Archive for the ‘geekery’ Category

Holiday Free Roku Giveaway!!

UPDATE: The giveaway drawing is now closed, and we are no longer accepting new entries. We have emailed all the winners, and we’ll announce them in a separate post as soon as we have heard back from all of them. Thanks to every one of you who entered!

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Hello VideoBoxers! ‘Tis the holiday season, and to ring in this special time of year, we have decided to give away 5 top of the line Roku boxes to you, our valued members! What better way to escape and relax from the holiday craziness than watching your favorite VideoBox scenes and movies on your big-screen TV?!

We’re giving away Roku XS boxes to 5 lucky winners that will be drawn at random. These Rokus are top of the line and retail at $99.99.

To be eligible to win a Roku, all we ask of you is to answer the following questions in the comments section of this post:

  • What is your VideoBox account username?
  • What is your favorite feature or aspect of VideoBox.com or the Roku channel?
  • What is your #1 suggestion that would make VideoBox or the Roku channel even better?
  • What specific studio or content genre would you like to see more of?

That’s it! Just answer the above questions in the comments section of this post and you’re entered! Don’t forget to include your username so we can contact you if you’re chosen.

The drawing will be on Thursday, December 20.

This giveaway is only available to residents of the United States and territories, and you must have a current active account at the time of the drawing.

We will be doing many more giveaways in the new year, so keep your eyes peeled!

Happy Holidays from the VideoBox Team!

For official rules please see: Holiday Roku Giveaway

Roku Porn, Stick & Mobile

Hey All,

It should come as no surprise that we’re fans of the Roku box; our updated Roku channel is my personal favorite recent VideoBox enhancement. If you haven’t tried Roku porno yet, we’ll have some fun news for you in the near future that we hope will make that much easier for you. But while you wait for more details on that, there’s a Roku announcement from CNET that the VB team thought was pretty cool:

Roku’s “streaming stick” is coming out in October for $99. It packs all the punch of a Roku box into a little USB stick that plugs into TVs and is instantly out of sight, out of mind. Rest assured we’ll be playing with one in the VB office as soon as we can get our hands on it!

Roku also has a mobile app that we enjoy. It allows you to use your device as a remote (oh-so-handy when typing searches or logging in for the first time). According to the same CNET article, an update to the Roku app enables AirPlay-like streaming of music and photos from your device to your TV. Whether you’re streaming porn or looking at vacation photos with your kids (because you’ve installed our discreet app and enabled the parental access controls, right?), this sounds like another great reason to have a Roku in your house.

Read the full details here: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33199_7-57516280-221/roku-streaming-stick-coming-in-october-for-$99-while-mobile-app-adds-airplay-esque-streaming/

And, let us know what you think of the VideoBox Roku porn app, or the announcements above, down in the comments.

Happy Friday,
Bob

MP4 Clips Fixed

Just a quick note to let you all know we have discovered the source of our problem with MP4 custom clips. Content released from here forward should not be affected, and will play on the major video playback programs for both Windows and Mac. Last night we began re-encoding affected files that are currently on the site, so those fixes will hit the site as they are completed.

If you see any issues with custom clips, please use the form on our contact page and give us as much info as possible on the affected scene.

Note: full-scene downloads were not affected, and will continue to be fine, and we have no plan to remove full-scene WMVs at this time.

Once again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Cheers,
The VB Team

Clip Download Issues: We’re On It

Hey VideoBoxers,

As some of you have noticed, we have recently removed WMV custom-clip download options from the site. We made this decision because of the complexity involved with creating this particular file type, and the fact that WMVs are fast becoming an obsolete format that most modern devices don’t support. We view this decision as similar to the one we made to drop support for Internet Explorer 6 & 7 a while ago.

Custom clips can still be downloaded as MP4 files, and full scenes can still be downloaded as MP4 or WMV; it’s just the custom-clip WMVs that are no longer available.

Some users have reported difficulties with playback of the custom-clip MP4s in certain software programs, however. We are aware that this is an issue and are working as quickly as possible to resolve it. In the meantime, we recommend VLC player to all of you. VLC is a free software program that can play all media types and provides the user excellent control over playback. It plays our MP4 custom clips without issue.

VLC can be downloaded for free at: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused, and will post here again when we have a solution for MP4 playback for a wider array of programs.

