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Netflix Prize Contest Ends, Down To the Wire

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the nail-biter dept.

Programming 100

suraj.sun updates us on the Netflix Prize now that the competition has officially closed. We discussed the new leader with one day to go in the contest: The Ensemble, taking the lead from long-time leader BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos, the first contestant to submit an entry that broke the 10% barrier. In the contest's final day, BellKor re-took the lead with 20 minutes to go, then The Ensemble apparently pulled a Michael Phelps with 4 minutes to go, squeaking ahead by 0.01%. At least so the leaderboard claims — but those numbers are posted by the competing teams. The NY Times reports that an official winner will not be named until September — Netflix needs that much time to pore through the complex entries and read the code. Netflix contacted BellKor on Sunday to tell them the team remained in first place; The Ensemble has had no such notification.

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I'll tell you how they did it (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28858857)

They realized that all movies starring Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson were actually the same movie. The compression on that alone was enough.

Re:I'll tell you how they did it (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#28858873)

Don't forget Adam Sandler movies.

Re:I'll tell you how they did it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28858895)

You can do eet!

Re:I'll tell you how they did it (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859113)

Don't forget Adam Sandler movies.

Hey now! Punch-Drunk Love is an amazing non-Adam Sandler Adam Sandler movie. But of course, it's the only one.

Re:I'll tell you how they did it (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859927)

Hey now! Punch-Drunk Love is an amazing non-Adam Sandler Adam Sandler movie. But of course, it's the only one.

There's also "Reign Over Me"

Re:I'll tell you how they did it (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 4 years ago | (#28861209)

Yeah, but that doesn't count because it is the exception that proves the rule.

Re:I'll tell you how they did it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28858933)

It has come to my attention that the entire Linux community is a hotbed of so called 'alternative sexuality,' which includes anything from hedonistic orgies to homosexuality to pedophilia.

What better way of demonstrating this than by looking at the hidden messages contained within the names of some of Linux's most outspoken advocates:

  • Linus Torvalds [microsoft.com] is an anagram of slit anus or VD 'L,' clearly referring to himself by the first initial.
  • Richard M. Stallman [geocities.com] , spokespervert for the Gaysex's Not Unusual 'movement' is an anagram of mans cram thrill ad.
  • Alan Cox [microsoft.com] is barely an anagram of anal cox which is just so filthy and unchristian it unnerves me.

I'm sure that Eric S. Raymond, composer of the satanic homosexual [goatse.fr] propaganda diatribe The Cathedral and the Bizarre, is probably an anagram of something queer, but we don't need to look that far as we know he's always shoving a gun up some poor little boy's rectum. Update: Eric S. Raymond is actually an anagram for secondary rim and cord in my arse. It just goes to show you that he is indeed queer.

Update the Second: It is also documented that Evil Sicko Gaymond is responsible for a nauseating piece of code called Fetchmail [microsoft.com] , which is obviously sinister sodomite slang for 'Felch Male' -- a disgusting practise. For those not in the know, 'felching' is the act performed by two perverts wherein one sucks their own post-coital ejaculate out of the other's rectum. In fact, it appears that the dirty Linux faggots set out to undermine the good Republican institution of e-mail, turning it into 'e-male.'

As far as Richard 'Master' Stallman goes, that filthy fudge-packer was actually quoted [salon.com] on leftist commie propaganda site Salon.com as saying the following: 'I've been resistant to the pressure to conform in any circumstance,' he says. 'It's about being able to question conventional wisdom,' he asserts. 'I believe in love, but not monogamy,' he says plainly.

And this isn't a made up troll bullshit either! He actually stated this tripe, which makes it obvious that he is trying to politely say that he's a flaming homo [comp-u-geek.net] slut [rotten.com] !

Speaking about 'flaming,' who better to point out as a filthy chutney ferret than Slashdot's very own self-confessed pederast Jon Katz. Although an obvious deviant anagram cannot be found from his name, he has already confessed, nay boasted of the homosexual [goatse.fr] perversion of corrupting the innocence of young children [slashdot.org] . To quote from the article linked:

'I've got a rare kidney disease,' I told her. 'I have to go to the bathroom a lot. You can come with me if you want, but it takes a while. Is that okay with you? Do you want a note from my doctor?'

