Blog Archives: Articles
My company Esotech and I have moved to copy.com‘s @copyapp. Click this link to get 5 GB free on top of the base 5 GB (10GB) you get when signing up. Their sharing features are excellent, the speed of the app is excellent, it syncs fast. It basically has every feature Dropbox has, a better web menu, more sharing features that are on par with Google Drive, and a non pooled storage for sharing folders and files with clients, employees and friends. It lets you reduce the bandwidth usage (unlike Google Drive), and is cross platform compatible (Linux, Mac, Windows, Android, iOS).
Company’s are an integral feature of Copy as well. I can create a company, then manage who is connected to it. After having a nice conversation with a rep from Barracuda, right now Company Storage space is not calculated, eventually we will have to buy storage specifically for the company account, which I share with all employees and even choose administrators. This will allow me to attach as many users I want to the Company account without using anyone’s personal quota. Did I mention that company storage starts at $399.00 for 100GB with unlimited users? This is around $34.00 a month. DropBox may give you unlimited storage for teams, but at 5 users max, and more money per user (around $155.00+ per year per user over 5, $12.00 / month per user), Copy seems like a better choice for small businesses and startups with smaller data. Better to grow your storage as you need it rather than be limited by how many users are in your company. Most people aren’t going to sync terabytes of data to their desktop anyways. It is so much easier to deal with adding storage than adding and removing users if your company expands or contracts. Copy allows me to pick and choose who gets to see what folder in the company, and most importantly, who can edit or who can just view. EXCELLENT.
Barracuda Networks, I tip my hat to you as you have done an excellent job.
Now for why I am switching from Dropbox / Google Drive to Copy…Dropbox is simple…it does not allow you to share a folder inside an already shared folder. That was the deal breaker for me. The sharing features were rudimentary. I also hate having everyone else that shares folders with me automatically put in my root Dropbox directory. Copy allows me to specify where shared with me folders go. Love it. Oh, did I mention if you share Dropbox folders it eats up space on both accounts that are sharing? Not on Copy. *Update: After reviewing this issue with a Barracuda rep, I was given mixed messages. Although the twitter reps say that they won’t make it eat into your quota, this is a half truth. If you try to SYNC the file or folder to your computer, it will use your storage as it becomes part of your sync pool. The easy solution is to only sync your own files, and use the web interface to download and manage files given to you by others.
— Copy (@copyapp) March 12, 2013
On to Google Drive, it blew up….again. I have had so many problems with Drive. I love Google, I really do, but this is the first time I have been disappointing by one of their products. (Besides them deciding to Axe Google Reader).
One time my partner decided to drag all of my Google drive documents onto his hard drive…accidentally…i watched him do it too. This took hours to repair, I had to resync and reshare EVERYTHING with everyone, there was no easy fix. I couldn’t just drop the files in there, there was no warning, no undo. Funny thing is, the files existed in trash, but then didn’t. There was no easy way to tell where anything went. The Google docs he dragged out existed but had no method of accessing them without a direct link. Bummer
Then came the syncing issues, and this was the real killer as the above problem was more user related. My laptop has not been able to sync to drive for months “Google Drive unexpectedly quit and needs to close”. Great error message Google. After “searching web folders” for 40 minutes you just crash, awesome. No resolution besides…sync one folder at a time? For 40 GB worth of data? No way. It is supposed to work, not require me to finesse every file into my system.
The dreaded day came, I got a new hard drive and wanted to move Google Drive to it. What happens? Now my main PC blows up, can’t sync. Same issue as the laptop. Apparently if you have too much storage on drive, it explodes and can’t handle itself. I supposed it has to do with a long period of time which it has to collect meta data, and if you have tons of small files, it just freaks out and stops.
So, give Copy a try, get your free 5 GB, and while the offer lasts refer it to others so they can benefit. They are even giving out 1 TB free if you can get them some new talented hires.
— Copy (@copyapp) March 12, 2013
Copy has said that there is no limit to the referral storage you can get, so get to it!
Update: 5/10/2013 We have been using Copy in the office for a few months and everything has run smooth. No lost files, no problems syncing, no bandwidth issues. (Lan Sync is great!). Overall we are happy. Although I was dissapointed to hear I would eventually have to purchase Company storage once they get their system further developed, I will gladly pay for a 100 GB Company account. I have already collected over 100 GB of personal storage from their referral promotion. Sign up with this link and get some free space!
