Many of the biggest software makers are known for their expensive, but nevertheless popular purchase programs. Yet many of these companies also offer free software with some surprisingly useful features. Yes, even giants like Adobe and Microsoft! This article will introduce you to these mostly unknown free gems.
It’s important to note that the free programs from Adobe and Ashampoo are best downloaded via their own software platforms — Adobe Creative Cloud and Ashampoo Connect, respectively — which require you to create an account before you’re given access to the freebies. For even more no-cost stunners, be sure to check out our roundup of the best free software for your PC.
This article was translated from German to English, and originally appeared on pcwelt.de. As such, some of the screenshots below still appear in German.
Painting and drawing
If you like to paint and draw, Adobe Fresco is an easy-to-use program to let your imagination run wild.
You have a choice of three brush types — pixel brush, interactive brush and vector brush — which you can customize in terms of color, size, ink flow, and smoothing.
For each type of brush, you have different options:
Please note: The comic and FX brushes are only available with a paid subscription. Each brush stroke is created on a new layer so that you can edit them easily afterwards. Newcomers can also look forward to numerous tutorials.
Adobe Photoshop is probably known to everyone who deals with image editing. But as good as it may be, the program is also very expensive. With Photoshop Express, Adobe offers a slimmed-down free version of its killer software, which is also available as an app for mobile devices.
Once you have loaded a photo into the software, you can apply a filter to it using the three circles at the top left. The categories “Simple”, “Charm”, “Black and White”, “Portrait”, “Nature”, “Pop Colour” and “Two Tone” are available, whereby each category can be folded out and then offers further options. For example, under “Black & White” you will find the options “60 TV Picture”, “Pinhole” and “Sepia”, under “Nature” the options “Twilight” and “Vital” and under “Pop Color” various selective colors.
If you want to edit your photos, click on the slider symbol to find various editing tools that can be adjusted in intensity by means of a slider. For example, you can change the exposure, contrast, highlights and shadows via “Light”, adjust the color temperature, color saturation and tint via “Color” and influence the sharpness under “Details” and “Blur”. The spot repair (patch symbol) with a customizable brush tool is also particularly useful.
With Adobe Premiere Rush you can quickly and easily create long videos from individual clips, add transitions and effects, and add an audio track to the finished work.
Since the projects are stored in the cloud, you can edit them across platforms at any time. You start by importing the clips, then you can change the order via drag & drop and also trim the individual clips. To do this, place the time marker at the desired position and click on the scissors symbol. If you want to remove a part from a video, you place the scissors at the beginning and at the end of the scene to remove the part, mark it and remove it via the waste-paper basket symbol.
Video parts can be duplicated in the same way. To insert cross-fade effects, click on the lightning symbol in the right menu bar and select the desired effect. Here you have, among other things, wipers, sliders and drags in various directions at your disposal. You can also adjust the coloring of your films, the playback speed and the audio playback via various adjusting screws, and edit existing sound tracks. If you want to completely re-record the sound, that’s also possible.
Play audio and video
With the Aiseesoft Free Media Player you can play video files up to 4K resolution (even in 3D), but also normal DVDs and Blu-rays, provided the codecs are available.
Supported formats include MP4, AVI, MKV, MOV, FLV, and WMV as well as MP3, FLAC, AAC, WAV, and OGG. This means that the program not only plays videos, but also music, podcasts, and audio books.
As a special feature, under “Extras” you’ll also find various editing tools you can use to, for example, adjust the color tone, brightness, and contrast of a video. The changes only affect the playback, however — the video file itself remains unaffected.
You select the picture format of the playback under “Video”. Here you can choose between full screen, half, normal, and double size, as well as the option “Adjusted to screen”.
For the audio tracks, the individual channels are output so that you can also adapt the sound to your wishes. It can also be completely deactivated.
Below the video window you’ll find the file name of the clip currently being played as well as the control elements, and next to it there’s a camera symbol that you can use to take screenshots. The recordings then automatically end up in their own folder in the program directory, which you can access via the folder symbol next to the camera. You can select a different folder as the storage location via the “Settings”.
