. This partnership program lowers the barriers to cloud solutions business for its partners, which otherwise would be unreachable due to the costs associated with infrastructure, networking, and support personnel.

“Analysts and industry experts worldwide agree that private cloud offers a tremendous opportunity for solutions providers to mitigate risk and deliver a secure, efficient computing experience,” said Kaplan. “Our Private Cloud Partner Program will open new doors for businesses of all sizes and markets by creating supplemental revenue streams, taking their companies to unprecedented heights.”

As a managed services provider, BTG puts itself in the background as the support system for its partners.

BTG’s Cloud-based Offerings

A major pain point for companies is how to manage desktop computing. To that end, BTG offers its AppsAnyplace solution that includes fully managed, hosted, custom virtual desktops and applications. The pain points of desktop computing are support costs, patch management, remote user support, consistent desktop environments, standardized applications, malware problems, and data security.

The standard Desktop-as-a-Service takes care of these issues by hosting virtual desktops in a private cloud environment and taking care of all support, security, and maintenance in the background.

BTG’s Private Cloud services leverage a highly redundant and virtualized security, networking, and SAN storage.

Private Cloud features include:

  • 24×7×365 infrastructure and private cloud management
  • Optional management and monitoring through the OS/Application layers
  • Cloud environment to host client applications
  • Optional replication of data and applications
  • 24x7x365 Help Desk
  • Support for dedicated virtual Linux and Windows servers
  • Application and data security
  • Consumption-based pricing

For SaaSAnyplace, BTG supports dedicated hosted Exchange Server, hosted SharePoint, hosted Lync Server, and hosted archiving & eDiscovery. For its DataAnyplace service, BTG uses Citrix ShareFile to enable users to use data on any device and for easy collaboration.

Founded in 2007, Breakthrough Technology Group (BTG) is a managed services provider that supports mid-market enterprise customers, through the use of advanced technology and telecommunications.

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