HitBliss Is So Familiar But Yet So Strange, Because You Can Watch Ads To Earn Cash To Pay For Digital Contents

Digital contents are cheap, because everywhere you look there are some more.  This is why some people are cutting their traditional TV cord and opting for Netflix, Hulu Plus, and the likes.  Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that everyone can afford any digital content whenever.  Let say, subscribing to too many cheap services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, or other similar type of services can push up the monthly spending by a lot.  Perhaps, this is why HitBliss is here to alleviate some of us from spending too much on digital contents.

What?  According to Forbes “Watch Ads, Get Paid: Is This The Future Of Ad-Supported Content?” article, you and I can easily watch a new movie — that is available for online rental — for free if you and I are willing to watch few ads here and there.  Perhaps, you insist that this is nothing new, because you can just do the same thing on Hulu.  Nonetheless, I think HitBliss is onto something new.  Basically, if I’m not wrong you can earn HitBliss cash by watching video ads, and the cash you earned can be accrued to pay for digital contents.  I’m not sure if this is HitBliss virtual currency or real cash.  Nonetheless, since HitBliss allows you to earn cash to pay for digital contents, it’s different from Hulu in many ways.  Let see, if I’m not wrong, with HitBliss cash you might be able to pay for digital contents other than just movies.

How would HitBliss operate?  A guess work on my part, I think HitBliss shakes hand with digital content partners to license those hot digital contents, streams or distributes digital contents to end users, collects the digital content costs from advertisers who got their commercials aired to the end users, and eventually separates the digital content license fees from profits to make sure there would be money to pay up to digital content partners.  In a way, it feels like HitBliss just modernizes the traditional TV/ads model and more.  And more in a sense that HitBliss allows the end users to pay for whatever digital contents with the money they earn from HitBliss.  And more in a sense that advertisers now will know that they will always have the right audiences for their advertisements.  How?  According to Forbes, HitBliss will annoy end users with frequent interruptions to make sure that the end users are actually watching the advertisements and not just turning on the display and walk away.  Furthermore, HitBliss might personalize the advertisements to tailor the advertisements that fit the taste of each end user.  How might HitBliss going about to do that?  I guess HitBliss can collect end user data such as digital content purchasing behavior, digital surveys, and so on.  If HitBliss is able to tailor such ads for different groups, I can see that the advertisers will love to see how their ads perform specifically for specific audiences to maximize their advertising effectiveness and minimize the advertising budget (i.e., save costs).

Will HitBliss business model work?  I think it’s a guess work since nobody has yet seen how this business model performs ever before.  Nonetheless, I’ve a feeling that HitBliss is onto something quite interesting.  Let say, if HitBliss is able to license enough digital contents to distribute to end users and executing superbly in delivering core services, I can see that HitBliss might be making it big.  Then there is also a question about will today, online end users want to expose themselves to online ads so they can get free digital contents such as free movies?  So far, Hulu Plus is doing OK with forcefully showing ads even though end users are already paid up for the service.  Maybe, HitBliss will find its business model will be OK too.  Anyhow, I think HitBliss might be something big and people like us will have another choice to go to for consuming awesome digital contents, affordably.  So let see folks, because time will tell.


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Traditional Advertising Over The Traditional Airwaves Is Broken! The Internet Broke It!


Advertising (Photo credit: Wrote)

Writing in a haste, because I got place to go.  Nonetheless, hopefully this post won’t end up as a mess of incoherency and full of grammar errors.  Anyhow, I like to think that the traditional, on air advertising model is broken.  Traditional, on air advertising model?  You know, those advertisements that you’re being bombarded with while listening to car radio or watching TV at home and so on.  So, why is it broken?  It is broken because of only one word, and this word is Internet.

Yep, the Internet has been gradually training people to be impatient and inclined toward on demand.  People’s attention span have gotten shorter than before for the culture of the Internet is all about getting to the information fast even though the information might be inaccurate or unpleasant or expensive or all of the above.  So, it’s not hard for me to see that people rather have a more benign, concise, and quiet form of advertising nowadays.  The ads on the right or left hand side of a webpage, if done with moderation, are certainly more benign and quiet than the typical in your face or ear, loud commercials that you often hear or see on the airwaves of radio and TV.  This is why I think as time goes on, the Internet dictates advertising to be creative and less intrusive, and people will continue to have none of the traditional form of advertising model.  If the traditional form of advertising model cannot be changed, people will not have any of it.  Furthermore, people are willing to cut the cord for more of on demand type of experience.  Just this sort of behavior alone can foretell that people do not appreciate to be force feeding with those loud and in your ear or face type of commercials.