The Aiseesoft Free Video Converter is a very easy-to-use program that allows you to convert your videos into other formats so that you can play them on your smartphone or on a games console, for example.
But you can also combine several shorter clips into one long video. Once you have loaded a clip, you can call up the available video formats via the button right next to it. In addition to specific options such as AVI, Mpeg-2, or MOV, there are also device-specific options such as Samsung, Nokia, or PS3, but also PowerPoint or Windows.
Use the cogwheel symbol to open the properties of the video, for example to change the resolution or the audio settings. Here you will also find a menu item with which you can make anaglyph or split 3D videos from your clips. Start the conversion with “Convert”.
Use the “Edit” button to call up a wizard with the help of which you can add opening and closing credits to your finished video. Decide on a template — here you can choose from a cupcake with a birthday candle, a snow-covered mountain hut at Christmas, or a spooky Halloween motif — and in the next step adjust various text overlays such as the title of the clip, the date, etc. After saving, the selected template is ready for use and can be seen at the beginning and end of your clip.
The Free Video Editor from Aiseesoft offers you some basic editing options for your videos.
“Rotate” lets you rotate a video 90 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise, but also flip it vertically or horizontally. “Crop” reduces a video according to the parameters you have entered. With “Trim once” you may set one time marker, with “Trim several times” you may set two time markers and trim the video accordingly. The “Video/Audio-Joiner” joins several clips together to form a complete film, “Watermarker” places a watermark in your clips, whereby the motif (text or image), position, and transparency are freely selectable.
To optimize your videos, the menu items “Effects” and “Enhance” are available. You can use the former to make the sound louder and influence the brightness, contrast, color saturation and color tone of the clip via sliders. “Enhance” uses various automatic functions of the software, for example to increase the resolution, brightness, and contrast or to remove image noise and blurring. Conveniently, you immediately see a preview of the result of your editing, and every step can be undone.
Keep tasks in mind
The program with the somewhat martial name Concenturio – the symbol is the helmet of a Roman centurion – wants to help you keep your appointments and tasks under control.
To do this, you can set up one-off or recurring tasks, and when they are due, the program will display a message window and/or play a message tone.
To create a one-time task, click on the tab of the same name, enter the desired event text and set the due date. You can choose an exact time or a time span, which can be selected from five minutes in minute increments. Then select the type of alarm by checking the appropriate boxes, i.e. whether you want to receive a message and/or a tone when the event is due. You can choose from six presets for the warning tone. Alternatively, you can also select an audio file as an alarm.
You can set up recurring reminders via the tab “Task list” and “Add”. In the first step, you determine at what time and how often you want to receive the reminders. Here you can choose from daily to once a week to annually on a certain day. In the next step, you define the type of notification in the same way as for the one-time reminders.
Note: To use the program free of charge, you must register with the manufacturer.
Delete Exif data from photos
If you like to post your photos online but don’t want to reveal any personal information in the Exif data of the image, Ascomp’s Photo Anonymizer is a valuable free tool.
In the main view, the program offers you some basic options under “Settings”, such as keeping or resetting the time stamp when saving the pictures and using a different file name and a different storage folder. The button “Remove meta data” in the main view deletes all information in the Exif header of an image, such as the time stamp, the camera model used, the exposure parameters, the GPS coordinates and so on.
With the button “Remove GPS information only” only the coordinates disappear, i.e. where the picture was taken. With the button “Alternative data streams” you remove all other information, for example when downloading an image file from the internet.
The procedure is always the same: you click on the desired button and navigate in the next window to the image data whose information you want to delete. A click on “Anonymize files” starts the process. Only with “Remove meta data” can you specify more precisely what is to be deleted (Exif, Dicom, IPTC, XMP, etc.).
Note: To use the programme free of charge, you must register with the manufacturer.
Audio Recorder Free from Ashampoo is an easy-to-use recording tool for the PC.
In the settings you determine the input device, the file format (MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV, Flac, Opus, or APE), the audio quality, and the storage location. For the input device, you can choose between three audio interfaces, which offer additional options depending on your PC equipment.
