Hacking Explained: Jack Rice and Dan Patterson on Progressive AM 950


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Jack and Dan discuss a brief history of hacking, explain how the NSA captured personal user data from major internet providers, and provide a few essential security tips for the web and mobile on Minnesota’s progressive talk station, AM 950.

Learn more about about the NSA from expert James Bamford, and security from host Steve Gibson.

Thanks for listening to Jack and Dan.

Stay tuned.

KoPoint Conversations

KoPoint podcasts will return Monday, April 29th! I’m excited to release the first non-commercial series KoPoint episodes. Spring shows will focus on simple structured conversations with interesting people.

In the can and ready for a final mix are interviews with a few tech and media innovators:

These episodes will be released on Mondays and Fridays for the next several weeks. After a short break in late-May, KoPoint will resume show production with The Murdoc Jones Show, Beer Diplomacy, Win the Room, and The Comic Book Podcast. We’ll also introduce a new travel show mini-season called The Landing Strip Show.

Structured conversations and interviews with interesting characters will be KoPoint’s focus through the summer. Starting in May, I’ll be joined by SumAll‘s Hoyd Breton for discussions with technology and startup innovators. In May, Hoyd and I will interview the smart folks behind Fuzzco‘s Defense and Maimery zombie gear, as well as Sean Howe, author of Marvel Comics: The Untold Story.

This past March I was hired as a data journalist by SumAll.org, the non-commercial arm of SumAll.com, a New York data science startup and KoPoint’s studio host and sponsor. Working for SumAll.org allows me to to work with the team that initially sponsored KoPoint and focus on great content, rather than business development. Creating podcasts non-commercially removes KoPoint’s commercial constraints and allows us to push our ambitions to reach new and exciting creative goals.

On a personal note, I’ve never been more excited than I am now about the potential of KoPoint content.

As always, stay tuned!

– DHP

KoPoint Is Dead. Long Live KoPoint!

At the end of the month, KoPoint, INC – the corporate entity – will cease to exist. KoPoint did not make enough money to scale the content or the business, so I’ve decided to dissolve the business. Closing my first company was a difficult but necessary decision.

Dissolving the corporate entity will allow KoPoint to flourish as a non-commercial creative venture! We will continue to publish great programs from our studio in soho. I’m fortunate to have worked with many great producers over the past year, and I’m looking forward to creating more cool shows with interesting people. Programming will focus more on interviews and structured conversations around interesting and niche topics. Programming will also remain awesome.

Here’s what’s happening with the business:

  • I’m dissolving KoPoint, INC. While I’m proud of the company and what we created, I also need to make real decisions about what generates revenue at scale, and what does not. 
  • We’re doubling down on zombies. Really! In April we’ll launch The Zombie Apocalypse, INC. We recently acquired the domain TheZombieApocalypse.com, our zombie blog has taken off, and to that end we’re launching an ecommerce store. If you’ve been following this blog, you know that in addition to creating zombie merch, our small team has written a cool ebook, and is finishing an audiobook to be available in iTunes and on vinyl this summer. 

As a creative force, KoPoint was a driving success. In a year, we produced great programs and talked with fascinating people. We built a small but loyal audio-focused audience. We sold some advertising. And KoPoint will continue to grow! Dropping the corporate pretense allows KoPoint to focus on creating relaxed and organic content.

Here’s what’s happening with KoPoint podcasts and content:

  • We’re going to doubledown on audio. KoPoint.com will be a very flat and simple page with links to our iTunes and audio feeds.
  • KoPoint’s primary podcast will feature more of my voice, joined in structured conversation with interesting people.
  • We’ll continue to produce great shows from our studio in soho in-house shows will return in late-Spring. Shows will be more focused, and probably only one at a time. For example, we’ll do another season of Beer Diplomacy in late-Spring, with a renewed emphasis on NYC stand-up comedy. We’ll also do one-off longform episodes of the Comic Book Podcast with creators who live and work in NYC.
  • We’ll release a few of our remaining syndicated shows. I have several cool stocked episodes from KoPoint producers to be released in the coming weeks.
  • The KoPoint Wire – a curated feed of stuff our producers like – will return at wire.kopoint.com.

I’d like to thank SumAll for their continued support, the great hosts and producers I’ve worked with over the past year, and my rock-solid underwriters. KoPoint is, was, and will be devoted to creating excellent content with dedicated producers.

Thanks for listening, stay tuned, and long live The Zombie Apocalypse!