Is this why you were touching your penis [rotten.com] in the cinema, Jon? And letting the other boys touch it too?

We should also point out that Jon Katz refers to himself as 'Slashdot's resident Gasbag.' Is there any more doubt? For those fortunate few who aren't aware of the list of homosexual [goatse.fr] terminology found inside the Linux 'Sauce Code,' a 'Gasbag' is a pervert who gains sexual gratification from having a thin straw inserted into his urethra (or to use the common parlance, 'piss-pipe'), then his homosexual [goatse.fr] lover blows firmly down the straw to inflate his scrotum. This is, of course, when he's not busy violating the dignity and copyright of posters to Slashdot by gathering together their postings and publishing them en masse to further his twisted and manipulative journalistic agenda.

Sick, disgusting antichristian perverts, the lot of them.

In addition, many of the Linux distributions (a 'distribution' is the most common way to spread the faggots' wares) are run by faggot groups. The Slackware [redhat.com] distro is named after the 'Slack-wear' fags wear to allow easy access to the anus for sexual purposes. Furthermore, Slackware is a close anagram of claw arse, a reference to the homosexual [goatse.fr] practise of anal fisting. The Mandrake [slackware.com] product is run by a group of French faggot satanists, and is named after the faggot nickname for the vibrator. It was also chosen because it is an anagram for dark amen and ram naked, which is what they do.

Another 'distro,' (abbrieviated as such because it sounds a bit like 'Disco,' which is where homosexuals [goatse.fr] preyed on young boys in the 1970s), is Debian, [mandrake.com] an anagram of in a bed, which could be considered innocent enough (after all, a bed is both where we sleep and pray), until we realise what other names Debian uses to describe their foul wares. 'Woody' is obvious enough, being a term for the erect male penis [rotten.com] , glistening with pre-cum. But far sicker is the phrase 'Frozen Potato' that they use. This filthy term, again found in the secret homosexual [goatse.fr] 'Sauce Code,' refers to the solo homosexual [goatse.fr] practice of defecating into a clear polythene bag, shaping the turd into a crude approximation of the male phallus, then leaving it in the freezer overnight until it becomes solid. The practitioner then proceeds to push the frozen 'potato' up his own rectum, squeezing it in and out until his tight young balls erupt in a screaming orgasm.

And Red Hat [debian.org] is secret homo [comp-u-geek.net] slang for the tip of a penis [rotten.com] that is soaked in blood from a freshly violated underage ringpiece.

The fags have even invented special tools to aid their faggotry! For example, the 'supermount' tool was devised to allow deeper penetration, which is good for fags because it gives more pressure on the prostate gland. 'Automount' is used, on the other hand, because Linux users are all fat and gay, and need to mount each other [comp-u-geek.net] automatically.

The depths of their depravity can be seen in their use of 'mount points.' These are, plainly speaking, the different points of penetration. The main one is obviously/anus, but there are others. Militant fags even say 'there is no/opt mount point' because for these dirty perverts faggotry is not optional but a way of life.

More evidence is in the fact that Linux users say how much they love `man`, even going so far as to say that all new Linux users (who are in fact just innocent heterosexuals indoctrinated by the gay propaganda) should try out `man`. In no other system do users boast of their frequent recourse to a man.

Other areas of the system also show Linux's inherit gayness. For example, people are often told of the 'FAQ,' but how many innocent heterosexual Windows [amiga.com] users know what this actually means. The answer is shocking: Faggot Anal Quest: the voyage of discovery for newly converted fags!

Even the title 'Slashdot [geekizoid.com] ' originally referred to a homosexual [goatse.fr] practice. Slashdot [kuro5hin.org] of course refers to the popular gay practice of blood-letting. The Slashbots, of course are those super-zealous homosexuals [goatse.fr] who take this perversion to its extreme by ripping open their anuses, as seen on the site most popular with Slashdot users, the depraved work of Satan, http://www.eff.org/ [eff.org] .