With “MMSystem”, for example, you have the choice between “Microsoft Soundmapper – Input” and “Microsoft Array (Intel Smart)”, while the “DirectShow” option lets you choose between “Primary Sound Recording Driver” and “Microphone Array (Intel Smart Sound Technology for Digital Microphones)”.
For “Wasapi” there is only a “Microphone Array (Intel Smart Sound Technology for Digital Microphones)” option. With regards to the audio quality, you can fine-tune the frequency and bit rate for the selected option (Normal, Good, CD, or High quality) using the slider. Click on the red button or the microphone symbol in the main window to start the recording.
You can also cut finished recordings via the scissors symbol by setting the cut marks accordingly and then saving the file as a copy or instead of the original. The direct link to the “Media Library” takes you to the storage location of your audio files.
Personalise your Taskbar
Ashampoo Taskbar Customizer lets you change the design of the Windows taskbar in terms of color and transparency.
After installation, you’ll find the tool in the system tray to the right of the taskbar. To open it, right-click on the program symbol and select “Settings”. A window then appears with the various adjustment tools.
For example, you’ll find a color selection in which you can determine the desired color tone with a mouse click. Using the scale in the middle, which goes from white to black, you can adjust the brightness of the selected color tone using a small arrow. To the right of this, you also have the option of manually determining the individual color values for red (R), yellow (G), and blue (B).
Use the value next to the “A” to determine the transparency of the taskbar, i.e. whether you want to see the icons in it on a visible background or simply faded into the desktop. If you check the “Preview” box, you can see the effects of your settings in real time. Use the “Reset” button to undo all changes except for the transparency.
Tip: If you simply want the taskbar to be transparent without changing the color, right-click on the program icon in the quick launch bar and select the “Transparent” option.
If you are looking for free playback software for audio and video, Audials Play is a good choice. The user interface is based on Audials One, so you will find category icons for music, radio, video/TV, podcasts, your playback history, and the program folders on the left edge.
You can configure the navigation area under “User Interface” and activate the display of subtitles for videos in the other menu items, use the equalizer, adjust the display of the radio stations, add streaming subscriptions to Amazon Music, Spotify, Netflix, and more, and clean out the TV channel list.
To play media, click on the desired category and then select, for example, your local content under “Music” or suggestions from the Internet under “Download”. “Radio” lists stations sorted by genre or country; clicking on them starts playback via the play symbol. You can also record some content and save it locally.
Note: Audials Play does not create a desktop icon. To pin the program to the taskbar, open it, right-click on the symbol in the taskbar and then select “Pin to taskbar”.
Burn DVDs and create ISOs
DVDFab ExplorerFab is a DVD/Blu-ray burning program, but also a virtual DVD/BD emulator that can emulate up to 18 drives, mount drives, and also create ISO images.
In the main view, you’ll find a navigation bar with the buttons “Explorer”, “Burn”, “Drive” and “Downloader” as well as a direct link to other programs from the manufacturer. Under “Explorer”, for example, you have the option of converting files and folders into a Zip or 7Z archive or an ISO file and burning them to DVD.
“Burn” contains various functions to put individual files and folders on a disc, but also to create image files from various sources and to delete rewritable discs. Furthermore, you will find a button to display information about your drives.
“Drive” holds direct access to your physical and virtual drives, and with the “Downloader” you can quickly and easily obtain videos from the internet, i.e. from Youtube, Vimeo etc., via URL. To do this, simply paste the address of the video in question into the top line and click on the arrow to the right of it to start the download. “Downloaded” takes you to your saved clips.
Create and edit screenshots
With Easeus’ Free Screen Capture Software you can create screenshots very quickly, which you can then also edit immediately.
In the settings of the program, you determine the storage format and define shortcuts that let you subsequently take a rectangular screenshot or a complete screenshot. Shortcuts can also be assigned to functions such as pinning to the screen or exiting the function. The tools for taking a screenshot are also displayed directly so that you only have to click on them.