Sincerely,
The VideoBox Team

Alpha Test: HTML5 on VB3

Hey VideoBoxers,

As you may have seen in John’s recent post, we have been playing with AirPlay a little bit. Well, with a couple of days somewhat open at the start of this week, I decided to see what it would take to get HTML5 playback happening on iPad, iPhone and Android. I’m pleased to tell you that this afternoon we put an alpha version of this functionality up on VB3!

See the instructions for using it below, but first let me offer a few caveats:

1) This is an alpha test, which means “not even a beta test yet.” I threw it up there for you guys to try out, and I will be busy on other stuff for the next few weeks. Therefore, expect bugs and odd behavior, and you won’t be disappointed. :-)

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What do you guys think about replacing WMV with H.264

When our first site launched back in 2002, WMV was state of the art. Now, however, it’s an old format that doesn’t play well on non-Windows devices and compresses poorly.



So I was wondering what issues you guys would have if we dropped WMV. And before you say “wait, the biggest files are WMV so they’re the highest quality”, be aware that file size and file quality are two different things.



Specifically, our 640×480 H.264 files are 3-4 times smaller than our DVD resolution WMV, but they’re comparable in quality (both formats exhibit their own compression artifacts).



Are there other reasons you like WMV? Does H.264 not play as well for you?



I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

Does Familiarity with Porn Stars Breed Contempt?

Perusing the porn star list this morning, I started thinking about what makes a porn star unpopular. Audrey Hollander is a pretty girl who’s made a lot of porn, but she’s not the most popular starlet with VideoBox members (to put it mildly). I had to wonder if those things were connected in some way.

Does the number of scenes a star has on VideoBox affect how popular she is on the site? I hypothesized that the answer was yes. Then I wrote a script to gather up 1,000 stars’ scene counts and popularity ratings. Shortly thereafter I was disappointed to learn that those things appeared to have nothing at all to do with one another. Even the stars with the top 25 scene counts didn’t correlate well with popularity (or lack thereof).

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I went back to the drawing board. What was it that people disliked about Audrey? Was it her willingness to do more, shall we say, extreme scenes? New question: How does the willingness to engage in gangbangs on camera relate to popularity?

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Thirty-eight Percent of Porn Stars Do Anal?

A few months ago, I read this post about a guy who ran some stats on “what will porn actresses do” based on data from an adult modeling agency’s website. Curious whether his numbers would hold true at other agencies and in general (confidence requires more than one sample, after all), I ran some numbers of my own.



This data isn’t shocking. Some interesting things that stood out to me, however, were:

1. Blowjobs aren’t a given. Only about 60% of girls do them. And swallowing is available less than half the time.

2. A star who’ll do girl/girl is pretty easy to find, but one who’ll do girl/girl anal is much more difficult. More will do anal with men than women.

3. Depending on whose data you look at, women willing to do solo are less prevalent than those willing to have sex with someone else on camera. Is there something inherently more self-conscious about being the only one being filmed?

4. About 10% of porn stars claim to be able to squirt. Is it possible that 10% of all women can squirt? Or are porn stars more likely to be able to/claim to be able to?

5. Only about half of porn girls will do interracial. Seriously?

Did anything jump out at you guys about these numbers? Or did they simply confirm for you that I’m a huge dork? ;)

See Dee N take 3


We’re on our 3rd CDN trial, again as noted this is focused on improving the site image load performance time. As usual testing was done before flipping the switch on. Our particular interest is if European users are seeing faster page loading time with this feature. Please comment with your feedback.

Per the last trial, we have for some time now implemented a number of well-known tricks to optimize image delivery. This includes spreading the load between four hostnames, as mentioned by commenter dweazy – along with proper cache HTTP response headers, stripping JPG metadata comments.

Securing Them Gigglebits

Today we’re launching SSL or HTTPS support for a number of pages on the site. This includes the login page, change password form and other user specific sections. You’re probably familiar with “lock” or secure icon in the bottom window of your browser. This form of surfing means the data transmitted is encrypted from your source computer all the way to our destination web servers. Thus folks in your office, dorm or other environments can’t “sniff” your login information. This is a great value if you’re browsing on unsecured WiFi or other shared networks.

For clarification, our billing partners have always received your credit card billing information in this fashion. Extensive testing has been done for the past few weeks to minimize problems. As always, please escalate any issues via the tech support request form.

P.S. I’m sure the uber geeks will point out that HTTPS doesn’t prevent MITM or Man-in-the-middle attacks are still possible. You pervs!

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