– Dan Patterson

Design Contest on 99designs: The Zombie Apocalypse

Republished from the KoPoint site, The Zombie Apocalypse:

This is one of the first public moves that KoPoint has made around our zombie properties since acquiring TheZombieApocalypse.com last month. The intent is to build an organic, community-focused site (forums.thezombieapocalypse.com) integrated with a crowdsourced shop.

Our blog following is substantial, smart, growing, and a great way to ‘acquire’ an opt-in audience.

The t-shirt design will be hooked deeply with the blog, and as spring approaches we’ll encourage our followers to submit snapshots of themselves in the t-shirt.

The shop will be soon feature an ebook written in-house by old friends and community members.

99designs lets us both scale the contents  and provide incentives for the participants.

Our contest is funded by KoPoint sponsor SumAll, and serves as a really cool experiment in organic ecommerce.

theinevitablezombieapocalypse:

Dear Survivors of The Zombie Apocalypse:

Today we’re excited to announce the launch of a week-long t-shirt logo design contest.

We’ll soon release a line of limited-edition essential zombie survival gear. We figured the best way to get the merch store started was with an inguinal t-shirt designed by you, and hosted on 99designs.

Here are the details:

  • The t-shirt design contest will last for one week.
  • The design will be used on The Zombie Apocalypse sites and as our first community-focused t-shirt.
  • The winner will receive a prize of $299 (please see the rules on99designs.com), and credit in a blog post.
  • We’ll also do our best to consider and potentially contact runners-up about working together in the future.

KoPoint’s friends and sponsor SumAll is underwriting the contest.

This site has grown tremendously over the years. We now have several hundred thousand followers, and we thank you all for your great contributions.

We have opened invitations to our forums and the leaderboard is growing fast with First Wave survivors.

We’re also in the process of launching a crowdsourced shop (or, should we say ‘survivor’-sourced?) that will sell essential zombie apocalypse survival gear.

This spring, after launching the inaugural t-shirt, we’ll launch an ebookwritten by DJ Raspe and Natalie Zutter about the origins of The Zombie Apocalypse.

Thanks much for following The Zombie Apocalypse. We have some big plans for the coming year!

Keep calm. Survive on. Fight zombies.

– TZA

Learn more.

Blog Post: KoPoint Revenue, Podcasts, and The Zombie Apocalypse

I’m often asked how KoPoint makes money.

KoPoint is a content and community-focused startup. While we raised a small sum of seed financing, KoPoint has always been a revenue-focused venture. In this era of high-valuation venture-backed startups, I strongly believe that real businesses have a plan for generating income.

Last year KoPoint generated almost all of its revenue from advertising. While selling politics and business-focused media inventory does work, it’s slow and difficult.

This year KoPoint will generate much of its revenue from community-focused ecommerce sites. Building revenue streams from large and passionate communities like KoPoint’s zombieand Minecraft blogs is both tenable and exciting! Blog and ecommerce-focused revenue also provides stability that allows us to focus on creating fresh shows.

Here’s the plan:

  • There’ll be no change from the current podcast schedule. Each weeknight KoPoint will continue to produce great audio and video podcasts. KoPoint will always create fantastic discussion-focused shows about news, politics, culture, and tech.
  • We’ve acquired the domain thezombieapocalypse.com and have associated it with the KoPoint zombie blog. The zombie blog has about 140 thousand followers on Tumblr and is growing by a rate of about one thousand followers per day. These folks are smart, creative, and highly engaged. Around this community we’ve built and will soon launch a forum and Shopify ecommerce store. The store will sell a smartly-designed t-shirt, a creepily-plotted ebook, and the official zombie apocalypse Bonfyre app. The shop, as well as details on each of these items, will be revealed soon.
  • Our shop is hosted by Shopify, and merchandising handled by Merchify. Analytics are, of course, provided the venerable analytics firm SumAll.
  • In March and April KoPoint will roll a short series of podcasts based on the ebook story, and begin soliciting user created t-shirt designs.
  • Through the first two quarters of 2013 we’ll replicate this process across KoPoint’s Minecraft and Comic Book properties.
  • Pending an in-progress series of conversations,  during the second half of 2013 KoPoint will explore entertainment licensing opportunities for our properties.

As KoPoint matures through our second year of artisanal media creation, the process of building a successful and scalable business becomes more necessary and also more exciting!

As always, we encourage you to contact us any time if you have any questions or comments about KoPoint, our business, or our content.

Thanks for listening.

– DHP