Once you take a screenshot, a toolbar appears immediately afterwards, which you can use, for example, to frame sections, make them unrecognizable, label them, add lines or numbering, and highlight them with a pen or a marker. Each tool can be configured in various size or thickness, and you select the appropriate color from a palette. Individual editing steps can also be undone if you make a mistake.
If you want to delete all adjustments, you can do it via the recycle bin symbol. To finish, click on “Save” and then pin the screenshot to the desktop using the pin symbol.
Create your own font
The Microsoft Font Maker requires a digital pen. You can use the pen and the program to generate your own handwriting as a font for your documents, letters, and other correspondence. It’s very nifty!
The creation of the font takes place in three steps: First, you are asked to enter the alphabet in upper and lower case letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and various special characters handwritten with the pen into the corresponding fields of the software. Next, you have to write down three sentences in English. And finally, you have to adjust the spacing between the individual characters, the spacing between the individual words, and the size of the characters using the slider.
Each step and, of course, the finished font can be saved so that you can also adjust the font later. To apply your font, simply select it in the software of your choice like any other font.
Writing a diary
If you like to keep a diary, Microsoft Journal is a tool that allows you to do just that. Several diaries, the so-called journals, can be stored in folders, so that you can, for example, create monthly volumes for 2023 or keep separate diaries for private and professional matters. We also enjoy that the program shows you the most important features in a tutorial when you first start it.
Microsoft Journal is operated exclusively by handwriting, so a touch display or a connected graphics tablet with a pen is a prerequisite, even though the program can also be operated by holding down the mouse button. That’s no fun!
You can use the pen as a pen, pencil, or highlighter with customizable color and thickness. There is also an eraser and a ruler, and you can copy parts of your entry. If you want to attach a picture or a PDF to your entries, you can do so by clicking on the plus symbol. The arrow to the right, on the other hand, adds a new page to your entry.
That was a heaping helping of obscure, yet awesome no-cost software, but there’s more where that came from. Be sure to check out our roundup of the best free software for your PC to go even deeper down the rabbit hole.
Artificial intelligence is no longer fringe technology. It’s rapidly become mainstream withChatGPT, which can help write you a cocktail recipe and even guide you through woodworking projects. And earlier this year, Adobe released a tool called Generative Fill, which uses its proprietary Firefly AI model to expand Photoshop’s capabilities—giving you the freedom to add and subtract objects to your heart’s content.
Throughout this story, you’ll see some composites that I made using Adobe’s new creative tool, which is still in beta. So without further ado, here’s what you need to know about Generative Fill and how it might influence your post-production workflow.
💡 While anyone can get their hands on the Adobe Firefly beta, you’ll still need a Creative Cloud subscription to access the software. (Photoshop costs $20.99 per month after a seven-day free trial. )
Photoshop’s Generative Fill basically does the same thing as its existing content-aware fill tool—mostly used to remove distracting or unwanted objects—but turned up to 11. However, instead of analyzing the single image you’re working on (as content-aware fill would have), Generative Fill is imbued with the horsepower of Adobe’s Firefly AI image generator.
AI Image generators like Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and DALL-E, have been in the game for quite a while now. And Firefly is mostly the same, using machine learning in tandem with generative AI to create digital artwork. However, Firefly takes a unique approach when it comes to ethics, with the competition using other artists’ work to train their algorithms. Adobe claims that Firefly is trained using only Adobe stock images, openly licensed content, and public-domain content.
One of the strong points of Generative Fill is knocking out big tasks with little to no effort. Take the image above, for example: I added a mountain to a photograph that began with just a tree line in the background. To the untrained eye, most of these additions (sans the penguins) would likely be very difficult to spot. Try messing with the slider above to see if you can spot all of the edits I made before you read on.
One of the more practical uses for Generative Fill is subtracting objects from your image. Photographers often strive to do as little editing as possible, wanting to get all of the elements right the first time, but they’re often not that lucky. Thankfully, Generative Fill uses its specially-trained algorithm to pick out those pesky items ruining your shot—think: easy items like power poles, tree trunks, people, etc.—and make the end product much more enjoyable to look at. All I had to do was click and drag over the object I wanted to remove, type to remove it in the prompt box, and Photoshop was able to work its magic.
