Unlimited Cloud Storage

Bitcasa, Inc., is a start-up company, founded in 2011 and led by CEO Tony Gauda and co-founders Kevin Blackham and Joel Andren, headquartered in Palo Alto, California, offering unlimited data storage as a cloud service. They are saying the unlimited version will cost $10 per month, but there doesn't seem to be any limit set (yet) if you sign up for a free account.

The service also encrypts and decrypts your data on your computer before uploading to the Bitcasa system. Nobody at Bitcasa can see your data, even the file names, which makes it very secure. You can also use the service to to sync as much data as you want across all your devices so you have the latest version of your most important data right there on every device. Additionally, you can use this feature to backup your data. When you install the program you have have it added right to Windows File Explorer.

I've been playing with it some. I like it. I uploaded a 53MB file just to see how long it would take. I got distracted during this time, but it was under 10 minutes. Of course a lot of this will depend on how fast of Internet connection you have. Below is one of their promotional videos:

Everything worked fine with my experiments with the service but I believe it's still in BETA so I wouldn't trust it yet with anything overly important. Might be all-right to share some large files with some friends. If you're interested in this service click here to visit the website and check it out




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Food for thought

UCLA on Alzheimer's Disease - young or old should read

Food for Thought

 "The idea that Alzheimer's is entirely genetic and unpreventable is perhaps the greatest misconception about the disease," says Gary Small, M.D., director of the UCLA Center on Aging. Researchers now know that Alzheimer's, like heart disease and cancer, develops over decades and can be influenced by lifestyle factors including cholesterol, blood pressure, obesity, depression, education, nutrition, sleep and mental, physical and social activity.The big news: Mountains of research reveals that simple things you do every day might cut your odds of losing your mind to Alzheimer's.In search of scientific ways to delay and outlive Alzheimer's and other dementias, I tracked down thousands of studies and interviewed dozens of experts. The results in a new book: 100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss

 Here are 10 strategies I found most surprising.

 1.  Have coffee.   In an amazing flip-flop, coffee is the new brain tonic. A large European study showed that drinking three to five cups of coffee a day in midlife cut Alzheimer's risk 65% in late life. University of South Florida researcher Gary Arendash credits caffeine: He says it reduces dementia-causing amyloid in animal brains. Others credit coffee's antioxidants. So drink up, Arendash advises, unless your doctor says you shouldn't.

2.  Floss.  Oddly, the health of your teeth and gums can help predict dementia. University of Southern California research found that having periodontal disease before age 35 quadrupled the odds of dementia years later. Older people with tooth and gum disease score lower on memory and cognition tests, other studies show. Experts speculate that inflammation in diseased mouths migrates to the brain.

3.  Google.  Doing an online search can stimulate your aging brain even more than reading a book, says UCLA's Gary Small, who used brain MRIs to prove it. The biggest surprise: Novice Internet surfers, ages 55 to 78, activated key memory and learning centers in the brain after only a week of Web surfing for an hour a day.

4.  Grow new brain cells Impossible, scientists used to say. Now it's believed that thousands of brain cells are born daily. The trick is to keep the newborns alive. What works: aerobic exercise (such as a brisk 30-minute walk every day), strenuous mental activity, eating salmon and other fatty fish, and avoiding obesity, chronic stress, sleep deprivation, heavy drinking and vitamin B deficiency.

5.  Drink apple juice.  Apple juice can push production of the "memory chemical" acetylcholine; that's the way the popular Alzheimer's drug Aricept works, says Thomas Shea, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts. He was surprised that old mice given apple juice did better on learning and memory tests than mice that received water. A dose for humans: 16 ounces, or two to three apples a day.

6. Protect your head.  Blows to the head, even mild ones early in life, increase odds of dementia years later. Pro football players have 19 times the typical rate of memory-related diseases. Alzheimer's is four times more common in elderly who suffer a head injury, Columbia University finds. Accidental falls doubled an older person's odds of dementia five years later in another study. Wear seat belts and helmets, fall-proof your house, and don't take risks.

7. Meditate.  Brain scans show that people who meditate regularly have less cognitive decline and brain shrinkage - a classic sign of Alzheimer's - as they age. Andrew Newberg of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine says yoga meditation of 12 minutes a day for two months improved blood flow and cognitive functioning in seniors with memory problems.