What I had written above is my personal opinion on how modern people, the information age generation kind of people, might react to the traditional advertising model.  This traditional advertising model is the model that is still being used on TV and radio of today.  For an example, after watching few minutes of a show or news, commercials then be aired forcefully and loudly.  Even some Internet video services are still deploying this traditional advertising model, but with more clever methods (e.g., allowing people to skip the commercials randomly, keeping commercials short and exciting, etc…).  Obviously, there are enough people who might like to watch good commercials, but as the traditional advertising messages being traditional, these messages won’t have the options of staying benign, concise, and quiet… people might rather have the more boring but benign, concise, and quiet advertising messages that proliferate across the Web.  In a sense, this is what I feel toward today advertising form factors, but I can be wrong about this since I have zero experience in advertising business.  Still, I think my personal opinion has merit since I’m too a consumer who is being bombarded with traditional advertising messages over car radio and home TV.  What do you think?  (Not having time to proofread this, but I’m going to publish this anyway.  Will revisit this post in a day or two to proofread it.)

Stupidest Idea Among Stupidest Ideas Of Our Time: Pay Up When Linking Or Else… You Will Get Sue?

world wide web

world wide web (Photo credit: alles-schlumpf)

I think newspaper is a dinosaur form of spreading news, because it’s not relevant to how our today world works.  Today world, we do not need to use newspaper to get our news, because we have our news in digital forms.  Nonetheless, the same organizations that once made it big in newspaper world are now also the ones that churn out the news in the digital world.  The digital world isn’t the same as the world that newspaper came from, because everyone can make news.  This is why newspaper organizations who are responsible for some really informative news find it hard to make the same amount of revenue as before.  There simply just too many fishes in the ocean now, and just about any fish can have the presentation of the big fish.  Competition is good for news consumers (readers) though!

With the advances of Google search, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Skype, and so much more, it’s hard to not notice that news, collectively, is now can be in many forms.  Just about any news form in this digital world of ours, as long there are big audiences for such a form, news can become viral and spread throughout the society easily.  We can also simply call this as the Web!  The Web is basically consisting of all sorts of things, and news, collectively, is only a small part of the web.  For an example, another small part of the web is shopping online.  So, when I saw BusinessInsider broke “Irish Newspapers Want To Pass A Law That Would Mean Anyone Who Links To Their Articles Would Have To Pay” story, I told myself that I do not want to read the article as the title is already clear as day.

In my opinion, it’s insane for the Irish Newspapers to even fantasize about charging for people linking to their news articles.  I should not even waste my little energy to dabble on this particular topic, because it’s so stupid, beyond idiocy, for someone to think that it’s OK to charge someone for linking to his or her story.  Like I said, news, collectively, is only a small part of the Web.  What about other parts of the web that attentively want to link to never ever ending streams of links?  Furthermore, linking is a tradition which the Web cannot do without.  So, if there will ever be a law in the world, not Ireland since Ireland is only a part of the world, that passes to allow some people to sue others for not paying when linking, the Web will be broken immediately, if not gradually.  No one wants to link to anything, and the Web will become a broken web.  The Web itself needs not to be called the Web anymore if no one is linking to anyone else’s stories for fearing of being sued.  What a boring place this will be if this ever happens to the Web!

Luckily, Ireland isn’t ruling the world, therefore let hope Ireland knows its place and not passing this very stupid idea into law.  I don’t see how this will work out well for Ireland, because Ireland cannot impose its laws onto other nations.  Other nations will continue to allow web links to be used as how web links should be used, that is to be linked by other web links.  Will someone in Ireland start to go to United Nations just to sue another person in another nation for linking to his or her story?

If one day, our digital world morphs into the way the Ireland newspapers have imagined and wanted, even Google will go out of business.  Google’s search business is all about linking to various parts of the Web so regular folks can use Google Search to search for whatever.  If Google has to start to pay for every link, besides the humongous money/revenue outflow problem, Google has to also worry about the humongous, cumbersome administrative tasks in regarding to who Google needs to pay to and how long Google needs to pay in order for Google Search to function properly.  And so on…  I do think you get the gist!  Without Google Search or Bing, do you think the Web is navigable?  Sure, it might be navigable, but not to the extent of how we would enjoy with Google Search, Bing, and other search engines out there.