Along with subtracting objects, Generative Fill can also replace entire backgrounds fairly convincingly. Take the image of the Toyota Tundra below. I selected the truck using the select subject button—which took only minor tweaks to get perfect—and asked Generative Fill to set the scene at a “Monaco Beachfront.” Sure, it couldn’t replicate the billionaires’ super yachts or any of the five-star restaurants and clubs that overlook Monte Carlo, but it was convincing enough for most to recognize the area.
Ease of use was one of my major takeaways from Photoshop’s new generative-fill tool. I’m no Photoshop savant—I would consider my abilities to be average—but I could still achieve moderately impressive results. I found that the final images were actually pretty convincing as long as I masked off the subject cleanly. However, I’m sure someone with more Photoshop experience could really take it to the next level.
Generative Fill shines when adding or subtracting objects in the foreground, midground, and background of your photographs—or even swapping in a different background altogether; for instance, the image above shows that you can indeed take a photograph of a truck in a forest and plop it onto a fake beach on the coast of Monte Carlo. I also added more than a few objects to the image in both the foreground and background—see if you can spot all of the changes.
When it comes to distorting the subject, I saved a quick example from the composite that I made with the Toyota Tundra. Notice that some of the edges of the truck have been morphed with the Monaco Beach background that I asked it to add. In fixing this—be gentle, I’m no Photoshop whiz—I simply copied the affected area from the original image and swapped it into place where it would go.
The other issue that I ran into was low visual fidelity, where the replacement image that Photoshop chose—with the truck in the perfect spot, and shadows underneath—isn’t very high resolution. In fact, if you zoom in on it even the slightest amount, it’s actually quite easy to spot. In fact, to sell the effect a bit more, I blurred the background ever so slightly to make it appear as it would have in a regular photograph.
It didn’t take me long to learn that keeping things simple is the key to getting the best results with Photoshop’s new Generative Fill tool. Ask it to do too much, and your images will look busy and unnatural—just take the foreground objects that I added in the photo with the orange truck. The best advice I can provide you there is to simply trust your gut if you think you’re doing too much to your images.
Keeping with the theme of simplicity, the only other piece of advice I have is to stray away from adding objects in the foreground—the part of the image that’s closest to the camera. While I was impressed at how well Photoshop could match the lighting conditions of the scene when adding objects, it wasn’t always perfect. A lot of the AI-fill images that pop up aren’t very high resolution—meaning it’s much easier to hide them in the midground or background.
After spending about a week messing around with Generative Fill, I see it as more of a fun tool—that has even become its own meme—but it still needs some work to match the job of dedicated design professionals. Feel free to let us know your thoughts below on these AI-powered tools.
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Matt Crisara is a native Austinite who has an unbridled passion for cars and motorsports, both foreign and domestic, and as the Autos Editor for Popular Mechanics, he writes the majority of automotive coverage across digital and print. He was previously a contributing writer for Motor1 following internships at Circuit Of The Americas F1 Track and Speed City, an Austin radio broadcaster focused on the world of motor racing. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona School of Journalism, where he raced mountain bikes with the University Club Team. When he isn’t working, he enjoys sim-racing, FPV drones, and the great outdoors.
Whether Ms Khan, who became the youngest-ever chair of the FTC two years ago this month (she is 34), is a good or bad cop is a matter of fierce debate. Progressives applaud the greater scrutiny she has brought to companies’ conduct—including her latest lawsuit, announced on June 21st, against Amazon, for alleged deception involving its Prime subscription service. Corporate America loathes her more partisan, boisterous approach to merger enforcement. Others accuse her of treating all big firms as criminals and most mergers as offences. David Gelfand, a lawyer at Cleary Gottlieb who worked on antitrust in the Obama administration, compares the approach to “going into a neighbourhood and saying you have a crime problem, so you’re going to stop-and-frisk everybody".
Joe Biden’s appointment of Ms Khan was a signal of seriousness about fighting corporate concentration. In 2021 the White House issued an executive order calling on agencies across government to focus on competition. It reckoned the dominance of a small number of firms in many markets meant higher prices and lower wages.
