Is Copy the New Dropbox?

Screenshot (61)

Screenshot of Copy.com

Years ago when Dropbox first came out, many people were eagerly downloading and enjoying the promised additional storage. I was among those who enjoyed and regularly used Dropbox. Recently, I was made aware of a new company with a similar product, but with the ability to rival Dropbox.

Copy is a cloud storage and sharing service much like the popular options that have already been existence, yet with several interesting features. They even have a mantra of “fair storage for all” with pricing starting at free and rising to encompass even the busy professional corporations.

Recently, new users at the free level were invited to open an account with 15GB worth of storage. This is awesome. Even better, for each person who you refer to Copy via your referral link, you both receive another 5GB. Some users are getting unheard of free amounts of storage thanks to this generous offer.

I even was intrigued so I downloaded the app for my computer and also my iOS device. Installation was quick and painless. Much like Dropbox, Copy uses a drag & drop interface. You have a folder that is added to your computer and literally copy your content over to the folder which instantly syncs with Copy on your devices and online. This means you can keep your music collection with you on the go. This means you can also store photos, files and more.

Another cool feature is the ability to share files via a public link. Once you add your content to your folder, right-click and you will be provided a menu of Copy’s options. You can select to copy the public link and then share the content with friends, family & clients for their viewing and downloading pleasure! This feature is not new, but it’s simple, fast and sofar has provided no glitches. This means you can finally share photos with Grandma without her having to do anything except click a link and save what she wants. When I tested this feature, the contact was only able to access the shared content and nothing more. Awesome. It was also easy for them to view and download with a pleasing minimalist interface.

As for my iOS, I am using iPhone 4S and have had no problems with viewing my content. However, my camera roll is nearly full and I have yet to be able to upload content without the app crashing. Still, I plan to try this out a little longer until I am able to verify if the crash is due to my excessive amount of photos or to their app.

Are you interested and curious to try Copy yourself? Try it and comment with your thoughts! Who doesn’t want 15GB+ online storage for FREE! Music? Photos? Files? Woot! https://t.co/yHU0zL0ACa

Additional information via Copy’s press release on their website:

“Beyond the now standard 15GB of free storage, Copy users also can benefit from the Copy referral program and the “Fair Storage for All” initiative:

  • Copy Referral Program — In possibly the most rewarding referral program in cloud storage history, Copy users can earn 5GB of additional free storage for both themselves and the person they introduce to Copy for each referral, with no limit on the total capacity they can earn. The average Copy referrer has earned well over 60GB of free storage, with the largest referrers earning space in the 10s of TBs.
  • Copy “Fair Storage for All” Initiative — Instead of counting data in shared folders against all members’ individual storage quotas so everyone pays for the same data over and over, Copy allows users to “split the bill” and control which files count against their storage capacity. View the 40-second video on the Copy “Fair Storage for All” initiative at http://youtu.be/m36ZMdE-vro. Copy was created to meet the exceedingly high design demands of today’s online and mobile users, and to provide the advanced security and corporate features required for businesses. Additional highlights of the service include:
  • Multiple device compatibility — Copy works across Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux computers and offers mobile device support for Apple iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) and Android, with Windows Mobile coming soon.
  • Easy file sharing without limits — Copy allows users to upload and share files of any size, including 1080p videos and raw photographs, without size limitations often found in email attachments. These shared files and folders can be sent to anyone either publicly or privately and accessed from any location or device.
  • More security — Copy provides a secure alternative to other cloud storage services. Included data verification inspects data before Copy accepts it into the user’s cloud storage. File-level ownership is verified prior to transferring anything to other devices. Copy also allows users to share files privately using Copy’s built-in identify verification.
  • Company control — Copy extends its cloud storage and sharing benefits into corporate environments with user and group management and added controls for proprietary company data.

Pricing and Availability

Copy is available at Copy.com and by installing the free software. Copy also is available as a free app in the Apple App Store for iOS devices and on Google Play for Android devices.

Individual Copy accounts provide 15GB of cloud storage free of charge, and paid plans start at $9.99USD/month or $99USD/year for up to 250GBs.

Copy for Companies introduces an industry-changing no-per-user-fee approach and plans starting at $399.99USD/year for 100GB.