Ask any of your tech buddies and they may tell you that you can get Windows 8 Pro for 39.99. Wow! you say, that’s pretty good considering Windows 7 Ultimate was in the ~$400.00 price range. So you decide find whereabouts this purchase can be made.
Turns out, Microsoft sells it direct! Not only do they sell it, but they sell it through an app you download which tells you what version of the software you should buy, charge you for it, and let you download and install it immediately.
Sweet! I bust out the credit card, charge $40.00 and off I go into the following prompts.
Awesome, download begins, then gives me a prompt where to save it to and then the kicker…It asks me how I want to go about Installing this new OS. I want a Fresh install of course! Windows 8 does seem much different form a UI perspective. So I choose “Save ISO and Burn to DVD to install on a computer later”. Perfect. The file is made and put on my desktop, and it even gives me an option to burn the DVD now, which I proceed to do.
So I shut down and unplug everything from my PC, remove my old 120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD Hard Drive, leaving the other 4 in my system, and install in it’s place my new 256 GB OCZ Vertex 4 SSD Hard Drive of which I am eager to fill with games and apps (I ran out of room for all the BETA’s I am part of). I turn the computer on, boot into the DVD, and Voila! The windows load screen appears…and just sits there…for an hour.
Ok! Time to search the forums…after 30 minutes of searching, many don’t know why it’s doing this and are blaming processors, but it turns out you just happen to have to remove any SD card readers from the system during installation…weird…but lets give it ago. Yep! Worked! Installing. Shame I can’t find where I found the resource for that to give credit, it almost blew the day away.
Windows 8 Pro Prompts me for my new CD key, of which Microsoft e-mailed me from the purchase I made through the windows app. I choose the new Hard Drive. It begins installing; Excellent.
The rest of the configuration went without a hitch. It started up, customized, downloaded all my apps. I installed my normal software and games; all working great. Awesome!
Then I notice Windows isn’t activated…and my heart sinks when I click to activate it and it says something along the lines of “This license is only good for an Upgrade License, not for clean installs”. I thought I just blew $40.00, my time and a reformat.
I had to leave for dinner, so for two hours I furiously browsed the web on my wonderfully amazing Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3, and came up with two solutions, I only tried the one, and it WORKED!
The fix was found in a comment on this site. Here is the comment by “scottoe”:
It works similarly to Windows 7 upgrades – do it twice. You can install from a formatted disc but it will not activate because it is the wrong product key for an upgrade. You then install it a second time, as an upgrade to itself and it will activate. I did a custom install the first time, booting from the Win 8 DVD and deleted the old Win 7 partition and then installed Win 8. Then launched the Win 8 setup from the desktop and installed it as an upgrade and was then able to activate it with the upgrade key. I did it today with success. It does not give any indication of a problem the first time until you try to activate it, when it displays the invalid product key message.
So at first, I am thinking…this is retarded…why would this work? Why would they give you a full version ISO, allow an upgrade license to install the software, then require you to re-install over itself to “Convert” it to upgrade software?
I get home and pop in the Windows DVD I made, and run it. It goes through this whole process, doesn’t even ask me where I want it installed, just if I want to install it and keep my files programs and settings. I say sure, since I have already configured the rig and it then proceeds to churn for 30 minutes or so.
A few reboots later, I go through all the setup screens again, but find my profile is intact and all my apps are here. I check on my windows license status in the about computer section, and it is ALREADY activated! When the PC started itself up after the “Upgrade”, it just decided to activate itself with Microsoft.
Although I think this method is awesome and I am very happy with my purchase now, I would still like to know who at Microsoft, decided it was effective licensing and anti-piracy measure, to recommend, and then sell users a $40.00 Upgrade Only License (but only reads Windows 8 Pro, not “Upgrade”) FROM THEIR OWN WEBSTORE, that lets you download a FULL ISO, BURN IT TO CD, authorize a FULL CLEAN INSTALL, then after installing Windows 8, have to INSTALL IT AGAIN OVER ITSELF to flag it as an Upgrade? Do they realize how many people are going to buy the Retail Box, which is also UPGRADE ONLY, do a clean install, and wonder WTF to do?
If you look at the this Microsoft page I think I figured out why this method works. This is how it reads:
You can install the upgrade only on PCs that have a valid base license and one of the following operating systems: Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP (SP3).