Ms Khan was a surprising pick, given her lack of experience as a legal practitioner. (She rose to prominence as a law student in 2017 thanks to an article arguing that Amazon was a monopolist, and later worked for Congress, as a law professor and at a think-tank.) Mr Biden also appointed Jonathan Kanter, a lawyer who had worked against Google, to lead the antitrust division at the Department of Justice (DoJ). The two have spearheaded a campaign to reboot trustbusting. They are pushing beyond the “consumer-welfare" standard (examining consumer prices) to encourage a broader look at other harms, including to labour and small businesses.
How successful have they been? They have certainly reframed public thinking about trustbusting. “Six years ago, if you didn’t buy into the consumer-welfare standard, you weren’t a serious person. Now that’s completely gone," says Luigi Zingales, a finance professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Through the threat of lawsuits and requests for information, which boost legal bills and the uncertainty of closing mergers, the trustbusters have also deterred some splashy dealmaking. So far this year there have been 4,955 deals in America, according to Dealogic, a data firm, only 3% fewer than the average for the same period over the five years before. But the total value is down some 40% on the previous average, suggesting firms are avoiding larger acquisitions (see chart).
Target companies are insisting on bigger break-up fees should an acquisition not fly. For example, Figma, a software company, will get $1bn in cash from Adobe, its potential acquirer, if the $20bn deal is scuttled. (The DoJ is said to be considering suing to block it.) But on the legal front the trustbusters, especially at the FTC, have notched up plenty of losses. The most significant court victory has been the Justice Department’s challenge to Penguin Random House’s proposed $2.1bn takeover of a rival publisher, Simon & Schuster. In October a judge concurred that the deal would hand the publisher more pricing control over authors’ earnings, and blocked it.
High-profile lawsuits are still winding their way through the courts, including two against Google (one initiated during the Trump administration, one by Mr Kanter’s office, which is seeking to break up Google’s advertising business). That one will be heard by a jury, instead of a judge, next year, in an effort to bring antitrust back to the people. “It’s been at least 50 years, if not longer, since we’ve done a case like this in front of a jury," says Mr Kanter. Another big lawsuit against Amazon, possibly over giving preferential treatment to its own goods and services, is in the offing this year, predicts Konstantin Medvedovsky, an antitrust-watcher who works for a fund betting on merger outcomes.
Ms Khan has taken a more speculative approach. Having argued that enforcers of yore were too timid to fight tech deals that snuffed out competition, such as past acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram by Facebook (now Meta), she challenged Meta’s deal for Within, a fledgling maker of virtual-reality fitness apps. But a judge rejected the FTC’s request for an injunction. More recently the FTC sued a second time to block Microsoft’s $69bn acquisition of Activision, a gaming firm, arguing it could suppress competition in the video-game market. A hearing was set to begin on June 22nd—a very public test of whether Ms Khan is choosing the right deals to contest.
Lacking a federal privacy law or new antitrust legislation, which Congress has not approved, Ms Khan has persevered alone. But in some instances she has “sued on the grounds not of what’s currently illegal but what’s undesirable", says Matt Perault, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. That could backfire. “When you start losing cases, you set back the cause," says Larry Summers, a former treasury secretary.
The administration’s mixed record reveals three things it missed as it set out to attack corporate concentration. First, there is a problem of competing goals. The court is “extraordinarily friendly to large corporate interest", points out Nancy Rose of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, yet Mr Biden has not made it a priority to appoint judges with expertise in antitrust, pushing instead to diversify the bench by race and background. “It mystifies me that there hasn’t been more effort to go to school on a strategy that [President Ronald] Reagan used very successfully," which was nominating like-minded judges on antitrust, says Bill Kovacic of George Washington University Law School, a former FTC chair. To shore up the stability of the financial system, meanwhile, big banks have been allowed to merge with smaller, failed ones: an administration that has tried to fight consolidation has thus enabled it.