8. Take Vitamin D.   A "severe deficiency" of vitamin D boosts older Americans' risk of cognitive impairment 394%, an alarming study by England's University of Exeter finds. And most Americans lack vitamin D. Experts recommend a daily dose of 800 IU to 2,000 IU of vitamin D3.

9. Fill your brain.  It's called "cognitive reserve." A rich accumulation of life experiences - education, marriage, socializing, a stimulating job, language skills, having a purpose in life, physical activity and mentally demanding leisure activities - makes your brain better able to tolerate plaques and tangles. You can even have significant Alzheimer's pathology and no symptoms of dementia if you have high cognitive reserve, says David Bennett, M.D., of Chicago's Rush University Medical Center.

10. Avoid infection.   Astonishing new evidence ties Alzheimer's to cold sores, gastric ulcers, Lyme disease, pneumonia and the flu. Ruth Itzhaki, Ph.D., of the University of Manchester in England estimates the cold-sore herpes simplex virus is incriminated in 60% of Alzheimer's cases. The theory: Infections trigger excessive beta amyloid "gunk" that kills brain cells. Proof is still lacking, but why not avoid common infections and take appropriate vaccines, antibiotics and antiviral agents?

 What to Drink for Good Memory

 A great way to keep your aging memory sharp and avoid Alzheimer's is to drink the right stuff.

a. Tops: Juice.  A glass of any fruit or vegetable juice three times a week slashed Alzheimer's odds 76% in Vanderbilt University research. Especially protective:blueberry, grape and apple juice, say other studies.

b. Tea:  Only a cup of black or green tea a week cut rates of cognitive decline in older people by 37%, reports the Alzheimer's Association. Only brewed tea works. Skip bottled tea, which is devoid of antioxidants.

c. Caffeine beverages.  Surprisingly, caffeine fights memory loss and Alzheimer's, suggest dozens of studies. Best sources: coffee (one Alzheimer's researcher drinks five cups a day), tea and chocolate. Beware caffeine if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, insomnia or anxiety.

d. Red wine:  If you drink alcohol, a little red wine is most apt to benefit your aging brain. It's high in antioxidants. Limit it to one daily glass for women, two for men. Excessive alcohol, notably binge drinking, brings on Alzheimer's.

e. Two to avoid:  Sugary soft drinks, especially those sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. They make lab animals dumb. Water with high copper content also can up your odds of Alzheimer's. Use a water filter that removes excess minerals.

 5 Ways to Save Your Kids from Alzheimer's 

 Now, Alzheimer's isn't just a disease that starts in old age. What happens to your child's brain seems to have a dramatic impact on his or her likelihood of Alzheimer's many decades later.

Here are five things you can do now to help save your child from Alzheimer's and memory loss later in life, according to the latest research.

1. Prevent head blows Insist your child wear a helmet during biking, skating, skiing, baseball, football, hockey, and all contact sports. A major blow as well as tiny repetitive unnoticed concussions can cause damage, leading to memory loss and Alzheimer's years later.

Encourage language skills:  A teenage girl who is a superior writer is eight times more likely to escape Alzheimer's in late life than a teen with poor linguistic skills. Teaching young children to be fluent in two or more languages makes them less vulnerable to Alzheimer's.

3. Insist your child go to college:  Education is a powerful Alzheimer's deterrent . The more years of formal schooling, the lower the odds. Most Alzheimer's prone: teenage drop outs. For each year of education, your risk of dementia drops 11%, says a recent University of Cambridge study.

4. Provide stimulation Keep your child's brain busy with physical, mental and social activities and novel experiences. All these contribute to a bigger, better functioning brain with more so-called 'cognitive reserve.' High cognitive reserve protects against memory decline and Alzheimer's.

5. Spare the junk food Lab animals raised on berries, spinach and high omega-3 fish have great memories in old age. Those overfed sugar, especially high fructose in soft drinks, saturated fat and trans fats become overweight and diabetic, with smaller brains and impaired memories as they age, a prelude to Alzheimer's.





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Get some free books to read.

