Earn free movie rentals with HitBliss

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HitBliss is a program currently in BETA which pays you to watch advertisements and allows you to use the money you’ve earned to rent movies or TV shows from the service. Once you download and install the app and set up your profile you can start earning money simply by watching the ads. The app will occasionally prompt you to click a button or press enter to ensure you are actually at the computer watching the ads, and if you respond quickly, or respond to the prompts a number of times in a row you “level up” and start earning money even faster.

You can also choose to share your web search history and Facebook and Twitter profiles to earn money quicker as well.

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I just signed up for the BETA this afternoon and after watching and responding to about 10 ads I already had $5 to use toward any movies in their library (just over 300 movies in the library right now). There are some new release and hit movies (such as Django Unchained and Saving Private Ryan) and then quite a few movies already available through Netflix.

Once you earn $5 you can no longer earn additional credit until you spend some of that on rentals. It seems like your earnings will always be capped at $5 to prevent you from stockpiling money and never watching ads again. I imagine when HitBliss is out of BETA it won’t be as easy to earn money, I feel like I got over paid, earning $0.50 per minute long ad I watched. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to make so much money watching advertisements, I just feel like they’ll probably scale it down to something like $0.10 per ad. I’m no expert, that’s just my opinion.

The app looks nice and works smoothly and is available for Windows or Mac (I’m running the Mac version).

I hadn’t heard of HitBliss until I stumbled across WordPress user zabelieth’s blog post.

Some screenshots of HitBliss in action:

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Loving House of Cards

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I finished the first two episodes of the new Netflix original series House of Cards, and I have to say I’m quite impressed. The show portrays the inner workings of the Washington political and press scene along with all the dirt and sleaze. This is what makes the show interesting, you’re constantly wondering what scheme is going to play out next and if it’ll work or backfire in the faces of the people behind it. Kevin Spacey’s monologues (I don’t believe I’m using the right word here, but hey it’s 2 in the morning) in which he breaks the fourth wall work great and add a special flavor to the show.

Netflix has made the first episode of House of Cards available for free in hopes that it’ll hook viewers who will then shell out $7.99 to have access to the remaining 12 episodes (which are all available to watch right up front, no waiting!). I’ve been a Netflix subscriber for years, so for me House of Cards is just a nice bonus. I hope it ends up being a success for Netflix and maybe we’ll get a second season and more original content in the future.

Another Netflix original series: House of Cards

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Netflix is getting more and more into original programming with the return of Arrested Development and the Lilyhammer series. Today its newest original series, House of Cards, debuted with all 13 episodes of season one available on day one.

House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey and its list of producers include David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network), Kevin Spacey and Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) among others.

I haven’t watched it yet, but the show looks quite interesting. I’m definitely looking forward to watching it. Many people are discussing just how they’ll go about watching the series. Would you try to watch the entire season at once, or one episode a week? The nice thing about Netflix’s distribution method is it’s entirely up to you to decide. It’s “on demand” in a sense. This seems like it’d take away from the social aspect of watching a series. For example every Monday you might hear people at work talking about the previous night’s episode of The Walking Dead. With House of Cards some of your friends may watch the entire series by the time you’re only on the second or third episode.

With its original programming, Netflix hopes to change the way television works. Reed Hastings has said:

Imagine if books were always released one chapter per week, and were only briefly available to read at 8pm on Thursday. And then someone flipped a switch, suddenly allowing people to enjoy an entire book, all at their own pace. That is the change we are bringing about. That is the future of television. That is Internet TV. [CNET]

I certainly look forward to the future of Netflix programming, and agree entirely with Hastings’ statement that the viewer should be in charge of how they consume their content. I look forward to checking out House of Cards this weekend, and will be sure to return with my thoughts on the series.

Now on Netflix: The Art of Flight

The Art of Flight is one of the most visually stunning documentaries I’ve seen recently and I’ve been wanting to pick it up on blu-ray simply because of how amazing it looks in HD. Last night while browsing Netflix I was pleased to see The Art of Flight in the documentary section. If you haven’t seen it I definitely recommend it, whether or not you’re into snowboarding or extreme sports at all. At least watch the first 15 minutes and prepare to be wowed. It’s quite amazing.