The second problem is that the person with vision for a movement may not be the best person to lead it. “The arguments they used to achieve power have gotten in the way of exercising it," says Mr Kovacic. Ms Khan took command after saying that the agencies had been failing for decades to do proper policing. That has dented morale, especially at the FTC. A poll last year of employees found that 49% said they trusted senior leadership, down from 80% in 2019. (Some observe that Mr Kanter has been more diplomatic in his criticism of staff’s past work than Ms Khan, and also more strategic in the cases he has brought.)
The administration has also underestimated unintended consequences. Ms Khan has pushed the FTC to try to accomplish a lot through new rules, including banning “non-competes" (which bar employees from working for a competitor) and asserting its authority to pursue privacy violations. “In many ways, I view my tenure as a conservative one," says Ms Khan. “We’re really going back to the original vision of the FTC as Congress envisioned it." But the courts and Congress may not see it that way. The Supreme Court could ultimately take up the question of the FTC’s authority and circumscribe it.
Still, antitrust is a long game. “It took 12 years for the Reagan administration"—eight under Reagan, four under his successor, George H.W. Bush—“to get where they wanted on antitrust doctrine. We’re in year two," says Tim Wu of Columbia Law School, who worked in the White House on competition policy. Technology, including the rise of AI, will surely affect competition, but it is too early to say how, says Mark Warner, a Democratic senator.
Some wonder how much of Mr Biden’s policy will outlast him if he does not win a second term, given his limited victories so far in court and the threat that some of the signature policies will be challenged there, including the ban on non-competes. Others are more optimistic. Bashing big business has become more common among populist Republicans, including a prominent presidential aspirant, Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida. “The politics of this have changed, and no one wants to be on the other side of it," insists Mr Wu. Look out for Republican presidential hopefuls competing on competition policy.
Correction (June 21st): A previous version of the chart in this story incorrectly valued the total of American mergers and acquisitions. This has been fixed.
Stay on top of American politics with Checks and Balance, our weekly subscriber-only newsletter, which examines the state of American democracy and the issues that matter to voters. For more coverage of Joe Biden’s presidency, visit our dedicated hub and follow along as we track shifts in his approval rating.
© 2023, The Economist Newspaper Limited. All rights reserved. From The Economist, published under licence. The original content can be found on www.economist.com
LIHUE — The Kauai Spring Open took place Saturday at the Kauai High School gymnasium.
“I think that everybody that came out was really stoked,” said Romolo Barros, event coordinator. “I had this one kid. … He said that the event was the friendliest and (had) the most aloha. Something like that.”
About 150 adult and children Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners put their skills to the test in the competition, which is part of a statewide tour hosted by the Hawaii Triple Crown of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
“It was good. A lot of people came to support and to watch. At one point, we had a packed house in there,” Barros said.
The Kauai Spring Open was held in memory of Eric Cannon, a practitioner and instructor who lived in Kapaa and previously competed in the Hawaii Triple Crown. Cannon died in February from an epileptic seizure. He was 26 years old.
Cannon was named Best Competitor of 2016 in the Hawaii Jiu-Jitsu Tour.
The next event is the State of Hawaii Championship 2017 set for June 10-11 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.
The Kauai Open Championship is set for September at Kauai High School. The date is to be determined.
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“Preserving the status quo — whether in approach or execution — is not a great business strategy. Busted offers a thought-provoking analysis of several ‘professional truths’ and underscores the importance of constant reinvention in business success.”
– Shantanu Narayen, Chairman, President and CEO, Adobe
ABOUT THE BOOK
Consider the following statements:
It’s lonely at the top.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
Fail fast, fail cheap.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
People leave people, not organizations.
People are often heard using these to make a point. Management at all levels is inundated with advice from professional consultants, luminaries and gurus. But the question is if these management truisms hold everywhere, or if they are myths that need to be examined for relevance in today’s rapidly changing world.
In Busted, Ashok Soota and Peter de Jager focus on seventeen commonly accepted management principles and analyse why these should not be accepted as universal truths. Backed by their experience in building and scaling businesses; consulting with organizations across sectors, cultures and continents; real-life examples; and first-person interviews with industry leaders and practitioners, Busted takes into account the changed realities of the workplace and offers a balanced view of what makes the world of management tick.
