Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Site Search Updated!

Hey Everybody,

We are overjoyed to tell you that we have made a major update to VideoBox’s sitewide search engine. We thank you all for being patient as we incrementally upgraded our underlying search technology and then adjusted the search results. We think what is on the site as of today is better than the search results on our old site, and better than the new site has ever had. We think you will agree.

Let me break down a few of the major differences you will see starting today:

Relevance:

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 11.44.34 AM

The default result set for any search on the site is now Relevance. This pushes up items that are much more likely to be the content you were looking for. Note that the Movie, Scene and Clip searches are weighted more toward the text in the title now. If you are looking for content of a certain category, clicking the “Categories” list at the left of the page, or starting on the “Niches” page, is your best bet.

If you’re not liking Relevance, you can still choose from the other sorts we offer, as seen in the screenshot above; namely, Recently Popular, Newest to Oldest, A to Z, and Most Popular.

Vastly Improved Star Search:

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 11.56.38 AM

Yes, you will find that the results for searches on star names are much more accurate than they were. You will also find a link at the top of the default result set (which is Movies) to easily switch to Scenes and back to Movies as you wish.

Series Searches:

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 12.04.20 PM

It is now easier than ever to find other titles from a Movie series you like via the search field. As a bonus, we have added a link on the Movie details pages next to the title of any Movie with a “#” in the title, which takes you to a page of search results for that title. It’s not 100% exact, but it’s very handy.

Overall Better Results:
Generally speaking, you are going to get better results than you’ve been getting for searches, which means more of what you want and less of what you don’t, saving time you used to spend sifting through excess content.

Enjoy, and let us know how it’s working for you in the comments section below.

Bob and the VB Team

Get Your Porn On A Stick!

Hey Everybody,

This past April, Roku released the Roku Stick: a convenient little stick that plugs discreetly right into the HDMI port on your TV and offers the most movies, TV shows, sports, news, music, and free channels (like our awesome VideoBox porn channel) of any streaming player.

sexy-hot-dog-on-a-stick

We gave it a try and loved it, so starting this week we’re offering it for FREE with an 18-month subscription.

If your TV has an HDMI port, the stick is the one you want. There is no longer a need for line-of-sight communication between the remote and the device, so the Stick can be hidden away on your wall-mounted TV or otherwise tucked away out of sight. If you want to see more info on the stick, go here: http://www.roku.com/products/streaming-stick. And, if you want to compare the stick to the other Roku models, go here: http://www.roku.com/products/compare. Note that the stick only works with HDTVs.

roku-stick

As I mentioned, we are going to start offering the stick as the default option for our 18-month free-Roku plan this week. Within the next 2 weeks or so, we will add a drop-down menu so you can choose between the stick or a Roku 1, which we suggest you choose only in the event that your TV is not an HD model.

Cheers,
Bob and the VB Team

US Govt Warns: Stop Using Internet Explorer

Hey Guys,

Coming closely on the heels of news regarding the Heartbleed bug, the U.S. Homeland Security Department’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team is now saying to stop using Internet Explorer until Microsoft can fix a different flaw specific to that browser.

We just want to pass that along to you, both to protect your security and to enhance your browsing experience. For both Mac and Windows, we recommend using Google Chrome, but Firefox and Safari are also decent options. In any event, it sounds like your best bet is to stop using any version of IE.

ie-dl

For more information on the IE issue, see http://www.cnet.com/news/stop-using-ie-until-bug-is-fixed-says-us/.

Cheers,
Bob and the VB Team

Heartbleed Bug: No Worries

Hey All,

As many are aware by now, the “Heartbleed” bug was a major issue on the internet, which allowed a malicious user to request information from a compromised secure server without password or usernames. The people at OpenSSL along with all of the major OpenSource software companies that use OpenSSL for their Secure Sockets have patched their applications and regenerated public certificates.

heartbleed

Over the past week we have been investigating our systems and have found that www.videobox.com is not affected by this issue. Our SSL (secure socket layer) is handled by a specialized piece of equipment that does not run OpenSSL but uses another form of SSL that does not have the Heartbeat functionality enabled. Our tech team is taking the steps needed to guarantee that our SSL certificates are safe by having the upstream providers of the certs issue new ones as a precautionary step. We have performed some tests and attempted to exploit our own systems using the known means for Heartbleed exploitation and were unable to gather any information from our systems.

