Monthly Archives: March 2020

Introducing Temporary Work-From-Home Licenses, Online Training, and Digital Licenses

Today we are announcing important news to help our users and distributors to better cope with our software acquisition, activation, and learning processes during this difficult time. We do hope that everyone is staying safe, and we are thankful for the important work that you are doing in serving your communities.

TEMPORARY WORK-FROM-HOME LICENSES

With a lot of our users working from home, many are not able to access their workstation or move the dongle and installation to a computer they are using at home. During this time we want to help however we can in balancing solving cases and keeping safe.  For this reason, we are offering to our users who have a license with an active SMS (software maintenance and support) plan, the possibility to further install our software on other machines and activate it with a temporary digital license that will work until the end of May.

In order to request a work-from-home license, please contact our technical support, indicating your dongle serial and the email address of the user who needs access to the license.

If you are not a user yet, or your SMS has expired, don’t worry, feel free to contact us anyways and we’ll evaluate options to best help your organization.

ONLINE TRAINING

In order to continue to provide training to our users during this current state of emergency where travel is impossible, we are very excited to announce that we are now offering official online training sessions. The training will be live with one of our experienced trainers. We have already added the first classes to our training schedule, with more coming soon.

DIGITAL LICENSES

Effective immediately, we are providing digital licenses for all our products. Digital licenses will be our default option going forward.

Currently, most of our products have been protected by a USB dongle. However, shipping a physical component for our software is becoming increasingly complicated and risky at the moment:

  • We need to ship the parcel. We are working from home, but some of us need to go to the office to prepare the dongle shipment and to deliver it to the courier. If there are no alternatives, this can be done, but I’d rather have our colleagues stay at home for their safety and the safety of our community. Please note that Italy now is in full lock-down, most industrial and commercial activities must be closed if employees are not working from home, and we are allowed to go out only for strict necessities or emergencies.
  • The customer (end user and/or distributor) needs to receive the parcel. Similar risks as above for our customers. With millions of people around the world starting to work from home, finding someone available to pick up the parcel is another complication.
  • The shipping may be delayed. People can’t go out, so they are buying a lot online and couriers are overwhelmed with the amount of merchandise they need to move, clearly causing further risks for their personnel. We see that several of our shipments are experiencing quite a bit of delay, compared to our normally very efficient turnaround time.
  • Users need to work from home. Several of our users are currently working from home, and accessing the dongle or the computer they left in the office can be a problem if they need to use our products.

It has been a rather sudden decision, but for all the reasons above we decided to switch to digital licenses as the default license for the time being. What does it mean?

  • We don’t need to ship anything. Everything will be accessible electronically.
  • Faster access to your license. As soon as we process the order, you should be able to download and install the license.
  • Installation or activation wherever you are. Whether you are in the office, on the field, or at home, you can download and activate the software without the need for the dongle as long as you have available seats on your license.

Please note that USB dongle licenses will still be available as an option, but only if explicitly requested when placing an order: by default we will provide digital licenses. If you really need the dongle, you need to clearly specify this request and you should be prepared for the fact that shipping can take longer than usual for the next weeks or months.

As usual, if you have any questions on digital licenses, temporary work-from-home licenses, or need more information about online training, please feel free to contact us.

Be safe everybody.

The Sound of Silence: Learn How to Redact Audio in Amped FIVE

Dear Tip Tuesday maniacs welcome to this week’s tip. We’re receiving a lot of positive feedback from users who tried the latest Amped FIVE release! Thank you so much for finding the time to send us your opinion. The new audio support is definitely the most welcomed improvement, so, on the wave of that, we’re dedicating this week’s tip to show how you can redact audio in Amped FIVE, with a walk-through example to try this new feature on!

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We Are OK!

A group photo taken during our latest meeting, with everybody from home!

A lot of our users, partners, and friends reached out to ask how we are doing during this difficult moment with COVID-19 in Italy. Thank you for thinking and caring about us, this means a lot to us. In general, the situation is quite surreal. We are allowed to go out just for groceries and other necessary items, or to go to work, where working from home is not possible. 

At Amped, we are doing everything possible to keep us, our families and communities safe.

Even before the increase of cases and the complete lock-down, as a precautionary measure, I asked everybody to work from home as much as possible. We have all been working from home for three weeks already. At the moment, everyone in Amped and our families are OK, and we are doing everything possible to keep it this way. They say the peak in Italy will be this week, so in our “virtual” office we are all keeping in touch with frequent calls and funny memes in chat, just to keep it easy in this difficult time.

Because of all of this, we had to put on hold various events and training sessions that were already scheduled. We are monitoring the situation for the ones coming up in the next months, but for now, and for later, our main priority is the health and safety of our team and our users.