I love to read, but unfortunately I don't seem to find a lot of time for it these days. Too busy doing other things. But these days you don't have to worry about forgetting your book at home. The Amazon free  Kindle reader has reader apps you can install on most of your electronic devices.

There are many free Kindle reader apps. One of them will let you read books right in your browser. And there are apps for Windows , smart phones such as Blackberry, Andriod and iPhone, plus supporting apps for iPad and Android tablets.

I ran across a website onehundredfreebooks.com that offers over 100 books you can download for free. But if you're Canadian, there might be a trick involved. Read the FAQ on the site. It says:

The book prices are based on the US amazon site, AKA, amazon.com. But, there is a "trick". Because the books are often only free in the US, just replace your site (amazon.co.uk/amazon.ca/etc) with amazon.COM when you are redirected. I have heard this works pretty well for people.

Read thousands of free books with a Kindle App, including popular classics like The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, and Treasure Island! And please share your experience here.

Update 07/21/2012: There's been a new page added to this site that will allow you to download up to 5 free eBooks per month. Click here to check it out too.




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Guitar playing

One of the things I like the most about being single is the opportunity to play my guitar more often. This winter I bought an Epiphone Dot. Epiphone, is a brand bought out by Gibson many years ago, and mant of their guitars are less expensive copies of their premium line. Mine is similar to the Gibson ES-335. You can see a picture of it below. It has the same humbuckers that the ES-335 has, and can deliver nice rich tones.

Of course with the Internet, there isn't any shortage of tutorials, lessons, music, and tabs to be found. Some of the lessons I quite often take a look at for free are offered by Steve Krenz whose tutorials are often featured on the Gibson website. Here is one his tutorials below:

I like the way he explains some of the things in this video. It's in keeping with my own way of thinking; like when he talks about playing in the key of Gm but using Bb major as the scale to improvise over the chord changes with. Of course the downside to this way of thinking is you have to keep in mind the main notes are form the Gm triad, not Bb.

I also like the way he describes using octaves in the famous Wes Montgomery style, and although it's simple enough in theory, it takes a lot of practice to use this technique and make it sound good. Of course... maybe that's just because I'm not used to it.

For those of you who aren't satisfied catching a lesson here and there,  Steve Krenz offers the Gibson s Learn & Master Guitar course. You  get 10 instructional DVDs, 5 Jam-along CDs, 100+ page lesson book and online support. Click here to learn more about it.

There's no doubt about it! Being single certainly gives you a lot more time to pursue your interests, whether it's playing the guitar, hunting, fishing or whatever you like to do. This is a good thing :-) You can spend hours jamming out, learning new tunes, or just playing along with tunes you find on the Internet.

At one time I even thought about taking up the fiddle. But I couldn't stand my own noise. I guess it's best for me if I just stick to the guitar.




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Deer Hunting

One year I had a guide license for deer hunting and I was taking a fellow through the woods. He was only a few feet behind me when a shot rang out north of us. The bullet from that shot lodged in a tree between us. He freaked!! He thought someone was taking a shot at him. He parked his butt on a tree the wind had blown down and demanded I take him out of the woods right now.

I said, "That's a little crazy, isn't it? Why would you think someone was taking a shot at you? There is obviously a hunting party just north of us, and there must be a deer running this way. There's a ravine just over there. I bet if we go over and watch we can spot the deer they are chasing."

No sir!! He wasn't getting off that stump. Again he demanded I get him out of there. I said I would, and I'd be back in a few minutes. I was just going to take a look down the ravine first.

Well I startled the deer who was coming at a dead run down the ravine. It saw me and was angling up through the trees on the other side. I was a little too fast trying to get into action, and I'm afraid I likely just plugged a tree myself. But the angle I was shooting at was safe; the bank to the other side of the steep ravine was where my bullet would have gone if it didn't hit the deer or a tree.

But then the fellow I was guiding freaked even more and hollered at me and asked what the hell I was shooting at. I dunno'.... some people shouldn't even be allowed in the woods....

I often have people ask me what the deer hunting is like in Nova Scotia. I usually tell them that if you look pretty sharp you can usually spot one or two. The video was taken in Kemptown, Nova Scotia, April of last year. Watch it carefully. You might see that one or two that I spoke of 😉




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