Run Your Own Netflix?

Do you want to be just like Netflix or Amazon Prime and stream videos to whoever?  Well, only if you don’t mind spending like $59.99 a month to allow s3Bubble stream your videos that you host with Amazon S3 service.  Actually, the cost could go way up since you also have to pay Amazon for Amazon S3 service.  Amazon S3 service is like a static web host service, because each bucket could hold all sorts of files and data such as a video.  It’s kind of interesting how s3Bubble would make it easy for you to be your own Netflix, because you can also stream 4K videos to whoever.  I wonder how much it would cost for the bandwidth though, because I’m unsure if s3Bubble would just only charge you $59.99 a month.  Since bandwidth data have to travel out of Amazon S3 service, and so I assume that you would also have to pay for bandwidth cost to Amazon.  Anyhow, depending on how busy your do it yourself Netflix site becomes, you could pay a fortune to stream videos.  Furthermore, if you stream videos that are copyrighted, you’ll be in a lot of trouble.  Nonetheless, the technology is there for one man/woman to become a Netflix service.  Quite interesting I must say.  Check out the video right after the break to see how the whole process would work.  Enjoy!

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Good Doctor (Korean Drama) Review

This is a poster for the Promotional poster Good Doctor. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the television drama, Korean Broadcasting System, the publisher of the television drama or the graphic artist. Further details: Promotional image for television drama series Good Doctor

This is a poster for the Promotional poster Good Doctor. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the television drama, Korean Broadcasting System, the publisher of the television drama or the graphic artist. Further details: Promotional image for television drama series Good Doctor

Lately, I’ve gotten a fever for Korean drama shows.  It’s even better that I can watch many of these shows on Netflix.  Just recently, I’ve finished watching Good Doctor.  Although there are 20 episodes for this long show, and yet I feel this show needs a second season.  It’s that good, and it touches my heart.

Good Doctor is about a savant doctor who can picture objects and ideas in three dimensional planes.  Through perseverance and bravery, Park Shi On endures his personal struggles as a savant just so he can become a good surgeon.  By struggling to function as a normal person, Shi On touches the people around him wherever he goes.

Although I can definitely go way deeper in revealing everything about this show on this blog post, but doing this will spoil the show for whoever has yet to watch the show.  Anyhow, I think besides well written, coherent storyline, Good Doctor’s surgeon moments are realistic, thus making the show even more believable and enjoying.  Basically, the surgeries take places in the show are not overly dramatic but realistic.

Good Doctor’s main cast:

  • Won Joo
  • Chae-won Moon
  • Sang-wook Joo
  • Min Seo Kim
  • Ho-jin Chun
  • Do Won Kwak
  • Young-kwang Kim
  • Yoon Park
  • Bong-gil Yoon

Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Doctor_(TV_series)#/media/File:Good_Doctor_TV_series-poster.jpg

Netflix’s Marco Polo Is Good, Film Critics Are Wrong About It

I get it, some people hate nudity and bloodshed in films, but how the so called experts in film criticism — that the Internet mentioned — got so wrong about the quality of Netflix’s new Internet series known as Marco Polo.  I’d seen some of the commenters on Netflix typed that the so called film critics compared Marco Polo with Game of Thrones.  I totally disagree with such comparison.  How could that be?  Marco Polo was part fiction and part historic, and such it has no similarity to Game of Thrones in which is all fictional.  Furthermore, even if Marco Polo isn’t a real historic figure, but Marco Polo has been a part of human recalled  history for hundreds of centuries; it does make one wonders the credibility of the argument of how Netflix’s Marco Polo was inspired by Game of Thrones.

If I’m not wrong and if Wikipedia isn’t wrong, Marco Polo was a real person and he had been in Kublai Khan’s domain when Kublai Khan controlled both North and South China as a unified China.  According to Wikipedia, some people had doubted Marco Polo had been in China, because he forgot to mention of China’s Great Wall, foot binding, chopsticks, and so on in his time.  Nonetheless, others had argued that Marco Polo was dwelling among the Mongol elites, thus some of the Chinese cultural practices might not yet be commonly adopted among the Mongol elites.  Some people argued that China’s Great Wall failed to prevent the Northern invaders such as Mongols themselves from invading China, thus the Mongols felt that they didn’t need to maintain China’s Great Wall.

Perhaps the reasons I just mentioned in the previous paragraph had kept Marco Polo from mentioning about such things (e.g., Great Wall, foot binding, chopsticks, etc…).  Regardless, Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series incorporates the foot binding and chopsticks.  Nonetheless, Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series isn’t making a big deal on the foot binding and chopsticks when Marco Polo is around, thus in a way Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series is trying to stay neutral in the story of the real Marco Polo historic figure.  Of course, a lot of things cannot be accounted for as real history in Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series, because the series itself is an exaggeration to please the audience such as you and I, and the entertainment industry.  I’m still scratching my head how those film critics think Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series has any similarity to Game of Thrones.