Here’s a book that challenges, tickles and pokes at accepted, seemingly unassailable management myths and inspires one to question, test and validate all advice, regardless of the source.
Author, Ashok Soota says, “Management at all levels is inundated with advice from management consultants, luminaries, and gurus. Encapsulated in catchy phrases, they soon acquire the status of truisms and myths. We contend that these management myths are products of their time, and when viewed through a contemporary lens, many of them are not tenable. This book encourages and helps readers to challenge these management myths instead of accepting them at face value.”
Sachin Sharma, Executive Editor, HarperCollins India, adds, “Busted is an eye opener for readers who, over the years, have become accustomed to using popular management quotes in common parlance. It challenges readers to think deeper about all ‘management truisms’ regardless of the source they originated from. The authors present compelling evidence, backed by logic, experience and curiosity to challenge and bust popular management myths.”
PRAISE FOR BUSTED
“As the leader of a venture capital firm, I am always looking for people with breakthrough ideas and thoughts. I find Busted compelling as it spurs questioning of the status quo. This book encourages the reader to push the boundaries of accepted wisdom and enables better management decisions.”
– Lip-Bu Tan, Chairman, Walden International
“This is a delightful book that takes a deep dive into popular myths, and challenges them based on experiential insight and the ability to explore, question, and tell stories. And all of this with the ease that comes with mastery and intellectual integrity.”
– Vinita Bali, Independent Director on Global Boards and Former MD/CEO, Britannia Industries
“Feel the need to rethink your management philosophy in today’s dynamic, turbulent world? This book challenges management myths that foster mental inertia, based on colourful observations and wit. The takeaways? Question everything. WHY is the most important word in the managers’ dictionary, and the answer to everything is IT DEPENDS—on logic, of course.”
– Prof. Rajendra Srivastava, Executive Director, Centre for Business Innovation, Indian School of Business
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Ashok Soota is the founding chairman of Happiest Minds Technologies and was the founding chairman of MindTree.
Peter de Jager is an internationally known keynote speaker/writer/consultant on change management.
ABOUT THE CO-AUTHOR
Sandhya Mendonca is the founder and managing director of Raintree Media and an author.
ABOUT HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS INDIA
HarperCollins celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, having begun publishing in India in 1992. HarperCollins India publishes some of the finest writers from the Indian subcontinent and around the world, publishing approximately 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalogue of more than 2,000 titles across 10 imprints. Its authors have won almost every major literary award including the Man Booker Prize, JCB Prize, DSC Prize, New India Foundation Award, Atta Galatta Prize, Shakti Bhatt Prize, Gourmand Cookbook Award, Publishing Next Award, Tata Literature Live! Award, Gaja Capital Business Book Prize, BICW Award, Sushila Devi Award, Sahitya Akademi Award and Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins India also represents some of the finest publishers in the world including Harvard University Press, Gallup Press, Oneworld, Bonnier Zaffre, Usborne, Dover and Lonely Planet. HarperCollins India has won the Publisher of the Year Award four times at Tata Literature Live! in 2022, 2021, 2018 and 2016, and at Publishing Next in 2021 and 2015. HarperCollins India is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers.
30 YEARS OF PUBLISHING IN INDIA
At HarperCollins, we believe in telling the best stories and in finding the widest possible readership for books in every format possible. HarperCollins started publishing 30 years ago in India and a great deal has changed since then, but what has remained constant is the passion with which authors write their books, the love with which readers receive them, and the sheer joy and excitement that the publishers feel in being a part of the publishing process.
Over the years, HarperCollins has had the pleasure of publishing some of the finest writing from the subcontinent and from around the world, and some of the biggest bestsellers in Indian publishing history. These books and authors have won a phenomenal range of awards, and HarperCollins has been named Publisher of the Year several times. But nothing has meant more than the fact that millions of people read the books published here, and somewhere, a book of HarperCollins’ might be making a difference to someone.
Stepping into the fourth decade, we go back to that one word – a word which has been a driving force for HarperCollins all these years:
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