Additional Resources

Sign up for Copy by Barracuda: https://www.copy.com

Earn 5GB of additional free cloud storage for each referral brought to Copy: https://www.copy.com/bigger

View the 40-second video about the Copy “Fair Storage for All” initiative: http://youtu.be/m36ZMdE-vro

Follow Copy by Barracuda on Twitter: @copyapp

Like Copy by Barracuda on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/copy

Kentucky’s Bluegrass Cellular to Carry iPhone 4S

Starting tomorrow, May 18th, wireless company Bluegrass Cellular, will soon be providing service for the popular iPhone. Long awaited by customers, the new iPhone offering will likely increase the amount of customers the Kentucky provider currently services.

Earlier this month, emails from Bluegrass Cellular were sent to all customers in their database previewing plans for future services. The email led those interested to the following page on Bluegrass Cellular’s website: http://www.bluegrasscellular.com/iphone. This page contained many details about the iPhone 4S, but did little to explain pricing or plan options. It did however provide those interested with an available notification email sign-up form.

Across the internet, many websites are sharing their opinions regarding Bluegrass Cellular’s new phone offering. Many even detail currently known pricing and phone offerings. A small entry on Bluegrass Cellular’s website correctly details the current plan options: http://www.bluegrasscellular.com/about/news/iphone_coming_soon

Not satisfied with vague internet details, I chose to contact Bluegrass Cellular’s customer service. I have been a customer for many years, but recently had planned to switch to AT&T in June due to my contract expiring and wanting an iPhone 4s. After one call, I had found answers to many of my questions and others sent to me:

Can I renew my current plan or contract and purchase the iPhone 4s?
I was told that you may renew your contract if it is within limits of expiration. Since mine was due in June, I would be allowed to keep my current plan.

Will there be a discount for purchasing a 2yr contract as with same phones in the past?
No, as these phones are already discounted.

How much will these phones cost?
iPhone 4 will be $49, iPhone 4s will be $149 for 16GB, $249 for 32GB and $349 for 64GB.

Can I keep my current unlimited talk, SMS and data plan and still renew/purchase a contract with the iPhone/iPhone 4s?
You can keep your current plan and upgrade to the new phone depending upon your current contract expiration timing and other restrictions may exist. Contact your local store.

What if I want to tether/wireless hotspot my iPhone/iPhone 4s to say an ipad2?
You can for an additional fee, but will be unable to keep your unlimited plan and will be required to select a new one (currently was told the 3,000MB data). This means you will need to decide if it’s more important to have unlimited data and avoid potential overages or to have the ability to share your connection with other devices such as an iPad or laptop while on the road.

Those thinking of tethering just for an iPad and saving the money to get a smaller phone, might as well just use the apps you need the most on the iPhone via a larger GB size than to risk data overages for the sake of hotspot. Thankfully wi-fi spots are increasing.

These additional details, provided by customer service, show just how exciting this news is to current, former and potential Bluegrass Cellular customers. AT&T does not currently offer an unlimited data service which has resulted in overage charges for many customers. Their salvation was offering the iPhone and rollover minutes. As a result of smaller carriers such as Bluegrass Cellular changing the game, AT&T may need to bring something new to their plans.

The question remains – should you update your phone to the new iPhone 4S or remain with your current device? For those who already own an iPad or other Apple technology, the answer is definitely. Not everyone has experienced what this technology can do, but those who I’ve asked have said they couldn’t live without their iPhone. Not only does it provide talk, SMS and data such as with other phones, the iPhone 4S offers an incredible 8MP camera, Siri which is a voice recognition assistant, millions of apps for business or personal use, full web browsing, FaceTime, music, videos, photos, find your phone, games, books and more. Learn more directly from Apple’s website: http://www.apple.com/iphone/

Will there be enough iPhone’s to go around during Friday’s release?
The representative replied that there were enough ordered to cover not just Friday, but for at least a few months. Sounds like Bluegrass Cellular is anticipating a large influx of buyers. At least now all the rumors and requests have finally been laid to rest. Judging by the amount of comments on Bluegrass Cellular’s Facebook, people are excited and interested. As a result of the impending interest, Bluegrass is even adding additional hours according to their Facebook page:

“Bluegrass Cellular stores will be open EXTRA hours this weekend to celebrate out latest phone launch! Come join us!
Friday – 8 AM to 8 PM
Saturday – 9 AM to 8 PM
Sunday – 12 Noon to 5 PM
http://www.bluegrasscellular.com/

Do you plan to upgrade to the new iPhone 4S? Why or why not?