For the very first episode, I wasn’t impress since it started out slow.  Nonetheless, I kept watching since I got nothing else to watch.  As I invested deeper into Netflix’s Marco Polo story, I got even more intrigued by how the show began to creep into my film spirit.  Although Marco Polo is the main character of the show, surprisingly the supporting characters are just as interesting as Marco Polo himself.  Of course, one of the most interesting characters is Kublai Khan.  I have to say the actor who filmed in the role of Kublai Khan did a very good job in making Kublai Khan figure a powerful, mean yet kind, selfish, sexual decadent, and wise.  Marco Polo himself is being portrayed as timid at first, but he is something else as he lives longer among the Mongols.

I can’t go too deep without spoiling the details for you, because you might watch this series later on if you haven’t done so already.  Regardless, the series is well filmed.  The sceneries are gorgeous, and the characters are well sculpted.  The actors themselves are believable in their roles.  Basically, the entire Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series is well made in my opinion.  The ending is very special too.  The ending is a big spoiler for what may come next in the Season 2 if there will be one, and I do hope there will be a Season 2 for Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series.

In summary, I think Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series has done well in blending the history and fiction together.  Others may think Netflix’s Marco Polo is inspired by Game of Thrones (as in an imitation), I think not since the series is extrapolating from history first then weaving in the fiction after.  Even if it’s true that the creator of Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series was inspired by Game of Thrones, I still think the creator didn’t stray too far from Kublai Khan’s empire.  Since Kublai Khan’s empire was real, and so it gives more credence to Netflix’s Marco Polo Internet series than something just plain fiction.  Of course, plain fiction is wild and fun and unique, but as a human being I like to think of a glorious past is definitely more glorious than something isn’t even real.  Of course, something isn’t real may come true in the future, but that is for the future.

Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Game_of_Thrones

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.

Sources:

TV Revolution Is Upon Us?

television

television (Photo credit: jeevs)

How many more players are going to join the TV revolution?  As now, we know Google, Apple, Microsoft, and other players are trying to tear down the old and introduce the new TV experience to the mass.  It’s all about how to unplug consumers from Cable and plug ’em into the Internet pipe.  Why would they and the consumers want everything, from phone to TV, to be plugged into the Internet pipe?  I guess the consumers demand and so they give ’em.  After all, the Internet isn’t just more hip and compatible with the time, but consumers can make wiser choices and have more control with their programs.

It’s about on demand yo!  On demand is definitely easier and more hip when consumers plug into the Internet, and so Cable will have to go the way of the dinosaurs.  Netflix is superb example of how on demand would work.  Instead of dictating when a content consumer should view a program, Netflix aired a complete first season of House of Cards show at once, so everyone could watch this all at one go.  Of course, whoever has all the time in the world will be able to watch the whole show at one go with few breaks in between, but most people have jobs and other pleasures to tend to, and so they will have to make their own time to enjoy Netflix’s House of Cards.  The big difference between Netflix’s House of Cards content viewing experience and Cable is that content consumers are in the driver seat for program choices and schedules.

A new player who has just joined the TV revolution is now Intel.  According to The Verge’s “Intel confirms its Internet TV will launch this year, complete with set-top box and a camera” article, Intel will launch Internet TV which comes with hardware that even has camera.  The camera can be turned off at will, but if you leave it on it will watch you watch whatever that you watch… it’s a little creepy in my opinion.  The Verge suggests that Intel will be able to make a wiser choice of showing what commercials and to suggest what shows to the TV audiences if the camera is on.  In my living room?  Sigh…  I don’t mind the camera watch me doing my things in the public space, but in my living room is just creepy.  I prefer a little more privacy when I enjoy my time in my own living room…

I think the TV revolution is about to be cranked up even more.  It’s the trend yo!  I like where this trend is taking us, but I think there will be things that will be discarded into the forgotten pits.  Through trial and error process, the TV revolution will reward the sensible features.  For an example, I don’t think that many people will appreciate being watched by a camera as they watch their favorite shows in the living room.  Features like this will definitely be thrown into the forgotten pits when the TV revolution (of this time) becomes the norm.

I think the TV revolution (of this time) is more about the experience and less of marketing gimmicks.  How come?  There aren’t that many choices for the publishers and marketers when it comes down to how to dictate what will be the ultimate TV experience in the Internet age.  After all, the TV audiences have plenty of choices to tap into for their content viewing pleasure from the Internet itself.  It’s like the TV revolution has to compete with the medium that hosts it.  It competes against the Internet and yet the Internet will be the medium which hosts this Internet TV thingy.  The trick is to make Internet TV the tube to go to for all TV and video content viewing pleasures…  The trick is to beat YouTube?