The editors of Slashdot [slashduh.org] also have homosexual [goatse.fr] names: 'Hemos' is obvious in itself, being one vowel away from 'Homos.' But even more sickening is 'Commander Taco' which sounds a bit like 'Commode in Taco,' filthy gay slang for a pair of spreadeagled buttocks that are caked with excrement [pboy.com] . (The best form of lubrication, they insist.) Sometimes, these 'Taco Commodes' have special 'Salsa Sauce' (blood from a ruptured rectum) and 'Cheese' (rancid flakes of penis [rotten.com] discharge) toppings. And to make it even worse, Slashdot [notslashdot.org] runs on Apache!

The Apache [microsoft.com] server, whose use among fags is as prevalent as AIDS, is named after homosexual [goatse.fr] activity -- as everyone knows, popular faggot band, the Village People, featured an Apache Indian, and it is for him that this gay program is named.

And that's not forgetting the use of patches in the Linux fag world -- patches are used to make the anus accessible for repeated anal sex even after its rupture by a session of fisting.

To summarise: Linux is gay. 'Slash -- Dot' is the graphical description of the space between a young boy's scrotum and anus. And BeOS [apple.com] is for hermaphrodites and disabled 'stumpers.'

FEEDBACK

What worries me is how much you know about what gay people do. I'm scared I actually read this whole thing. I think this post is a good example of the negative effects of Internet usage on people. This person obviously has no social life anymore and had to result to writing something as stupid as this. And actually take the time to do it too. Although... I think it was satire.. blah.. it's early. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

Well, the only reason I know all about this is because I had the misfortune to read the Linux 'Sauce code' once. Although publicised as the computer code needed to get Linux up and running on a computer (and haven't you always been worried about the phrase 'Monolithic Kernel'?), this foul document is actually a detailed and graphic description of every conceivable degrading perversion known to the human race, as well as a few of the major animal species. It has shocked and disturbed me, to the point of needing to shock and disturb the common man to warn them of the impending homo [comp-u-geek.net] -calypse which threatens to engulf our planet.

You must work for the government. Trying to post the most obscene stuff in hopes that slashdot won't be able to continue or something, due to legal woes. If i ever see your ugly face, i'm going to stick my fireplace poker up your ass, after it's nice and hot, to weld shut that nasty gaping hole of yours. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

Doesn't it give you a hard-on to imagine your thick strong poker ramming it's way up my most sacred of sphincters? You're beyond help, my friend, as the only thing you can imagine is the foul penetrative violation of another man. Are you sure you're not Eric Raymond? The government, being populated by limp-wristed liberals, could never stem the sickening tide of homosexual [goatse.fr] child molesting Linux advocacy. Hell, they've given NAMBLA free reign for years!

you really should post this logged in. i wish i could remember jebus's password, cuz i'd give it to you. -- mighty jebus [slashdot.org] , Slashdot

Thank you for your kind words of support. However, this document shall only ever be posted anonymously. This is because the 'Open Sauce' movement is a sham, proposing homoerotic cults of hero worshipping in the name of freedom. I speak for the common man. For any man who prefers the warm, enveloping velvet folds of a woman's vagina [bodysnatchers.co.uk] to the tight puckered ringpiece of a child. These men, being common, decent folk, don't have a say in the political hypocrisy that is Slashdot culture. I am the unknown liberator [hitler.org] .

ROLF LAMO i hate linux FAGGOTS -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

We shouldn't hate them, we should pity them for the misguided fools they are... Fanatical Linux zeal-outs need to be herded into camps for re-education and subsequent rehabilitation into normal heterosexual society. This re-education shall be achieved by forcing them to watch repeats of Baywatch until the very mention of Pamela Anderson [rotten.com] causes them to fill their pants with healthy heterosexual jism [zillabunny.com] .