If someone starts to pass laws that impose on some of us to pay for linking to someone’s stories, I would prefer not to participate in such a lame Web!  Economic parts of the world that rely on the Web to function might have a hard time of bringing home the bacon if a broken Web is the way to go. Here I waste my little energy to write this article to vent my frustration of hearing such a stupidest idea that is being proposed in Ireland, because it’s very dangerous and stupid idea, if let it grows an inch, it might endanger the survival of the Web.  I bet most people think the Web is not perfect, but it’s definitely awesome as it is.  Of course, it can be improved in more constructive ways, but Ireland newspapers way is not constructive at all.  I say, let link freely and more, and no one should be imposed upon by laws to be forced into paying for web linking.  No one stops anybody in demanding for paying up to have the ability to link to certain stories, but that’s business kind of thing and not some sort of laws that impose upon everyone, senselessly.


Let Run VPN Server On Windows 8 To Allow You Securely Transmit Data At Any Public Place Which Relies On A Public Internet Connection

Using VPN (Virtual Private Network), one can securely transmit data back and forth in a public place which relies on a public Internet connection.  Wait, what is a public Internet connection?  It’s just an Internet connection in which just about anyone who has a computer can tap into and use.  A good example would be at a Starbucks.  Transmitting data in a public location is a very dangerous thing to do (i.e., only if you’re connecting to the public Internet connection), because you never know someone might do something nefarious nearby.  He or she might sniff the network traffics, and this means anything you transmit through a public Internet connection can be intercepted by such a person.  With VPN, it will be a lot harder for such an evildoer to actually get hold of your data in a public place.

Why using VPN can safeguard your data better when you’re connecting to a public Internet connection?  VPN will create a safe connection between your computer and a VPN server, and whatever gets transmitted through a VPN connection will be encrypted.  Nonetheless, VPN isn’t an end to end encrypted connection.  What this means is that when your data leaves VPN server so it can go to a server which hosts the web service on the Internet, the data will become unencrypted.  How come?  The Internet isn’t opening up an encrypted channel with your VPN server!  To put this in another way, it’s only the computer which you use to connect to a VPN server can actually open up an encrypted channel with the VPN server.  This is why you need a VPN client.  Nowadays, you don’t have to install VPN client much, because most operating systems (i.e., Linux, Mac OS X, Windows) come with a VPN client by default.  You might have to install a VPN client if you’re connecting to a non-standard, third party VPN server/service.

You can imagine the VPN encrypted channel as in a VPN tunnel or just a tunnel where cars travel through.  When a car got out of a tunnel, the daylight will hit the car in every direction.  Got the gist?

VPN is definitely a good thing to have when you are using the Internet in a public location.  Even though VPN isn’t an end to end encrypted connection, it’s still going to prevent the hackers in a public location from hacking you.  Of course, he or she can try, but it won’t be easy!  Let say, the hacker cannot magically insert himself or herself between the VPN server and the web service (which locates somewhere on the Internet and you want to connect to).  If the hacker wants to hack you in a public spot when you’re using VPN, he or she must hack your VPN connection first, and then everything else would be secondary.

To be even more secure, you can totally transmit all data within HTTPS protocol (a secure/encrypted hypertext transfer protocol), and this way the hacker is going to work even harder.  This means, a hacker must first hack your VPN connection, and then your HTTPS connection afterward.  VPN connection itself is already a difficult thing to tamper with.

Right after the break, you can check out a video I made on how to allow Windows 8 to host a VPN server/service.  Running a VPN server/service on Windows 8 allows you to go just about anywhere and connect back home for a VPN connection.  Of course, if your home network isn’t secure and already being infected with hackers’ exploits, then your VPN connection might as well be rendered insecure.  So, make sure your home network is actually well guarded.  A well guarded home network will definitely ensure your home devices such as a Windows 8 computer — which runs VPN server — won’t be tampered with.  I think a well guarded network equates to deploying all security elements within a network, and this means something as a strong firewall, strong antivirus software, strong network security policies, and the list would go on.

