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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Netflix


Hello everybody, welcome and thank you for visiting once again. For this post I’m going to talk a little about the popular web service Netflix; how it works and a cool, completely legal, hack to get the most out of it. First, for anybody who doesn’t know what Netflix is, it’s a web service that inks deals with different TV and movie providers such as Universal Studios, ABC, etc. and lets the public access them for $8 a month. Their profitability is based on the idea that customers as a whole will pay more for membership than it will cost Netflix to buy the rights for their collection. With that out of the way I’m going to explain how exactly Netflix decides to put up content. It sounds easy, right? Find popular movies and TV shows and buy the rights for them, but sometimes it’s not easy to find popular. Netflix uses some very mathematical systems in order to find this out, using a set of computer algorithms, basically like a giant equation. Think of it this way, there a bunch of factors set into this algorithm such as how much it sold in the box office, how old it is, and even what country it was most viewed in when released. A bunch of factors like these go into the algorithm and output whether or not it is recommended to carry on the site and whether or not it will be profitable. Sounds simple right? Put in a bunch of ratings and get an output of basically yes or no? Not exactly. In 2006, Netflix had a competition to create a better algorithm with a grand prize of $1,000,000. Teams of some of the best programmers around the nation competed to make an algorithm and ended up only making it 10% better than it was before, and it won them a milli. Now that I’ve explained how Netflix works it’s time for the hack. To do this you’ll need to download the Google Chrome web browser, open a new tab once downloaded, and choose the Chrome store. In the search box to the left search for hola unblocker and download it as an extension. After that technical part here’s what it does and how you use it. This handy little tool allows you to take any given webpage and transfer it to the version you would see if you travelled to another country. It doesn’t seem that useful, but in the case of Netflix, Britain’s version has more American popular movies because they cost less to get the rights for them. TO get the British version just go up into the upper right corner and find the unblocker, and change it to Britain. Voila, more content! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the inner workings of one of the fastest growing companies on Earth, and I wish you well viewing the British version!