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Recent Post Review - Generous Free Storage with 5GB for Every Referral

Update 5/15/13: In response to Google increasing Drive's capacity to 15GB, Copy has decided to match that and is giving away 15GB for free now instead of the initial 5GB. That means if you use a referral link, you get a sizable 20GB of free storage just for signing up. After you sign up, Copy will eventually offer to give you another 2GB for tweeting about their service as well. That means you can get 22GB without even referring anyone! Enjoy!

is a new cloud storage service similar to Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Tresorit, or SpiderOak. It is a pretty crowded market but Copy is entering it anyway. So what makes Copy stand out compared to the host of other cloud storage services available?

From a user interface standpoint is VERY similar to Dropbox. This is good because, as you probably already know, Dropbox is very simple and easy to use - it just works. Copy, like Dropbox has a single folder where you can add anything you want uploaded to the cloud and synced to your other devices. There are controls that allow you to pick which files/folders you want synced to which computer or device.

One thing that Copy is doing better than Dropbox right now is giving a way a huge amount of storage for free compared to Dropbox's somewhat miserly 2GB. I contacted Copy regarding their security and encryption policies because I was unsure about a couple things after reading their privacy policy and terms of service. They confirmed that that do encrypt all data to and from their servers no matter the agent used (browser, computer application, mobile app), it is stored in an encrypted format, and authentication keys/passwords are also stored in encrypted formats.  Regarding giving information to authorities, they simply replied that, "currently all DMCA requests have been made regarding public links." So, I feel comfortable saying that your data is probably pretty safe. However, like Dropbox, they are not a "zero-knowledge" cloud storage provider. In other words, they could easily decrypt your data, view it, or give it to whomever they wanted.

If you are really concerned about security, then I would suggest Tresorit or SpiderOak as they are both providers that cannot decrypt or view your data. However, you can always use the excellent encryption program, TrueCrypt to create an encrypted volume within your Copy folder, that can be just about as secure as you want it. If you do that make sure to use a different password than your Copy password. That way, even if someone gained access to your Copy password and data, they would only see a bunch of nonsense encrypted data.

UPDATE: Since the TrueCrypt project was shut down without any real explanation in the middle of its audit, I am not sure what to recommend... there isn't really a good alternative. Many people think that the developers were just finished with the project and that the software is still good, but I would wait until the audit is complete to fully trust sensitive files to TrueCrypt again.

A few things that stand out is that Copy is offering support for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers right out of the gate - and I commend them for that. Also, both Android and iOS apps are available. Secondly, they offer an extremely generous referral program that gives both parties an extra 5GB for each referral! So if you sign up with a referral link, confirm your email address, and then install the software on your computer, iOS, or Android device you will get 20GB for free and I will get an extra 5GB. According to Copy this is a time-limited offer, so I am not sure how long you will be able to get this much space for each referral. Lastly, if you are willing to pay for one of the cloud storage services like Dropbox, SugarSync, Google Drive, SkyDrive, SpiderOak then this is one of the cheaper options available. As you can see in the image below, their prices are very reasonable compared to the competition.
As I have used Copy, it has worked seamlessly as Dropbox - no issues so far. I have tested the Windows, Mac, and Android apps as well as their online interface. When you drop a file or folder into your Copy folder it starts uploading immediately and will sync to your other devices in the background. It is an excellent alternative to Dropbox and they give you enough free space so that you could easily sync all your music or pictures between devices - something that would be difficult without a paid subscription on all the other cloud storage providers. So, go ahead and load up on free storage while you can.
Review Summary:
Item reviewed: Description: Cloud storage provider that has lots of free storage available.
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Date published: 04/22/2013

How to Silence or Mute Camera Sounds on Sprint Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch Jelly Bean GB27

I have a Galaxy S2 on Ting and recently upgraded to the latest Jelly Bean software. This software update to Jelly Bean 4.1.2 will be the last major upgrade for the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S2. In order to upgrade you have to do so manually, it will NOT be sent OTA to your device, so this is a good time to root as rooting the S2 is about as easy as manually upgrading :)

The camera sounds on the Sprint Galaxy S2 and S3 can be very annoying and very loud if you are in a quiet environment.  This method requires rooting your phone but rooting this device with the stock ROM is extremely easy and adds multiple advantages such as ad blocking, ability to get rid of all the sprint bloatware, and better backup (for example using titanium backup root). 

Please note that this tutorial is for the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S2, but if you have a rooted Sprint Samsung Galaxy S3, the latter section of this post when we start to use the root browser should be the same.

Update: if you do not wish to root your phone, have another device, or want to mute any other sounds, learn how do so with Tasker.

There are plenty of resources our there on how to update to a rooted version of the stock Jelly Bean ROM so I will not go into detail, but will provide links along with the basic steps outlined below:
  • As always, backup all your important data to a SD card or your computer before doing anything! 
  • Make sure you have the Samsung mobile phone drivers installed for your phone.
  • Download the rooted version of the stock ROM (the .exe file) and once it is downloaded right click on it, run as administrator, then extract.
  • Open the Odin-OC folder you just extracted and then open the application in that folder named "SPH-D710_GB27_1014481_Rooted_Restore.exe"
  • Now grab your Sprint GS2 and turn it off. Then simultaneously hold down the power and volume down buttons. Your phone will ask you if you want to continue by pressing the volume up button, do so, and your phone will enter download mode.
  • Plug your phone into your computer via USB and a yellow box should show up in the Odin application (if it doesn't try another USB port and make sure you have the drivers installed). 
  • Press "Start" and let it install the rooted Jelly Bean ROM on your phone (it will take a little while).
  • If follow the instructions above you shouldn't have any problems, but if you need a more detailed look you can check out this video (ignore his links they are outdated).
    Now that you have an updated and rooted phone lets give you the option of turning off those annoying camera sounds. The screenshots are from a Galaxy S2, but should be nearly identical on a Galaxy S3 (if not let me know).
    • You will need a file explorer/manager that can obtain root access. Root Browser Lite works and is free, but you can choose any. Download your file explorer app of choice.
    • Go to /system/csc/ (shown below)
    • Open feature.xml with a text editor (RB Text Editor should be already installed) (shown below)
    • Scroll down to the <!-- Camera --!> section
    • Find "<CscFeature_Camera_ShutterSoundMenu>false</"
    • Change to "false" to "true" (without quotation marks) so that it looks like this:
      • <CscFeature_Camera_ShutterSoundMenu>true</ 
      1. Press "Save" and exit out of the text editor and root browser.
      2. Restart your phone.
        Now when you open the Camera app, click on the gear icon, scroll down to the "Shutter sound" option that has appeared, and turn it off! That should be all. Now you can turn the camera sounds off whenever you want.
        I have also written about how to mute the camcorder sounds and mute the startup and shutdown sounds if you are interested.
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