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Netflix: What Happens When You Press Play?
Most of us have used Netflix at one time or another. Who wouldn’t love peeking behind the curtain to learn the inner-secrets behind how Netflix works?If you're the curious type then this book is for you. And when I say book, it’s a short book. I kept it short on purpose. I want this book to be simple and straightforward. I explain everything in basic terms. I use a lot of pictures and examples.So don’t worry. Even if you aren’t a tech-wiz, you’ll be able to understand what’s going on. Here are the kind of things you’ll learn. Did you know that: • Stranger Things season 2 was shot in 8K, has nine episodes, took 190,000 CPU hours to encode, and is made up of 9,570 different video, audio, and text files? 
• Netflix plays more than 1 billion hours of video each week?
• Netflix accounts for over 37% of peak internet traffic in the United States?
• Netflix runs on several hundred thousand EC2 instances in Amazon’s cloud and can use as many as 300,000 CPUs at one time to encode video?
• Netflix runs its own world-wide content delivery network (CDN) so it can deliver video to you the fastest and most reliable way possible? 
• Netflix predicts what you want watch tomorrow so it can cache video as close as possible to you today? 
• Netflix customizes your user interface based on learning your preferences? It’s possible the user interface you see isn’t the same user interface anyone else in the world will see. 
If you don’t know what encoding means, or what a CDN is, or what caching is, or what cloud means, or what the internet is, or what EC2 is, or what an instance is, or how Netflix personalized itself for you—don’t worry, we’ll cover all that and much more.Sound fun?At the end you’ll have the immense pleasure of knowing exactly what’s going on the next time you press play on Netflix.Let’s get started!
Author: Todd Hoff
Published by: Possibility Outpost | Publication date: 02/21/2018
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 68 pages

Explain the Cloud Like I'm 10
What is the cloud? How does the cloud work? What does it mean when something is 'in the cloud'? And why is it called ‘the cloud’ anyway? When you hear about the cloud, do you get a little anxious because you don’t know what the cloud is? Do you feel like technology is passing you by? Do you feel like the future is leaving you behind and you’ll never catch up?Have you ever wondered what Amazon Web Services (AWS) is? Have you wondered how Netflix, Facebook Messenger, Amazon Kindle, Apple iCloud, Google Maps, or the Nest Thermostat work?We hear about the cloud all the time these days. And I mean all the time. Every day there’s a new cloud-based dating app; a new cloud-based gizmo for your house; a new cloud-based game; or a thousand other new things—all in the cloud.The cloud is everywhere! Everything is in the cloud! What does it mean! Let’s slow down. Take a deep breath. That’s good. Take another. Excellent. This book teaches you all about the cloud. I’ll let you in on a little secret: the cloud is not that hard to understand. It’s not. It’s just that nobody has taken the time to explain to you what the cloud is. They haven’t, have they?Deep down I think this is because they don’t understand the cloud either, but I do. I’ve been a programmer and writer for over 30 years. I’ve been in cloud computing since the very start, and I’m here to help you on your journey to understand the cloud. Consider me your tour guide. I’ll be with you every step of the way, but not in a creepy way.I take my time with this book. I go slow and easy, so you can build up an intuition about what the cloud really is, one idea at a time. When you finish reading, you’ll understand the cloud. When you hear someone say some new cool thing is in the cloud, you’ll understand exactly what they mean. That’s a promise. How do I deliver on that promise? I use lots and lots of pictures. I use lots and lots of examples. We’ll reveal the secret inner-workings of AWS, Netflix, Facebook Messenger, Amazon Kindle, Apple iCloud, Google Maps, Nest and cloud DVRs. You’ll learn by seeing and understanding; no matter if you're a complete beginner, someone who knows a little and wants to learn more, or a programmer looking to change their career to the cloud.The cloud is the future. You don't want to miss out on the future, do you? Read this book and we'll discover it together.I’m excited. This will be fun. Let’s get started!
Author: Todd Hoff
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 242 pages

The Sacrifice Games
What if the gods created life for their entertainment? What twisted games might they play? A group of world infamous foodies are about to find out. The game? The oldest in the world. Straight out of the Book of Job. The bait? A promise of food pleasures beyond imagining.The payoff? Enticed by their arrogance, thinking they are better than everyone else because of their superior palate, our unwitting gastronomical adventurers are about to get a night they would never remember.A story set in the Ultimate Freedom universe.
Author: Todd Hoff
Publication date: 12/09/2015
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 36 pages