What Microsoft may have not taken into account, is that Windows 8 Pro, in it’s ISO form, provided by them to the user, fulfills the “valid base license” requirement for the upgrade to take place. The Upgrade license allows a person to install a fresh copy; it doesn’t distinguish between what type of license it is at initial install, only on activation AFTER install. The “upgrade”, in essence, performs a “reinstall” or a “repair” which, because it was installed from a Windows based Operating System, qualifies it as “Upgrade” software after the process.
Why not just…let it activate? Seriously? Why all this hassle?
I just went through like 2 hours worrying that I would have to reformat AGAIN, because after installing Windows 8, setting up all my apps, I found I couldn’t Activate due to choosing a fresh install. This had nothing to do with me having the wrong license, just with using a valid, yet poorly thought through method on Microsoft’s part, to go about the upgrade.
PROCESS! Stop making things USER HOSTILE if you want people to keep adopting your software! If you are going to give your users an install file, and a license, they better damn work. And they should work without having to go through these hoops and online research. If I wanted to do all that, I would have installed a Linux build.
There is another possible way to correct this without the re-install method, though I have not tried it. I found the solution at hard forum through Google Searches. The idea is to tell windows its an upgrade copy via a registry key, then rearm the activation sequence, reboot, and let it activate…it might be simpler and worth a try before doing what I did which took a TON of time.
This is the process:
- hit ctrl+r
- look for [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\OOBE] and change ”MediaBootInstall”=dword:00000001 to ”MediaBootInstall”=dword:00000000
- Open elevated command prompt (Right click -> Run As Administrator)
- Type slmgr -rearm <enter>
- auto activation will occur on next boot.
If you use the first method, don’t forget to run disk cleanup when the upgrade completes, which will free about 26 GB of data from the “Upgrade of your Upgrade”. Also, pick up a free copy of Windows Media Center while they are giving them away and save yourself another $10.00, might as well!
Good luck upgrading! I am looking forward to writing GOOD things about Windows 8 as I am enjoying the new user interface, it is a breath of fresh air, and the OS seems to boot and run very very smooth. I love the windows app store concept, and their multi-platform. integration. IF they can keep the cost of their OS around 40 – 80 dollars I am sure it will be adopted quickly, barring the installation issues…
There is an Article on Forbes that discusses the CyberSecurity act of 2012, yet another Bill in the battle for Internet Censorship. We won’t go into detail here about how this Power Grid shutdown theory is more than likely not true, for if it was true, something would have been done about it already (When bugs in programs are found they are patched, not left open for abuse). Not to mention that Anonymous has never harbored any ill will against the general people, only corporations and government, leaving one to wonder why the media is claiming they are going to engage in a malicious act against the people. This seems very similar to the DNS Server DDoS Attack Rumor also being promoted throughout the internet. It almost seems that someone is trying recruit the minds of the public to view Anonymous as a Terrorist group that is a threat to the people, not just a threat the MPAA, RIAA and Child Pornographers.
This is a huge attempt to create fear in something that most people in the United States understand even less than the Middle East…the internet, and the internet elite.
Fear mongering is terrible, I can’t believe they are using Broadcast Media to make people fear Anonymous; It’s a very aggressive power play by both those in political power and corporate interests, if we are not careful they will strip grotesque amounts of freedom from us through well funded media campaigns and rumor mills.
Both television media and the internet are outlets for news media and information; the internet however, actually has public input and feedback. What the government doesn’t understand is in 2012, people will not just see The One Truth of Broadcast Media, but instead be faced with reports, information, and conversation online that may refute or contradict the nightly news. These mixed messages will either confuse or enlighten the people. Eventually online sources will discover and start reporting on the fear mongering found in Broadcast Media and general press. But will it do anything? Is the amount of people who use the internet as their primary news source at critical mass?
This is a very scary time for the net, and for technology in general.
With the way things are going, the only clear government solutions are extremes. Block this, ban that, monitor these. I have a simpler two step solution:
- Ban the use of technology except to authorized government officials that are allowed to use, develop, or heck, know about tech.
- Dumb down whatever tech we need to use day to day, so that you won’t ever have to understand how it works.
Sarcasm aside, extreme measures like this seem to be the only way the government knows how to control Cybercrime and piracy, because they do not understand it. Their methods and ideology of control and enforcement methods are outdated, archaic, and dangerous!
If anything like this were to pass, it would be a huge step in the wrong direction. Even without it, the constant stream of Proposed Censorship Bills coupled with News Articles on “Cyber Terrorism” and “Online Piracy” are having a huge effect. It is creating an effect of Digital Paranoia in businesses as well as at home.