——
Disclaimer: I have not been paid by Apple or Bluegrass Cellular nor were the answers quotes. They are repeated from memory from a phone call with a trained Bluegrass Cellular customer service representative. Contact your local store to learn more as prices, plans and details may differ from my information or may change at anytime.

August Photography Assignment Contest Results

The theme of August’s contest was: ‘Dog Days of Summer’! This theme could be represented by taking the theme literally (shots of dogs) or via sharing representations of summer. There were less entries this month due to many being busy with children returning to school or last minute summer vacations. Regardless, we had several great entries this month. Below are the entries organized according to the highest votes to the least votes. All votes were tallied at midnight on the end of the voting date for that month. If you like any of these entries, be sure to comment. Join us on SOKYPC to contact the photographer via their profile and to leave personal comments. You can comment on the blog and I will forward your comments to them. If you’d like to enter a our contests, join us at www.sokyphotographers.ning.com and visit the group ‘Get Shootin‘ for full instructions.

Congratulations to Amber Flowers for 1st Place for her photo “Redbud and Sunflare”!!

8 Votes + 0 Comments:

This image is © Amber Flowers. Do not copy, use or alter without the photographer's written consent. Click image to view image in photographer's portfolio on SOKYPC. Join us to comment or contact the photographer.

Chris Cousineau’s images both tied with 6 votes! Her take on summer was my favorite entry this month. I loved her usage of color and composition angle to represent summer in a new perspective. Her dog image was a great literal representation of the theme. The expression was unique while the focus and detail were well executed.

6 Votes + 0 Comments:

This image is © Chris Cousineau. Do not copy, use or alter without the photographer's written consent. Click image to view image in photographer's portfolio on SOKYPC. Join us to comment or contact the photographer.

This image is © Chris Cousineau. Do not copy, use or alter without the photographer's written consent. Click image to view image in photographer's portfolio on SOKYPC. Join us to comment or contact the photographer.

Cheree Federico’s ‘ballpark’ image was an excellent example of creative summer photography. Sporting events abound during the summer and her perspective really puts you there at the game watching from the sidelines. You can almost feel the dust and heat. Her literaral theme interpretation was a great capture resulting in a regal yet friendly appearance of the dog with excellent use of color and depth of field.

5 Votes + 0 Comments:

This image is © Cheree Federico. Do not copy, use or alter without the photographer's written consent. Click image to view image in photographer's portfolio on SOKYPC. Join us to comment or contact the photographer.

4 Votes + 0 Comments:

This image is © Cheree Federico. Do not copy, use or alter without the photographer's written consent. Click image to view image in photographer's portfolio on SOKYPC. Join us to comment or contact the photographer.

This concludes the results for August’s Photography Assignment contest! For information about how assignment contests are judged and how to participate in next month’s contest, read the full information here:

http://sokyphotographers.ning.com/forum/topics/sokypc-photography-assignment

Congratulations to everyone that entered! You are all winners for taking your work seriously enough to practice and have the confidence to enter an online contest. Don’t forget to visit SOKYPC and join so you can enter our next contest. We plan to offer prizes in the future, so stay involved!

-Amber Flowers

SOKYPC Founder

Summer Photography and Preserving Memories

Amber Flowers feeding the Rainbow Lorikeets at Kentucky Down Under in Horse Cave, KY.

The word ‘summer’ brings to mind warm beaches, cold drinks and parties with family and friends. Fond memories of being out of school for the summer, or as you got older, enjoying a much needed vacation from work. These memories help you transition through the bitter cold and loneliness that winter can sometime bring, but are these memories enough? Can you see these memories as accurately as if you were there? Are your images so vivid that you can recall the smell of salt in the air or feel the texture of the sand between your toes as the gentle waves swirl around your feet at your ocean vacation? Nothing can capture a memory quite like a photograph or live video. Our minds are capable of displaying memories in great detail, but we can become easily distracted and as we age, our memories began to dull into oblivion. One day, years after, you have a sense of déjà-vu, but in reality the only real way to remember your memories is to photograph and preserve them for the future.