Actually, that's not at all how scrotal inflation works. I understand it involves injecting sterile saline solution into the scrotum. I've never tried this, but you can read how to do it safely in case you're interested. (Before you moderate this down, ask yourself honestly -- who are the real crazies -- people who do scrotal inflation, or people who pay $1000+ for a game console?) -- double_h [slashdot.org] , Slashdot

Well, it just goes to show that even the holy Linux 'sauce code' is riddled with bugs that need fixing. (The irony of Jon Katz not even being able to inflate his scrotum correctly has not been lost on me.) The Linux pervert elite already acknowledge this, with their queer slogan: 'Given enough arms, all rectums are shallow.' And anyway, the PS2 [xbox.com] sucks major cock and isn't worth the money. Intellivision forever!

dude did u used to post on msnbc's nt bulletin board now that u are doing anti-gay posts u also need to start in with anti-black stuff too c u in church -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

For one thing, whilst Linux is a cavalcade of queer propaganda masquerading as the future of computing, NT [linux.com] is used by people who think nothing better of encasing their genitals in quick setting plaster then going to see a really dirty porno film, enjoying the restriction enforced onto them. Remember, a wasted arousal is a sin in the eyes of the Catholic church [atheism.org] . Clearly, the only god-fearing Christian operating system in existence is CP/M -- The Christian Program Monitor. All computer users should immediately ask their local pastor to install this fine OS onto their systems. It is the only route to salvation.

Secondly, this message is for every man. Computers know no colour. Not only that, but one of the finest websites in the world is maintained by a Black Man [stileproject.com] . Now fuck off you racist donkey felcher.

And don't forget that slashdot was written in Perl, which is just too close to 'Pearl Necklace' for comfort.... oh wait; that's something all you heterosexuals do.... I can't help but wonder how much faster the trolls could do First-Posts on this site if it were redone in PHP... I could hand-type dynamic HTML pages faster than Perl can do them. -- phee [slashdot.org] , Slashdot

Although there is nothing unholy about the fine heterosexual act of ejaculating between a woman's breasts, squirting one's load up towards her neck and chin area, it should be noted that Perl [python.org] (standing for Pansies Entering Rectums Locally) is also close to 'Pearl Monocle,' 'Pearl Nosering,' and the ubiquitous 'Pearl Enema.'

One scary thing about Perl [sun.com] is that it contains hidden homosexual [goatse.fr] messages. Take the following code: LWP::Simple -- It looks innocuous enough, doesn't it? But look at the line closely: There are two colons next to each other! As Larry 'Balls to the' Wall would openly admit in the Perl Documentation, Perl was designed from the ground up to indoctrinate it's programmers into performing unnatural sexual acts -- having two colons so closely together is clearly a reference to the perverse sickening act of 'colon kissing,' whereby two homosexual [goatse.fr] queers spread their buttocks wide, pressing their filthy torn sphincters together. They then share small round objects like marbles or golfballs by passing them from one rectum to another using muscle contraction alone. This is also referred to in programming 'circles' as 'Parameter Passing.'

And PHP [perl.org] stands for Perverted Homosexual Penetration. Didn't you know?

Thank you for your valuable input on this. I am sure you will be never forgotten. BTW: Did I mention that this could be useful in terraforming Mars? Mars rulaa. -- Eimernase [slashdot.org] , Slashdot

Well, I don't know about terraforming Mars, but I do know that homosexual [goatse.fr] Linux Advocates have been probing Uranus for years.

That's inspiring. Keep up the good work, AC. May God in his wisdom grant you the strength to bring the plain honest truth to this community, and make it pure again. Yours, Cerberus. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

*sniff* That brings a tear to my eye. Thank you once more for your kind support. I have taken faith in the knowledge that I am doing the Good Lord [atheism.org] 's work, but it is encouraging to know that I am helping out the common man here.