I can already feel the fear of expressing myself online building. Even as I talk about privacy, piracy, freedom of speech and other issues in Google+, I fear I will be grouped up as an Anonymous member, supporter, etc, of which I am not.
But soon, even discussing these issues will be synonymous with Terrorism. That is what they are trying to do, isn’t that frightening in it of itself?
I am afraid that all those who tweet and have tweeted about SOPA, PIPA, and Piracy will be monitored by the government (at least more heavily than everyone else.)
I am afraid for kids who retweet posts by Anonymous and hang out in their IRC channel thinking they are “cool”, not knowing that a yet to be known Bill could pass, grab records of their past yet innocent involvement (even if just looking, guilty by association) and end up losing their internet access, freedoms (jail), careers, and more.
I am afraid of the stand that I took against Internet Censorship on January 18th, along with millions of other concerned citizens in the USA and around the world; because it may label me a “target“, “threat” or “collaborator“.
I am really afraid of what is coming, and I am not sure if it can be stopped. Has the will of the people been sapped so much, by years of direct message marketing and politicking through television media advertisement, that it cannot make a change?
Congress continues to push Bills through the system to try and get “something” passed, and lately a real heavy focus has been on the topic of “Internet Control“. Yet, the same senators who have been defeated continue to bring up Bill after Bill, under the guise of different names, ethics and subjects. These politicians receive no retort for their actions, only funding from their corporate friends and lobbyists. They have never stopped to consider that the people, the internet, may want to be left alone to express themselves freely.
Why is it that when companies and politicians finally join the international playground that is the internet, the first thing they want to do is seize control of the swings and kick the cool kids out?
Today heralds a new information age, not one of expansion and freedom, but one of fear and contraction. MegaUpload was taken down today by the FBI.
Not only is MegaUpload not based on the United States ( It had only 2 servers in VA, allowing the US to claim jurisdiction over the whole site), but it was one of the top 10 to 15 websites visited daily in the world. Over 50 million people used MegaUpload daily.
It is generally known that MegaUpload is a haven for pirated content, as users are not restricted when they post. MegaUpload complies with DMCA noticed when asked, but probably not as much as it should have. I would like to say I do not support MegaUpload in any endeavors of piracy.
The problem is not the piracy, its the real users, and the message that was sent today.
Any data stored online, legal or illegal, can disappear in an instant without warning due to United States government ruling.
The first thing I thought when reading up on the situation about MegaUpload was: What about Dropbox? What about any of the sites that I store files in the cloud? What if some jerks want to store pirated movies in Dropbox and Dropbox gets shut down?
I should take my data off the cloud! It’s not secure!
That is the message they sent today!
MegaUpload didn’t just store infringing videos and music, it stored documents, user created movies and music, as well as other files that may even be critical to Business! Where did they go? What if they didn’t have a backup? What do they do now? What if most of their business surrounded non pirate use of Megaupload?
This is such a step backward, we were making so much progress moving further and further into the cloud, making things secure, connecting people and data in a wonderful weave of free flow information and now….this…this takedown sends us right back to where we were. Now we will have to hide our information on our own devices, keeping it off the cloud not for fear of theft but of legislation that threatens to cause unreliable service!
It’s bad enough that the ISP’s have enforced Bandwidth Caps, but now there is no point to store data in the cloud at all! You cant upload or download it all due to bandwidth caps and if you do manage to get it there a government takedown threatens to disintigrate your data in an instant.
If you keep taking down major websites at a whim, with no public notice, even after years of private investigation you are going to destroy the consumer trust in the cloud that has been painstakingly built over the past few years! Stop this! It has to stop now! Put MegaUpload back up!
We cannot innovate on the net if we cant rely on the connection to one another, if you keep destroying websites that matter to people, how will we know what websites will be there tomorrow? Which ones can we trust? Which ones can we invest in?
Any application that stores any information online is at risk! Because if content can be stored, then piracy is possible, not to say it is done, but possible.
So we are now saying that if a certain fantastical and made up number or % of the traffic or storage on a service is pirated and infringing copyright, (which would take YEARS to prove) we can shut down a service completely, without warning, and disregard any of the valid files that people might want to back up?!
The decisions for cloud products will no longer be based on price or quality, but based on who passes MPAA / RIAA inspection!
To imagine that SOPA and / or PIPA would expedite the process of taking down / blocking sites like what we just saw with MegaUpload, with even less notice to both users and the infringing site, not to mention not even needing much proof!
Can I get a MPAA / RIAA Seal of Authenticity or Badge to show on my website to ward off authorities? Throw us a bone!