If you’d like to understand some more about how the Heartbleed exploit works, here is a small comic that explains things pretty well: http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/heartbleed_explanation.png.

Rest assured that VB users have not been compromised by Heartbleed. You may want to change your VB password anyway, though, as an event like this is a nice reminder that keeping your passwords fresh is a good idea.

Cheers,
Bob and the VB Team

New Download Labels

Hey VideoBoxers,

I’m sure many of you noticed that we changed the labels on the download links and rearranged the order of them recently, as shown below:

dl-rename-final

Popular technology is changing rapidly, and we felt that the labels and grouping of our links were a bit behind the times. For instance, calling a smaller .MP4 file an “iPhone” file seems a bit restrictive, given that you could play that file on an Android phone, an iPad, a PS4 or a Windows Surface.

We also felt that it made more sense, especially once they were renamed, to have the MP4s and the WMVs grouped together rather than intermingled. While this may disrupt you a bit at first if you’re used to going right for the link you always hit, we’re expecting that this will make everyone’s lives easier in the long run.

So enjoy the new labels, and we hope they make things a bit clearer and a lot more current. Rest assured that we have not removed any file types, we have just renamed them and rearranged them.

Download Porn

Cheers,
Bob and the VB Team

*UPDATE* Bandwidth Switch

*UPDATE #2* – Phase 1 of our bandwidth switchover went off without a hitch. There was actually no downtime on the site associated with this work. Thanks for your patience and your membership, and we’ll keep you posted on developments for Phase 2!

*UPDATE* – The Bandwidth switchover has been rescheduled for Wednesday morning, 2/19. Unfortunately the upstream providers ran into a minor issue w/ their hardware this morning and contacted us last minute to reschedule.

We will be doing some network-related maintenance tomorrow (Tuesday) morning between 8am – 11am PST that may result in brief service disruptions. The site may seem inaccessible or downloads may fail during this time. If a service disruption occurs, we will do our best to ensure it is restored as quickly as possible.

Please bear with us as this is one step (of many planned) towards improving video streaming/downloading experience for everyone. With this change, in particular, we will be reducing the number of hops to get our content delivered for many of you.

Our customers are extremely important to us and we want to make you all happy!

Let us know if you have any questions.

Video Issues Update

As some of our members have mentioned on this blog and via email, we have recently had issues with some of our video servers. Aging hardware, heavy recent traffic and content scrapers repeatedly blasting the servers requesting videos (including what is likely a purposeful denial-of-service attack) have created a storm of activity for our Ops team to deal with. Sometimes the issues disappear completely and then return suddenly as attacks change, and we always respond as quickly as we can.

hamsterserver

Please accept our apology for any inconvenience this has caused you, and rest assured that these issues are being addressed directly and will continue to be until service is not only restored but improved. We are literally working 24/7 to make things better, but with such a huge library of content any solution takes longer than anyone would prefer.

One important note: a common suggestion we have seen members offer up in scene comments is to change the mcache URL in a download if a particular scene is not downloading. This trick has actually made things worse, and as part of our operational improvements, it will stop working at all in the near future, so please refrain from doing it. If you have trouble with a given file, please let us know via our contact form, or try downloading it again a little later. In the meantime, hopefully one of the other 94,000+ scenes on the site will also be to your liking. :-)

sparks

P.S. If you are frustrated or unhappy with any aspect of the site, send us a message using our contact form and our customer service team will do their very best to make you happy again. We believe it is our job to provide you with a satisfying service in return for your money and loyalty, and contacting us is always more effective and direct than blog or scene comments which we may not see until later.

Best Regards,
Bob and the VB Team

Stream VB on Your PS4 or XBOX!

Hey VideoBoxers,

Last week we released a minor change that enables streaming of our videos from the VideoBox player page in the browser on your brand-new PlayStation 4 or XBOX One, as well as your not-as-new XBOX 360. I figured you’d probably want to know that!

Unfortunately, the browser on the PlayStation 3 does not have adequate html5 support (at least, the test model I have doesn’t, and a quick internet search returned a bunch of complaints and laments about the poor or nonexistent html5 support on that console). Last I checked, though, downloading to the PS3 and watching the videos from its hard drive works just fine. But feel free to use VideoBox as your excuse to upgrade to the new console generation — I’m sure Santa will understand! :-)

Happy Belated Thanksgiving, and Enjoy –
Bob and the VB Staff

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