However, I should be cautious about revealing your name 'Cerberus' on such a filthy den of depravity as Slashdot. It is a well known fact that the 'Kerberos' documentation from Microsoft is a detailed manual describing, in intimate, exacting detail, how to sexually penetrate a variety of unwilling canine animals; be they domesticated, wild, or mythical. Slashdot posters have taken great pleasure in illegally spreading this documentation far and wide, treating it as an 'extension' to the Linux 'Sauce Code,' for the sake of 'interoperability.' (The slang term they use for nonconsensual intercourse -- their favourite kind.)

In fact, sick twisted Linux deviants are known to have LAN parties, (Love of Anal Naughtiness, needless to say.), wherein they entice a stray dog, known as the 'Samba Mount,' into their homes. Up to four of these filth-sodden blasphemers against nature take turns to plunge their erect, throbbing, uncircumcised members, conkers-deep, into the rectum, mouth, and other fleshy orifices of the poor animal. Eventually, the 'Samba Mount' collapses due to 'overload,' and needs to be 'rebooted.' (i.e., kicked out into the street, and left to fend for itself.) Many Linux users boast about their 'uptime' in such situations.

Inspiring stuff! If only all trolls were this quality! -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

If only indeed. You can help our brave cause by moderating this message up as often as possible. I recommend '+1, Underrated,' as that will protect your precious Karma in Metamoderation [slashdot.org] . Only then can we break through the glass ceiling of Homosexual Slashdot Culture. Is it any wonder that the new version of Slashcode has been christened 'Bender'???

If we can get just one of these postings up to at least '+1,' then it will be archived forever! Others will learn of our struggle, and join with us in our battle for freedom!

It's pathetic you've spent so much time writing this. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

I am compelled to document the foulness and carnal depravity [catholic.net] that is Linux, in order that we may prepare ourselves for the great holy war that is to follow. It is my solemn duty to peel back the foreskin of ignorance and apply the wire brush of enlightenment.

As with any great open-source project, you need someone asking this question, so I'll do it. When the hell is version 2.0 going to be ready?!?! -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

I could make an arrogant, childish comment along the lines of 'Every time someone asks for 2.0, I won't release it for another 24 hours,' but the truth of the matter is that I'm quite nervous of releasing a 'number two,' as I can guarantee some filthy shit-slurping Linux pervert would want to suck it straight out of my anus before I've even had chance to wipe.

I desperately want to suck your monolithic kernel, you sexy hunk, you. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

I sincerely hope you're Natalie Portman [geocities.com] .

Dude, nothing on slashdot larger than 3 paragraphs is worth reading. Try to distill the message, whatever it was, and maybe I'll read it. As it is, I have to much open source software to write to waste even 10 seconds of precious time. 10 seconds is all its gonna take M$ to whoop Linux's ass. Vigilence is the price of Free (as in libre -- from the fine, frou frou French language) Software. Hack on fellow geeks, and remember: Friday is Bouillabaisse day except for heathens who do not believe that Jesus died for their sins. Those godless, oil drench, bearded sexist clowns can pull grits from their pantaloons (another fine, fine French word) and eat that. Anyway, try to keep your message focused and concise. For concision is the soul of derision. Way. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

What the fuck?

I've read your gay conspiracy post version 1.3.0 and I must say I'm impressed. In particular, I appreciate how you have managed to squeeze in a healthy dose of the latent homosexuality you gay-bashing homos [comp-u-geek.net] tend to be full of. Thank you again. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

Well bugger me!

ooooh honey. how insecure are you!!! wann a little massage from deare bruci. love you -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

Fuck right off!

IMPORTANT: This message needs to be heard (Not HURD [linux.org] , which is an acronym for 'Huge Unclean Rectal Dilator') across the whole community, so it has been released into the Public Domain [icopyright.com] . You know, that licence that we all had before those homoerotic crypto-fascists came out with the GPL [apple.com] (Gay Penetration License) that is no more than an excuse to see who's got the biggest feces-encrusted [rotten.com] cock. I would have put this up on Freshmeat [adultmember.com] , but that name is known to be a euphemism for the tight rump of a young boy.