Barren River Lake State Resort Park in Barren County, KY. This view was from below the dam in Allen County.

Maybe you feel that your vacation is too important to mess with a camera. Maybe you’re worried that you’ll damage it or not have the time to need it. Regardless, take that chance and bring it! In our modern times, many of the former camera safety worries no longer exist. Film could be easily damaged by light or water, but with digital cameras, there have been many advances. Although moisture and heat is still not a camera’s best friend, many of the larger DSLR’s and some of the professional lenses are weather sealed. This doesn’t mean they are waterproof, but they have additional protection from the elements. Photographers with a DSLR can also purchase waterproof cases for their camera through many popular retailers such as B & H and Adorama. These cases are well designed to allowing you to use your buttons while sealing out moisture. Most waterproof cases allow your camera to go practically anywhere, including underwater. Be sure to read the instructions and insure your camera before visiting a location that could be damaging to your camera, with or without special protection. Alternately, many camera manufacturers sell waterproof point and shoot cameras. These are compact enough for your pocket, but allow you to keep them with your during all your summer activities such as swimming, fishing, boating and exploring.

Butterfly on flower at the butterfly garden at Lost River Cave in Bowling Green, KY.

So what do you do with your memories once you’ve captured them? There is one essential first-step that all photographers need to get in a habit of taking. Regardless whether you are a professional, amateur, hobbyist or just a family member capturing memories, your first step should always be to back up your files. This should always come before editing, sharing or printing your photos. Some photographers feel this wastes time unnecessarily. In reality, several hours of photographed memories being suddenly lost forever is time wasted, that you’ll never get back. For a professional photographer, this can mean sudden death for a business. For a family member capturing memories, you could lose your children’s first smile or other important milestone. Avoid these situations and back-up your files immediately. In the past, everyone assumed that copying your files over to your computer’s hard drive was safe and permanent provided your computer had the space. Although technology has advanced, errors and crashes still happen frequently and to anyone with little warning. Another popular alternative has remained CD’s, DVD’s and flash drives or portable hard drives. These are affordable options for any budget, but aren’t 100% reliable. CD’s and DVD’s can degrade over time, flash drives and portable hard drives can fail (although usually less likely than on a computer since they are used less). Another option is to utilize cloud technology, keeping your files digitally synced online. There are many companies providing this service, but with a price that may or may not be worth it depending on your budget. For drag and drop sync simplicity, Dropbox is a popular option, but extra space (2 GB account is free) must be purchased. For those who like the idea of cloud technology, but not the risk of data interception, there are multiple online vendors of photography galleries. These are companies who pride themselves in safe online storage of your photography. They offer many customization and privacy options for a yearly fee allowing you storage capacity and sharing capabilities with some including sales carts.

One of the unique colored water sources at Lost River Cave in Bowling Green, KY.

Some popular companies are:

Flickr: (www.flickr.com) Community of photographers where you can receive comments, favorite other’s work and you can choose whether or not your images are public. You can also choose whether or to submit your images for inclusion in Getty Images. $24.95 year unlimited or free account with 2 videos and 300MB/200 visible photos.

SmugMug: (www.smugmug.com) Unlimited photo/video uploading, permanent archiving Photoshop and other files via SmugVault, customizable and shareable galleries you can choose to make private or share with family, friends or clients including a sales cart. They provide a public forum (Dgrin.com) where you can connect with other ‘Smuggers’ ask questions and receive customization assistance. $40-150 year; depends on if you need pro features. (Discount code: XfVyhOovRyp4o).

PhotoReflect: (photoreflect.com) at $9 a month and Zenfolio: (www.zenfolio.com) at $25-$250 a year, offer online image hosting and sharing via a custom website and include a cart for selling photos. You choose what images are public or private. There are many more companies available, all boasting different features at different prices. Not everyone will need the ability to sell their images. Do your research and take advantage of their free trials before making a commitment. It’s not where you back up your photos that are important, it’s that you take the time to do so with a company that you can trust and afford.

Lake Cumberland below Wolf Creek Dam in Russell County, KY.

Now that you’ve discovered some great ways to ensure your camera and files are protected, reconsider capturing those summer memories. Locally, there are many great options for photography practice, vacations or just a weekend getaway. Kentucky is rich with natural parks and tourist destinations and you can save a lot of money by staying local.