We know our users were excited to attend the Amped User Day we scheduled in Birmingham, UK on September 21, but unfortunately, we decided that it would be better for everyone if we also postponed this event for a later, safer time. We will let you know when we set a new date for it.

Other than that, we are fully functional: software development, sales operations, and technical support operations are working as usual. If we have conference calls, you might hear some children screaming in the background… but that’s about it.

While I hope it will not happen, I am truly afraid the virus will spread in many other countries like it did in Italy. Please be careful and do not underestimate the risks and the recommendations provided by your local governments.

Children all over Italy are drawing rainbows with this message to hang on their balconies or windows, spreading the message of hope and reassurance that “everything will be fine”, “andrà tutto bene”. My daughters drew this one and send you all lots of rainbows!

Be safe everybody, #andratuttobene #everythingwillbefine

Take care,
Martino

Let’s Get Loud! The Latest Amped FIVE Supports Audio More Than Ever, Take a Quick Tour Into This New World!

Welcome back, dear Tip Tuesday mates! Today I will be showing an Amped FIVE feature that I’m pretty sure most of you have never tried before… because it’s so new! Since the latest release, Amped FIVE integrates audio track viewing and redaction capabilities. Why don’t you take your first walk through this functionality with this tip? Ready? Let’s go, then!

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Amped FIVE Update 16112: Introducing the Audio Panel, Audio Redaction, H.264 Quality and More

It’s time to introduce another update to Amped FIVE, our one-stop toolkit for all your video and image enhancement needs, and we’ve been working tirelessly behind the scenes to perfect our latest feature! Let’s dive right in…

The Audio Panel

Our user interface has a new look! Introducing the Audio Panel, allowing for the visualization of audio whilst simultaneously viewing your video files.

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The Power of Projects in Amped FIVE

Hi all, it’s been a while! I’ve missed you!!

I am currently going through the last few years of Amped FIVE training and it has highlighted several useful points that I want to pass on. All the points can get wrapped up neatly under one word: Workflow! And where does this get used the most? In our Amped FIVE projects.

A workflow is a repeatable pattern of activity and processes through which work passes from initiation to completion. Having workflows is a core requirement of any Forensic Image and Video Unit (FVIU), ensuring that the quality of work is maintained through standard operating procedures. The challenge for FVIUs, though, is that they are starting with a non-standard product; with every case, video and frame being different. Therefore, any workflow set for a technician or analyst must be dynamic, placing the importance on their competency to select the right tool, method and/or process to complete the objective.

Let us say that two analysts are requested to complete the same tasks – to locate a vehicle in CCTV footage, enhance the license plate and then create a small video clip for use within a legal system.

Analyst No.1 starts by copying the data from a media exhibit and then uses the tool they know best to quickly screen capture the video within its dedicated video playback software. This creates a new ‘working’ video file. This can be imported easily into the court presentation software, which creates another file for presentation. The analyst uses the working file to create several still images. They do this by utilizing another piece of software, and then they import those still images into image editing software. Attempts are made to conduct restoration and enhancement but with no success.

Analyst No.1 has used six different pieces of software and has created several files, that will all need to be saved and documented. Although they have completed the tasks, the workflow is complicated, the integrity of the exhibits could be questioned, and the processes used have caused a loss in the visual information that resulted in the enhancement being unsuccessful.  

How about analyst No.2?

They use Amped FIVE (of course). With FIVE’s ability to control everything from ingest, through file analysis and into the restoration process, a trained user is much more likely to avoid many workflow problems and get the results they require.

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Register to attend the Amped User Day in Birmingham, UK

The Amped User Day is a unique opportunity to meet the team behind the Amped Software products, exchange ideas, ask questions, discuss product improvements and meet other expert Amped users from around the world. 

This year, the Amped User Day will be held on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, in Birmingham, UK at the Radisson Blu Birmingham Hotel, 12 Holloway Circus, Queensway, Birmingham, B1 1BT.

For more info and to register, click here.

The Truth Will Come Out: Easily Verify Time and Location Metadata With Amped Authenticate and Avoid Being Deceived by Them!

Dear Amped fellows, welcome to this week’s tip! Like we did last week, we begin this tip with an Italian saying, which goes: “Le bugie hanno le gambe corte”. Literally, it translates to “Lies have short legs”, suggesting that, eventually, the truth will come out. And this is something Amped Authenticate users care a lot about! Today we’ll see how Amped Authenticate makes it easy to verify whether shadows in your evidence images are consistent with the declared time metadata. Keep reading to find out more!

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