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Year: 2014

Snagit Charges for “Upgrade”

lipstick on a pig photo
Look! This pig has lipstick.

I am completely fine with paying for software that I really like and that serves a purpose for me. However, if you are a software company that is going to use the ‘paid upgrade’ model of charging customers to upgrade to the next major version of your product, make sure the next major version contains new features worth paying for.

In the case of TechSmith’s Snagit, they have failed to provide anything of real value in their latest release (version 3.0 for Mac, or 12.0 for Windows), yet they are asking for $24.95 to upgrade to the latest version.

I paid for version 2 of Snagit for my Mac (that’s version 11 for you Windows users), and I really enjoyed using it. It became a tool in my arsenal that I relied heavily upon for doing quick screen shots and adding text, notes, arrows, and more.

Then one day a couple of weeks ago the updater ran and I was suddenly looking at a trial version of Snagit 3.0. And it said it was going to expire unless I paid the discounted upgrade fee of $24.95.

Aggravated, I hoped to have my mood changed and be wowed by version 3.0. So I tested it out for a few days. I quickly found that it had a nicer look and feel about it, but other than that, there were no noticeable enhancements or actual upgrades to the product. It was the same product with about one new feature related to the video clipping tool — something I could care less about. And that new feature was only a new arrow selector of some sort. Not impressed.

Jason Eagleston, the “Snagit Product Owner” at TechSmith even admits in their self-congratulatory release video that “with this release we had a focus on updating the way Snagit looks and feels, partially to bring that consistency across all the Techsmith things that you are going to interact with, but ultimately it’s only focused on getting your content to be the most prominent thing on the screen.”

Hmm…I only interact with one Techsmith product, so why should this be a feature worth paying for? And how is it not the most prominent thing on my screen if I’m currently using it in the first place?

A couple of more employees in the video go on to talk about how much nicer the product will be to use, and that they really wanted people to feel like they were using something current and not outdated. So it really isn’t about an upgrade, it’s about a change of clothes.

The whole video is about them admitting that their product didn’t look that great, so they spent a lot of effort making it look better (or “flatter,” as they say in the video, which is supposed to be something we should like), and now they want their customers to pay for that. No real tool enhancements or additions, just a subjective improvement to the design. For $24.95? No thanks.

For those of you looking for a free alternative to Snagit, check out Skitch. With or without Evernote, it’s a nice tool that does just about everything Snagit does for screen capturing.

Photo by Darin Barry

So Long Internet, and Thanks For All the Cats

Le sad.
Goodbye, ole pal.

Last week we saw the beginning of the end of what we in the business refer to as “the Internet.” In another example of the oligarchic tendencies our country has been displaying as of late, the FCC has succomed to corporate lobbyists, whose interests of protecting profit take precedence over open, equal global communication amongst Earthlings.

Things I have recently quit

images1. LinkedIn. I deleted my profile and completely quit this most useless of social networks. In all the years I kept up my profile and made connections, I got absolutely nothing in return. Even when searching for a job, it was useless. In retrospect, it’s like the of the aughts.

2. Dropbox. First they looked at user files, then they hired Condoleezza (why does her name have two z’s) Rice as their “privacy advisor.” Besides, I wasn’t really using it anyway.

3. Facebook. Again. But then I had to rejoin. It’s a very necessary evil, unfortunately, being in a band and trying to connect to fans, venues, and clients.

Serious Vulnerability in WordPress Jetpack Plugin

Get your updates going as soon as possible, as this looks pretty serious!

This is a bad bug, and Jetpack is one of the most widely used plugins in the WordPress world. We have been working closely with the WordPress security team, which has pushed updates to every version of the plugin since 1.9 through core’s auto-update system. We have also coordinated with a number of hosts and network providers to install network-wide blocks to mitigate the impact of this vulnerability, but the only sure fix is updating the plugin.

So not only is that an issue, but if you haven’t done your part in protecting yourself from this week’s HeartBleed bug, which has scared the bejeezus out of the entire Internet, get yourself fixed up ASAP!

If you are lucky enough to have been using LastPass to manage your passwords, log in there and do a Security Check to find out which websites you frequent may be vulnerable to that bug. LastPass will also help you quickly change passwords as needed.

Good luck, citizens!


Don’t Fear The Bacon, Baby Stormtrooper

It’s been a while since I posted some of the random coolness I’ve found around the Internet, so I thought I’d give you dear reader(s) some things to look at. Maybe your life will be changed, and maybe it won’t. Either way, I thought these were interesting for various reasons, and maybe you will too.

I’m not sure how scientifically reliable this is, but if you are a bacon lover and you are looking for some justification to keep eating it without feeling guilty, you might find this article about the alleged myth that nitrates and nitrites are bad for you. I guess this means hotdogs are safe now too, which is great, because I happen to love eating animal lips.


This collection of Stormtroopers doing awesome things is quite amusing. I’ve been thinking about starting something similar involving the Stormtrooper helmet my brother gave me. Stay tuned.

There is nothing like arguing on the Internet, as it is the neverending pleasure that just keeps on giving. This Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments helps you learn some logical concepts and fallacies in a very approachable ways. Maybe it will help you kick your arguing up a notch.

This Digital Attack Map lets you see all the active Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) attacks going on around the world at any given time. In a very snappy way it shows you who is getting hit, who is attacking, and how big the attacks/hits are. Pretty interesting (hint: hover your mouse over the moving balls. Heh.)

This listing of Google Voice Actions is extremely useful. Did you know that you can instruct your phone or computer to “Listen to TV” and have it tell you what you are currently watching? OK, that may not be that useful but there are other commands that certainly are.

And lastly, I can’t help but bash Facebook a little. It has become so useless for companies, bands, small businesses, or anyone else trying to communicate to people with a Facebook Page. And it is only going to get worse. It’s time for you people to look at Google+ already.