Iran Internet Might Inspire Even More Of The Same

The IMP Log: The Very First Message Sent on th...

The IMP Log: The Very First Message Sent on the Internet (Photo credit: FastLizard4)

If it’s true that Iran is separating its Internet from the rest of the world, then it also might be true that we might see something like this to be a common thing in various parts of the world in the near future.  According to the Guardian “The internet in pieces” piece, Iran is creating a giant Intranet.  Nonetheless, I prefer to call Iran’s giant Intranet as Iran Internet since the whole Iran country would be able to use this particular Intranet for everything.  They would use it for banking, e-commerce, news, entertainment, streaming, and you name it.  The list goes on.  Nonetheless, none of the activities that can be done within Iran Internet will be able to share communication with the world Internet (i.e., the Internet which everyone across the globe is using).

The whole idea for Iran to have its very own Internet is to have better control of the flow of the information.  Furthermore, it’s much harder for hackers outside Iran to deploy payloads (i.e., hack exploits/attacks) against Iran’s electronic infrastructure, because I surmise Iran Internet would not have any real physical connection between itself and the world Internet (i.e., the Internet in which everyone across the globe is using).  I also surmise that to retain some communication between Iran Internet and the world Internet, Iran might deploy not one Iran Internet but two or more.  How come?  I surmise Iran might deploy a second Iran Internet which isn’t so isolated from the world Internet to allow Iran’s authorized entities perform electronic transactions with the world.  Then there is a question, how would Iran retain and transfer the information from the exposed Iran Internet to the isolated Iran Internet?  I guess, Iran must have a way to copy information from one network to another without having two networks connect to each other physically.

Why did I say that Iran Internet might become a common thing in the future?  It’s obvious that various parts of the world are totally aware of the dangers of being hacked.  Unlike a regular citizen of a country, a country itself has lot of state secrets to protect, therefore it’s unacceptable for state secrets to be leaked through electronic hacks.  If Iran Internet is a success in term of protecting Iran from state hacks, we might see various countries create state Intranet which separates from citizen Internet.  Nonetheless, some countries might go just as far as how Iran is doing with its own Internet by creating state Internet which encompasses citizen Internet, to isolate many citizens from the world Internet.

The only thing I can think of for any country to build citizen Internet is to control the inflow and outflow of the information that get in and out of a country.  This way, a country can monitor, censor, and regulate the flow of information between a country and the world.  In a way, some countries might have been doing this, already!  Nonetheless, these countries’ approaches to the Internet aren’t extreme as Iran Internet.  These countries employ sophisticated firewall to filter out things that need to be censored, effectively preventing regular citizens to have access to the world and domestic information alike.  Nonetheless, any avid computer user in these countries can totally use a technology known as proxy to bypass any computer network censorship.  When a country adopts Iran Internet strategy, proxy technology might become useless in regarding to allowing computer users to bypass network censorship.  How come?  Isolated Internet (or Iran Internet kind of network) is physically disconnected from the world Internet (i.e., the Internet which everyone is using across the globe).

I think it’s a shame that in our near future, the information age might see the Internet breaks into pieces that segregate from each other.  It’s a possibility since many countries want to protect state secrets and have better control of the information flow that gets in and out of a country.  A polarized Internet of tomorrow will not be the Internet of today, and I fear we might not be able to call such polarized Internet as the Internet.  What’s the point of naming a polarized Internet as the Internet when the main function of the Internet, which is allowing the free flow of information, isn’t possible?  Perhaps, the real Internet of tomorrow only occurs on intermittent basis and under heavy monitoring!

The citizens who live in the countries that employ isolated Internet will not be so informed about the world as much as the people who live in the countries that impose no Internet censorship of whatsoever.  I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing to be more informed about the world, but I think it’s definitely more exciting for someone like me to know more about the world through the lens of the free Internet (i.e., no censorship).  What do you think?

Source:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/23/iran-us-cyber-espionage-intranet

Apple TV & Airplay In Action

Check out Apple TV and Airplay in action.  The video right after the break makes me want to actually get a real camcorder or something similar.  The video was shot with iPhone 4 and it was somewhat shaky.  Unprofessional, I hear ya!  Yep, no good light setup too.  I guess, the Internet is a lot more tolerant for unprofessional videos like mine.  Thanks to that!  Anyhow, enjoy the video right after the break!!!


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