River Blu – A Musical duo formed in the Poconos, PA

Barbara Reese & Jeremiah Williams playing guitar and singing at Shankara Restaurant in Bethlehem

A new musical duo has formed in the Pocono Mountains, located in Northeast Pennsylvania, named Blue River. The members of this musical duo are Barbara Reese and Jeremiah Williams. Both musicians play acoustic guitar and sing solo and harmonize.

Barbara Reese, a seasoned singer songwriter, has been performing for audiences for decades. Barbara blends originally written songs with other classic artists of the 60’s, 70’s and today. Barbara’s originals stand firmly on their own as beautiful and poignant, while many of Barbara’s preferred cover songs are written by Joni Mitchell. With this approach, Barbara Reese assembles a fantastic set while delivering powerfully healing lyrics which nourishes anyone’s appetite for a warm acoustic evening. When she decided to add Jeremiah Williams it brought her performance to the next level.

Jeremiah Williams has been playing and writing music for over 25 years. He has studied music both formally and on his own. While in school at Northampton Community College, his professor Erin Mclelland, pushed him to go further into his musical career through learning the proper foundations of music composition as well as the art of guitar playing. Since Erin’s teachings, Jeremiah has been propelled forward into a more modern approach to playing and composing. Jeremiah plays tastefully in the background while supporting Barbara’s delightful singing and open guitar tunings.

These two artists combined form the new duo called Blue River. They have recently become a staple on Friday evenings at a vegan restaurant in south side Bethlehem, called Shankara. The chef, Wendy, has traveled the world searching for recipes for the perfect vegan cuisine. If your in the mood for a nourishing evening through healthy food and beautiful music, stop in to Shanakara on Friday nights from 6 to 9 o’clock.

For more info use this contact form and either Barbara or Jeremiah will give you a call to book your restaurant, venue, club, or private party.

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Venue Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Venue’ type=’select’ required=’1′ options=’Restaurant,Club,Private Party,Other,’/][contact-field label=’Phone #’ type=’text’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

How to choose the right Hosting Service for your business.

ABOVE – A snapshot of the top ten hosting companies in the search results.

In this great big world wide web, there are literally hundreds of companies that offer hosting, email, and even domain name services. The number of companies to pick from  has grown exponentially since the 1990’s. Now, more than ever, hosting companies have learned how to manipulate the consumer into purchasing their services instead of their competitors.

Let the Buyer Beware

Today, hosting companies are fine-tuning their approach to the services they offer. As technology becomes more available their services become more expensive and less dependable. These companies understand more than ever, how to get their pages to the top of the search results. This article’s purpose is to reveal the dishonesty and unethical business practices that are found by taking a look at the truth; who really owns what company,  and what are real people saying about their reputation. Unarmed with the correct technical information about your needs could cost you your business!! This article will clear away come the mystery surrounding what you need to know to choose the right company for your website’s continued success.

Every hosting company is not created equal!

We begin our journey how most of us find a solution to a problem; an internet search. Unfortunately,  to find a good hosting company, this is the absolute worst approach, but it’s the only way we have to wade through these companies services to fulfill our businesses needs. Finally, after searching for the best hosting companies, a comprehensive list displayed in the search results. It’s called the top ten hosting companies. Above is the actual screenshot from  February 11, 2014.

The top ten so called hosting companies.

The first company in this list is iPage. I was extremely surprised to learn that #1 iPage along with, #5 Bluehost, #6 Hostgator, #2 Justhost, and #8 Fatcow are all owned by the same comapny; EIG. Endurance International Group formerly Bizland owns about 60 hosting companies in this country and worldwide. #3 Web.com, also owns #4 Network solutions. Who could  trust a company that deceives its window shoppers by claiming to be one company, but really is over sixty different companies just copied and rebranded over and over again? There is something wrong with this.

This leaves three other companies #7 1&1, #9 Hub, and #10 Godaddy. Out of these three companies left Godaddy is probably the most familiar because they are the most profitable and have an advertising budget so big that they took out a 30 second slot at the superbowl costing 4 million dollars. How could a company that claims to offer so much justify an expenditure that large to go to broadcasting company instead of increasing its server space and the resources they offer to their paying customers? For your information, Godaddy also owns Media Temple, Tech Crunch, outright,  and is growing by the day. If you are a techie like me, I was saddened on the day that Media Temple was bought.

There are now two companies left in the running; #9 Hub, and #7 1and1. The company Hub, actually called Web Hosting Hub, has a sister company called inMotionHosting. At the time of the writing of this article Inmotionhosting is hosting this website and we are 5 days into our relationship with a 90 day return policy. We will soon find out how good their service is from first hand experience. So far, there is nothing negative to say about either of these companies. Also, you should always check where the company is located and choose one that is local to you and your customer base.

Many offer unlimited space and domains?