Sources:

Should Broadband Be As Fast As Possible And Yet Bandwidth Should Be Unlimited?

broadband

broadband (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

I’m going to write a quickie to voice my view in regarding to what WSJ had just reported… how the U.S. government is now probing the cable companies for their data cap.  Data cap is how we have to put up with the bandwidth prescription as cable companies may either throttle the broadband speed or charge us more if we’ve went beyond the bandwidth limit.  Whether it’s a good thing or not for the government to probe to see if there is an antitrust issue pertaining to how the cable companies have relied on the use of data cap to make profits, I think I should be bias and take the stances that side with customers and innovation.  Regarding to whatever else (e.g., more expensive digital contents, etc…), I think supply and demand will always play a major role in pushing down the prices, and so we should worry less unless something that may be beyond our control will dictate otherwise.  Furthermore, it’s obvious that data cap can allow the cable companies to destroy competitors’ business models (e.g., Netflix, Hulu) and bilk more money from broadband customers.

Look, we’re living in the Internet age or you can say it’s the information age, and whatever is in the way of the progress of this age is definitely an obstruction of everything that this age yearns for.  Albeit, this age isn’t everything glorious, because there are bad things and good things all mix up in the same soup — such as pornographic materials can be accessed by minors so easily but yet humans are more connected digitally than ever before… to allow knowledge to be transfer faster and cheaper.  This age is much more as it’s pushing the boundary of experimentations and summoning forth the innovations.  Albeit that people might consume too much digital goods and lose sight of being moderation, but this age is definitely has changed how people entertain themselves in plethora of ways.  Even more, this age allows transactions to be carried out way faster than before, therefore business can be done faster and so on.  The rises of Amazon, Netflix, Google, Apple (i.e., iPhone), and few other well known today brands that have real impact on the Internet — tell us a lot about the contributions that this age has to offer to humankind.  OK, let us not be so critical even though we know competitive, undercut, low prices of products and services that deal by the brands I mentioned previously may not last forever, but it’s what it’s as now — and the theory of supply and demand will continue to play a major role in easing down the unreasonable pricing of whatever that is hot in the market.

The next obvious step is to allow broadband to make deep penetration into small cities and rural areas.  Nonetheless, not only deep penetration matters a lot, but broadband has to be way more faster.  How come?  If you’re a Youtube user who constantly uploading new videos to your YouTube channel, you’ll know what I mean.  To upload a 12 GB 1080p high definition video, it would take around six hours or more to do so, if I’m not mistaken, with AT&T’s current Uverse upload speed which is just about 3Mbps.  If AT&T and other broadband providers can provide faster upload speed, users who are doing something as uploading videos to YouTube can totally be more productive as they will have more time to create videos and less time waiting for a video to be uploaded.  Sure, you can make the argument that these users can totally multitask their efforts such as using one computer to upload the videos and another computer to create and edit videos, but I still think that users can be more productive with faster upload speed as they can totally upload more videos to their YouTube channels than otherwise.  Instead of just only applying the positive effects of having faster upload speed to the uploading of YouTube videos, we can see that faster upload speed might allow home users to work with all things digital in a much more effective manner.  For an instance, home users can backup their computer data to the cloud way faster!  I can go on and on with this… but…  I don’t even want to address about how having faster broadband download speed is just as important as having faster broadband upload speed, because it’s obvious that so many nowadays applications are definitely data intensive than ever before (e.g., video streaming, teleconference, video gaming, online education, online data intensive project collaborations, data restoration from the cloud, etc…).

Technology is all about efficiency and progress.  If U.S. is struggling to keep up with world broadband standard, then we should push for faster broadband immediately.  If we keep on being slow in this market, we might too be left behind in other important markets.  After all, many markets nowadays are evermore depending on fast broadband penetration.  Of course broadband isn’t everything, but it’s a very big deal.  How big?  (OK, I admit I do not see the difference between broadband and mobile types of Internet connection, because in the end it’s all about how fast and how soon and how much data can travel from point A to point B!)  Soon, there will be even more people who will demand for even more smart phones (e.g., China, India), and so the Internet is going to be a busier place than ever before.  Sure, the future Internet might see the  inevitable rise in mobile traffics, but have we even considered about how our homes will get smarter?  Smarter homes mean more devices within homes will have Internet connectivity, therefore the Internet will get even bigger!  So, we can safely assume the Internet will continue to play a very big role in our future digital lives, therefore more innovations will come into existences soon.  Internet livelihood depends entirely on its own vibrant, and a sluggish Internet won’t be so vibrant.  With that in mind, a sluggish Internet is like an obstacle which obstructs the progress of future innovations.  Let say my view on why we need faster broadband, the one without any bandwidth limitation, is rather bias, but I think it does carry weight in term of thinking forward.  Let us look forward into the future where sluggish, limited broadband will be something of the archaic past.