Dale Hollow Lake in Cumberland County, KY.

Some popular destinations include:

Go camping, fishing, swimming or hiking at Barren River Lake in Barren County, Dale Hollow Lake in Cumberland County and Lake Cumberland in Russell County. If you want to enjoy diverse local plants and wildlife along rugged nature trails or explore caves visit Mammoth Cave National Park in Edmonson County and Lost River Cave in Warren County.  For more exotic animals, visit Kentucky Down Under in Horse Cave. Alternately some cities have multiple smaller family friendly destinations such as Cave City in Barren County. Bring your camera and step back in time at Dinosaur World, Guntown Mountain or American Action Park and stop at old-time stores with strangely unique items along the way.

One of the life-sized dinosaurs at Dinosaur World in Cave City, KY.

Regardless of how you spend your summer, you can capture warm summer memories with your camera and inspiration from local destinations. With fall rapidly approaching, take those last minute vacations while you can. Just don’t forget to preserve your memories!

———-
Article #21. September 2011 for The Amplifier.
Purchase prints or products of my photography used in this article via my website.

July’s Photography Assignment Contest Results

The theme of  July’s Theme was: “4th of July & Family/Friend Cookouts”! This theme could be represented by fireworks, celebrations, patriotic decorations, parties and more! We had several great entries this month. Below are the entries organized according to the highest votes to the least votes. All votes were tallied at midnight on the end of the voting date for that month. If you like any of these entries, be sure to comment and visit the image in the photographer’s portfolio/profile by clicking their photo. Join us on SOKYPC to contact the photographer and to leave personal comments. You can comment on the blog and I will forward your comments to them. If you’d like to enter a our contests, join us at www.sokyphotographers.ning.com and visit the group ‘Get Shootin‘ for full instructions.

Congratulations to Amber Flowers for 1st Place for her photo “Fireworks and Sunset”!!

7 Votes + 3 Comments:

This image is © Amber Flowers. Do not copy, use or alter without the photographer's written consent. Click image to view image in photographer's portfolio on SOKYPC. Join us to comment or contact the photographer.

6 Votes + 0 Comments: Congratulations to Cedrico Crocker for 2nd and 3rd Place! 

This image is © Cedrico Crocker. Do not copy, use or alter without the photographer's written consent. Click image to view image in photographer's portfolio on SOKYPC. Join us to comment or contact the photographer.

2 Votes + 0 Comments:

This image is © Cedrico Crocker. Do not copy, use or alter without the photographer's written consent. Click image to view image in photographer's portfolio on SOKYPC. Join us to comment or contact the photographer.

1 Votes + 0 Comments:

This image is © Jennifer Southard. Do not copy, use or alter without the photographer's written consent. Click image to view image in photographer's portfolio on SOKYPC. Join us to comment or contact the photographer.

0 Votes + 0 Comments: The rest of these great entries didn’t receive any votes or comments during public voting.

This image is © Jennifer Southard. Do not copy, use or alter without the photographer's written consent. Click image to view image in photographer's portfolio on SOKYPC. Join us to comment or contact the photographer.

This image is © Dave Norris. Do not copy, use or alter without the photographer's written consent. Click image to view image in photographer's portfolio on SOKYPC. Join us to comment or contact the photographer.

This image is © Robin Baker. Do not copy, use or alter without the photographer's written consent. Click image to view image in photographer's portfolio on SOKYPC. Join us to comment or contact the photographer.

This image is © Robin Baker . Do not copy, use or alter without the photographer's written consent. Click image to view image in photographer's portfolio on SOKYPC. Join us to comment or contact the photographer.

This image is © Cathy Wester . Do not copy, use or alter without the photographer's written consent. Click image to view image in photographer's portfolio on SOKYPC. Join us to comment or contact the photographer.

This concludes the results for July’s Photography contest! For information about how assignment contests are judged and how to participate in next month’s contest, read the full information here:

http://sokyphotographers.ning.com/forum/topics/sokypc-photography-assignment

Congratulations to everyone that entered! You are all winners for taking your work seriously enough to practice and have the confidence to enter an online contest. Don’t forget to visit SOKYPC and join so you can enter our next contest. We plan to offer prizes in the future, so stay involved!

-Amber Flowers
SOKYPC Founder