Most of these companies all offer unlimited space and unlimited traffic with a free domain name for just a few dollars a month. What they do not tell you is that they limit your resources on their server sshared server which is filled with other people’s accounts and services  to 1 GB of Virtual memory each. This is probably 4 to 16 times less resources that you have on your home computer. 1 GB of VRam is NOT enough to run an unlimited amount of websites. It is barely enough to run very busy website or a few slow ones.  While this will ensure that your website won’t crash because of someone else’s on the same shared server, it also limits the amount of visitors you can have at your website during peak hours. If you don’t believe me check your resource usage in your control panel. Sure you could pay $20 to $200 for your own private VPS. But, who needs all those resources unless you are getting thousands of unique visitors per month?

 

If you have any experiences that you would like to share please add a comment below. This will help anyone looking for a hosting to make a better more informed decision with their advertising budget.

Article written by Jeremiah Williams, a free soul born right in the heart of Zion.

Links to information in article. Works Cited.

http://webhostingcat.com/compare-by-the-numbers/inmotion-vs-web-hosting-hub/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endurance_International_Group

http://antigodaddy.com

http://www.crunchbase.com/company/godaddy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endurance_International_Group

http://www.blogaid.net/bluehost-hostgator-hostmonster-and-justhost-blackout-on-eig-utah-servers

 

 

5 best tech gadget gifts under $200 for the Holiday season in 2013

Leap Motion Controller

With the holiday season it’s tough to know what to get your techie relatives that boast how much they love their Smartphone. If you’re not a tech savvy person and you want to get them the best gift out of anyone, that they will appreciate more than anyone else’ s, below is a list of the 5 most valuable gifts to buy your smart loved ones or friends. After searching through literally hundreds of products, and evaluating each one for value and cleverness, these next five items are the coolest and most ingenious additions to a tech savvy individual this holiday season.

1. Leap Hands Free – $79.99  https://www.leapmotion.com/product

 

Leap Motion Controller.
Leap Motion Controller. Hands Free control over your Mac or PC.

This new age tech gift will impress even the choosiest of tech connoisseurs. It enables the user to use their own hand and finger motions to control their own Mac or PC easily and accurately. It can be used in tandem with your favorite keyboard and mouse combination. For the first time, they will be able to control their desktop with precision up to 1/100 of a millimeter. That’s about the width of a business card.  It puts the user in control of the newest and most accurate user interface available under one hundred dollars. You can also use this device to control music software, games, and special apps designed for this device. For this season, be the one who gets the best gift on your friends’ or loved ones’ list.

2. Logitech Harmony Smart Control – $129.99  http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/harmony-smart-control?crid=60

Logitech Smart Control - Control all your devices with your own smartphone. No more losing remotes.
Logitech Smart Control – Control all your devices with your own smartphone. No more losing remotes.

Usually tech people are not the most organized at home. Perhaps they always struggle to find all the remotes necessary to operate their own entertainment systems. An average entertainment system usually includes a receiver, a TV, a Blue Ray or DVD player, and possibly a gaming console like and XBOX one or Playstation 4. Thats a minimum of 5 separate remote controls. How do you prevent any of these devices from getting lost, either under the couch seat or somewhere on the floor. Logitech has solved this problem for anyone that owns a smartphone. Now all you have to do is get the Harmony Smart Control system which comes with a small black box which you place in the room with all those devices and your life becomes simple. All you have to do is start the App from your phone thats already in your pocket or right near you. Forget about all those tiny easily lost remotes and turn on and control all your devices right from your own smartphone. A truly wonderful gift for the tech in your life! They will thank you for a lifetime.

3. Apple TV 99$ – apple.com  http://store.apple.com/us/ipod/ipod-accessories/apple-tv

Apple TV
Apple Tv is a fantastic replacement for boring commercial based TV. It offers many free intelligent programming for intelligent people and even recently, now streams PBS for free.

Streaming movies – Plays Netfilx and Hulu. A lot like Roku. Easy Setup. If you have any other Apple devices it seamlessly integrates them into your network. Stream your own music from your iPhone hands-free. Use as another display for your apple laptop or desktop. Streams podcasts, iTunes radio, and you can access your entire iTunes music library right from your tv. Also comes with an HBO to go app, for those who have HBO and would like to stream it to their mobile device.

Don’t worry if your techie friend likes sports, there is ESPN and MLB as well.

This gift is only 99 dollars and if your gift recipient has any other Apple devices they can use airplay to stream their own photos, music, and data right to the device.

4. Quirky Nimbus Smart Dashboard & Clock – $129.99
http://www.quirky.com/shop/596-Nimbus-Your-Personal-Dashboard

Quirky Nimbus Dashboard.
Quirky Nimbus Dashboard is an awesome tech gift for anyone who wants to improve the quality of their productivity at home or at work.

Does your friend or relative use their phone for everything? Do they love technology and inventions that save time and improve the quality of their life? Well how about a customizable dashboard, that’s device independent. Boasting a completely customizable, quad alert system your gift can be the gift that everyone will be jealous of. Your gift recipient can set his or her dashboard up to display what’s most important to them, such as how many e-mails they have, stock alerts, and even weather and traffic warnings. The device was invented by Ryan Pendleton form Grand Rapids, Michigan and was originally intended to serve as a simple app enabled alarm clock. Now everybody wants one, as they are on the cutting edge of technology. As apps are being developed constantly for this device the possibilities are endless.