If you have been paying attention to the internets today, you would notice that Anonymous launched an all out attack against the music industry and any copyright related websites including the justice.gov, fbi.gov, copyright.gov, mpaa.com, riaa.com, wmg.com, bmi.com and more. You can see pictures with timestamps in my Google+ Album here.
Over 5600 Hackers gathered together to choreograph this attack after a very prominent website, Megaupload, was taken down for copyright infringement. No details of the copyright infringement have easily surfaced, but Megaupload is a relatively simple channel to trade pirated virtual goods, knowingly or unknowingly.
Just a day ago, protests broke out on the internet regarding SOPA and PIPA, two bills, which if passed, would ruin the internet as we know it and make it a playground for frivolous claims of copyright infringement from the entertainment industry and its affiliates. And heck, it could been be used as a weapon by competiting businesses to knock people out of the game. The protest was held by major players, everyone from Wikipedia (who blacked out completely for a day) to Google had some sort of protest or message. Thousands of online businesses and websites also followed. A list can be found at sopastrike.com where my company Esotech is also listed. Millions of letters went out and thousands of phone calls were made to local house and senate representatives as a result of these efforts.
“Guilty until proven innocent”
This is the fundamental tenet behind SOPA, your website goes down before you are notified, and then you have to fight the legal system to get it back up. Win or lose, you get nothing as compensation. There is no bond here folks. Whether you are Facebook.com or hosted at Geocities; if you have anywhere that someone can upload copyrighted material to your site, or if you use it yourself, knowingly or unknowingly, you are liable, and immediatly bannable from the United States DNS servers (Also destroying any trust we have in DNS, but that’s another story). There are plenty of articles on why SOPA is Bad.
The protests seemed very successful, just check out this chart. It looks like we were making progress…then suddenly…Megaupload is gone. They didn’t even need SOPA to be active to do it! But Why? Why NOW? Why a Day after a huge public uproar about Censorship?
The internet was outraged of course, millions visit megaupload every day. Out came the hackers, and the new modified low orbit ion cannon began to fire, this time with both unwilling and willing subjects creating a DDoS on government and music industry sites. The firepower came from the people. Links to the cannon on Social Media sites such as twitter, hidden as updates on the whole Operation by Anonymous, allowed millions of computers to bombard these websites shutting them down for minutes if not hours at a time. Some were hit harder than others, and some bounced on and off. But the point was made, people are pissed.
We come back to the simple question of why today?
I believe the reason has to do with discrediting the opponents of SOPA, the tech guys, as being anarchistic nutcases that are against the American people. I think it also had to do with the government wanting to show the technology community, that it can do whatever it wants. Big or small, they can bring up charges of copyright infringement and shut you down, with or without SOPA.
Its a power play, and it can go one of two ways:
- The acts that happened today are seen as a reason to enable DNS filtering, and those who opposed SOPA and PIPA are seen as irresponsible and incapable of diplomacy, further fueling the fire of censorship and corporate domination of the internet.
- The reason for the acts today are discussed: The reasons and effect that a sudden disruption / takedown of a service like Megaupload has on both users and Megaupload as a Business. This disruption could make even more of the nation aware of the issues regarding SOPA and PIPA, ensuring that our internet remains free from censorship as people rally behind the hackers as defenders and retributors instead of anarchists.
…unfortunately the media is on their side and will display it in their favor to bring SOPA back to the table. Remember, they control television and news media. Never has the fight for something like this been so fierce. This is a historic time. This is a fight for something that has never existed, but was expected to be a human right…the free flow of information through technology. Most websites, and indeed, social media platforms developed on the idea of sharing content between users, but SOPA and PIPA oppose this idea, labeling the internet as a medium for piracy, and anything that RISKS promotion of piracy, should be shut down. Imagine the innovation that would have been stifled had this been in effect while Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Google were developing? With a lawyer at every turn, no one is going to want to develop for the internet anymore…it would cost too much just to be compliant with this silly bill.
The entertainment industry is trying to indirectly control the internet by introducing the only things they know they have control over because of their vast wealth: law, lawyers and lawsuits. If these acts change Congressmen’s stance on SOPA and PIPA we could be in a world of hurt, the internet will change as we know it, our favorite websites will disappear in seconds, without notice. The entertainment industry needs to stop seeing its end users as opponents instead of customers.
Indeed, it will be interesting to see how the next few days pan out…I hope you all will be watching as closely as I will.