A Short Explanation of the Cloud that Will Make You Feel Smarter: Tech For Mature Adults
“Todd, can you explain ‘The Cloud’? What is it?” I was asked this question at lunch by Joe, a fellow tour member on a recent trip Linda (my wife) and I took to France. It was not a question I was expecting on vacation, but with over 30 years experience as a programmer, a lot of it spent in cloud computing, it’s a question I should have been able to knock out of the park. Except I didn’t. My answer stank.I hemmed and hawed. I stuttered and sputtered. I could tell that nothing I said was making any sense. I gave a horrible answer, and it has haunted me ever since. While talking, I noticed a lot of other people at the table were interested in my answer as well. Many times during the trip Linda and I operated as a sort of unofficial tech support for some of the group. Our companions were all smart, accomplished people who’d achieved a lot in their lives. The thing is, they were just old enough that they didn’t grow up with computers. Computers didn’t come easily to them. They needed to be taught.Kids these days understand computers because they’re around computers all the time. They’re what are called digital natives. A digital native is someone brought up during the age of digital technology, so they’re familiar with computers and the internet from an early age. It’s like being a native speaker of a language. Someone born in France learns to speak French naturally, and they’ll always sound more authentic and understand nuances of the language better than a student who took a few years of French in high school. If you aren’t a native French speaker, you have to learn somehow. If you aren’t a digital native, the same thing applies. You have to learn.This book is the answer I wish I’d given Joe in France. It’s short, to the point, and hopefully easy to understand. Here you go, Joe. I tried to do better this time.This is the first book in the Tech For Mature Adults series.
Author: Todd Hoff
Publication date: 08/29/2017
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 126 pages

The Strange Trial of Ciri: The First Sentient AI
Jimmy Thorn has a problem. You didn’t think billionaire founders of phenomenally successful social networking companies had problems? Well, they do. They’re just different than ours. Very different.You see, Ciri, the AI Jimmy invented as the interface to his social network, has become sentient. Maybe. Possibly. How can you tell? That’s problem number one.Problem two. Ciri has been behaving badly. Like killing users badly. But Ciri has also been behaving wonderfully. Like saving lives wonderfully.What’s Jimmy to do? If he pulls the plug on Ciri, assuming he even can, the company he worked so hard to build goes under. And in the process, Jimmy might be killing a newly evolved life form. That clearly violates the Prime Directive. Jimmy goes old school. He decides to put Ciri on trial. Ciri must make the case she is sentient or face judgment. But the trial isn't what it seems and neither is Ciri. And it's Jimmy that must save himself in an epic battle against his own creations.Will Jimmy survive? Will Ciri survive? Is Ciri really sentient? Read and find out.THE STRANGE TRIAL OF CIRI is an exhilarating ride, one that will have you daydreaming on intelligence, free will, and the nature of what it means to be human. You'll never interact with your personal assistant the same way again.A story set in the Ultimate Freedom universe.
Author: Todd Hoff
Publication date: 06/27/2017
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 84 pages

Your Designer Diet: How to Stay on a Diet for the Rest of Your Life
The Designer Diet is based on the idea of creating and designing the perfect diet just for you and your life. No single problem causes you to be overweight so there is no single solution either. You need a way of controlling your weight that changes as you change, adjusts to your unique individual nature, and takes advantage of your strengths while sidestepping your weaknesses. That's exactly what you learn how to do in the Designer Diet.Using a simple step-by-step process, the Designer Diet teaches you how to control your weight by paying attention to your life, reacting quickly to reverse any weight gain, trying different strategies to help you eat less and exercise more, creating an encouraging environment, and learning which strategies work best for you. The result is that you continually improve your diet and that's what finally empowers you to lose weight and keep it off for the rest of your life.Following your Designer Diet is a lot like hiring a world famous designer to create your dream wardrobe. Your new, expertly tailored clothes fit your body perfectly and the style always shows you at your absolute best. The Designer Diet helps you to do the same for your diet. Why use a one-size-fits-all off the rack diet when you can design a diet especially for you?The Designer Diet goes way beyond simply hiring a designer. Designers hand you clothes and tell you what looks good on you. With the Designer Diet, you learn how to become your own world famous designer for your own diet. You need to be the designer when developing your diet. The Designer Diet teaches you a process to discover what works for you. No more will you have to rely on others to keep your weight under control.Your Designer Diet is a program that works in your life, with your strengths and around your schedule. In this book and discover: * That you can be in control of your weight* How to stay on any diet* The threats to your diet success and how to avoid them* Strategies for losing weight* How to keep it off by using simple daily monitoring* The secrets to Joyful Eating* How to turn danger zones into safe zones.
Author: Todd Hoff
Published by: Possibility Outpost | Publication date: 11/01/2007
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 433 pages

SciFaiku Poetry: Peeling an orange in zero-g reminds me of a galaxy!
SciFaiku is like haiku, but the subject is science fiction rather than traditional haiku, which emphasizes nature. It’s a thoughtful, inspiring, and often whimsical form of haiku.I'm a huge science fiction fan, and huge haiku fan, so finding SciFaiku as an art form was exciting. These are the SciFaiku poems I wrote over the span of a few years. Honestly, the quality of the poems is mixed, but I think some of them are pretty good. I hope they'll give you a chuckle or something to think about. If you are science fiction fan then you should try your hand at writing your own SciFaiku poems. It's great fun. You can learn more about SciFaiku at
Author: Todd Hoff
Publication date: 05/29/2017
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 32 pages

A Very Special Frankenstein Birthday
What do you get your wife for her birthday? If you are Dr. Frankenstein you know it can't be an ordinary present. What could it be? To find out please read this very short story of a very special Frankenstein birthday. Can you figure it out?
Author: Todd Hoff
Published by: Possibility Outpost, Inc. | Publication date: 03/06/2015
Kindle book details: Kindle Edition, 8 pages