 

5. Phillips hue light Starter Kit – $199.99  https://www.meethue.com/en-US

Phillips Hue.
Hue by Phillips. Control the color of light of any room in your home.

Did you know that light color can affect your mood? Imagine waking up in the morning to a gradually increasing orange sunrise hue. Have you ever left the home and forgot to shut your off a light or two. How about controlling the colors of your lights with your smartphone and being able to control your lights off from anywhere in the world that you have a 4G or LTE connection. You can turn them on and off as a theft deterrent to make a burglar think someone’ home. Studies have shown that reading in a bright fluorescent light is damaging to your eyes. Imagine if you could read in a soft yellow or orange color which helps eyes focus with clarity and prevents eye-fatigue. Every scene is completely customizable by the user of the smartphone controlled lighting. Your gift will be the topic of conversation for years to come. It is amazingly easy to setup. Simply screw in the three lights to any exiting light socket and your in control of the color, brightness and intensity of your own room. As as added feature, the lights will also respond to music during a party. It even works in conjunction with a free service called IFFT.com which enables you to set up routines that react to events in real life and automatically make things happen in your life based on the criteria you set up. For example through the free IFFT.Com service you can have your lights change to a specific color based on the weather just outside your window.

With all the nonsensical items out there in retail stores or online, that don’t live up to what they say they do, its tough not to get taken advantage of if you are tech savvy. These items are compiled from my tech friends and personal wish lists this holiday season. Do yourself a favor, don’t get something your snobby tech friend or relative will look down on you for. Get them any one of these modern marvels and they will love you forever.

Kitten Festival 9 – 2013 New Jersey

A photo of the lands of the 9th Kitten Festival,
Kitten Festival, 2013, June 29th, Photo and editing by Jeremiah Williams

It began as random as a snow in Savannah, and I had no idea what to expect. It was in a place I had never been to, a ball-field built for the New Jersey Cardinals, located  northeast of nowhere. I knew no-one except for the musician who invited me. When we arrived it was dark. Nothing could be seen if it weren’t for the massive orange light way up in the sky, barely illuminating what looked like a few picnic tables on a large concrete slab. The festival is called Kittenfest 9 or The Kitten Festival in 2013, and I was there to help.

Eventually, I met a few new people who’s names I can barely remember, due to my difficulty remembering names. It’s funny though, I never forget a face. I think my brain just has an easier time remembering pictures over data, nothing personal. As the night progressed I was very pleased to find many people whom which had brought their guitars. There were small pockets everywhere of people jamming and singing both familiar, and unfamiliar songs. I was intimidated. I knew I could hold my own, yet I had no idea how practiced anyone was. I eventually took a chance and began to mingle allowing my guitar to do most of the talking that my mouth was just too nervous to do. After playing music with ten or so people, I realized that I was accepted by at least the few people that mattered most. We partied, then slept indoors with our outdoor equipment. Before I slept, I remembered thinking, this is going to be my first Kitten Festival ever, what did I get myself into.

The next morning I was awoke by the chattering of some young girls. Not a bad way to wake up, I thought to myself in my half comatose state in which my senses were only at about ten to fifteen percent operational. What a lovely state to be in. Too bad it doesn’t naturally last longer than a few minutes. So now we were all wake except for one.

The day began with the responsibility of assisting the volunteers with the assembly of the stages. It was definitely a bit of a struggle for me being that I am not generally the best at taking orders from anybody, due to my residual issues created by my own disappointment with my own father’s methods or lack-thereof of being a father at all. He was always giving me these solutions to problems that seemed to backfire ninety-nine percent of the time. Eventually the pain became too great bear, so I decided it was best to take my own directions from then on. I am still this way after twenty years have passed. I was hesitant to become too involved, due to this shortcoming. I did help out getting the tarps over the stages and eventually the stages were completed and protected from the rain.

Kitten Festival, 2013, June 29th, Photo and editing by Jeremiah Williams

As people started  trickling in to watch the bands and see old friends, I began to notice things like the beautifully kept grass in the outfield, and on the infield, I imagined all the bases were there and on them, a ballgame being played. Then I realized, I hadn’t ever been in on a  full size professional baseball field. The last field I remember being on was my high school in Sayreville, New Jersey which was about half the size. This place was enormous, and I was going to keeping an eye on things making sure people partying weren’t becoming violent. There are many types of violence, the only one I was concerned with was the physical kind. I was also given the task of making sure people were paying and didn’t sneak in. Seemed easy enough.

The weather during the day was perfect. The sky was filled with beautifully shaped cumulus clouds. The sky was a beautiful saturated blue, the grass was a perfect green, the tress were a heavily contrasted darkened green, and the infield was a medium to light brown mixed with a hint of reddish hues. A perfect blend of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors was being drawn in by my brain and recorded to ward off the next change in the weather since nothing so beautiful could last for very long without changing to its opposite and feeding the trees. Next, the first band played and the Kitten Festival 2013 began.

If you would like to read about the events that occurred next at the Kitten Festival somewhere in NJ, subscribe to my website on the bottom of the page by entering your e-mail address. Thx. Spoiler alert – Shit got Weird!!!

Written by Jeremiah Williams
Artistic Photograph by Jeremiah Williams