Come to think of it, the whole concept of 'Source Control' unnerves me, because it sounds a bit like 'Sauce Control,' which is a description of the homosexual [goatse.fr] practice of holding the base of the cock shaft tightly upon the point of ejaculation, thus causing a build up of semenal fluid that is only released upon entry into an incision made into the base of the receiver's scrotum. And 'Open Sauce' is the act of ejaculating into another mans face or perhaps a biscuit to be shared later. Obviously, 'Closed Sauce' is the only Christian thing to do, as evidenced by the fact that it is what Cathedrals are all about.

Contributors: (although not to the eternal game of 'soggy biscuit' that open 'sauce' development has become) Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, phee, Anonymous Coward, mighty jebus, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, double_h, Anonymous Coward, Eimernase, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward. Further contributions are welcome.

Current changes: This version sent to FreeWIPO [slashdot.org] by 'Bring BackATV' as plain text. Reformatted everything, added all links back in (that we could match from the previous version), many new ones (Slashbot bait links). Even more spelling fixed. Who wrote this thing, CmdrTaco himself?

Previous changes: Yet more changes added. Spelling fixed. Feedback added. Explanation of 'distro' system. 'Mount Point' syntax described. More filth regarding `man` and Slashdot. Yet more fucking spelling fixed. 'Fetchmail' uncovered further. More Slashbot baiting. Apache exposed. Distribution licence at foot of document.

ANUX -- A full Linux distribution... Up your ass!

Re:I'll tell you how they did it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28859007)

This troll was last updated in 1999!

Re:I'll tell you how they did it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28859197)

I thank you for your insight into this community ridden with sin. You have performed a great sacrifice by having to put up with this disgusting filth so that you may inform us of this sick, diseased cult. However, I feel as though you have left out some important rituals this cult performs, such as regular fscking of their ext2 hard drives, and modprobe, which I don't even want to describe.

I am still waiting... (2, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#28858931)

What they need to start is a contest to improve their incredibly lousy on-demand service, the Silverlight player is beyond terrible. All this effort (and money) over getting 10% more accurate guesses that the same guy who liked "Terminator" will like "Terminator 2" is nice and all, but it's a bit of a time waster don't you think?

Re:I am still waiting... (2, Informative)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#28858973)

Its not about the algorithm for movie sorting. Imagine situations where having a 10% more accurate guess would actually count for something important. Now imagine licensing and patenting that algorithm and building revenue from that.

Re:I am still waiting... (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859067)

Except some of us also like movies that may not have had huge releases or made before we had internets...

If it wasn't for the internet I wouldn't have heard of Equilibrium (which was pulled back because of 9/11).

Right now I go through nzbmatrix and open the IMDB links and see what I really like and give it a shot.

Go, The Man who Knew Too Little, Equilibrium, Dark City, etc are all movies I've seen that I hadn't heard of because I was either in Middle School or they had limited releases.

Re:I am still waiting... (1)

Ajaxamander (646536) | more than 4 years ago | (#28866467)

I heard Equilibrium had limited release because they blew through their budget on actors & effects, then couldn't afford marketing. Do you have a source?

NB: I don't claim to have a source for *my* assertion, only that the movie is clearly NOT low-budget, but only ran for a short time in my local theaters and has one of the most cheaply-made DVD releases I think I've ever seen. (My buddy's brother made liner notes for it with a chapter listing because there was NOTHING in the box with the disc.)

Also I heard a rumor to that effect. I'd love to know the real scoop either way.

Re:I am still waiting... (1)

JacksBrokenCode (921041) | more than 4 years ago | (#28867969)

Well they certainly didn't blow through it on wardrobe and props. They rocked motorcycle helmets and unbadged Cadillacs in that twisted dystopian future state...

Re:I am still waiting... (1)

Oldstench (1180217) | more than 4 years ago | (#28867583)

Considering it's such a terrible, terrible movie, is missing out on Equilibrium such a bad thing?

Re:I am still waiting... (1)

furrer (29920) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859191)

Upgrading to Silverlight 3 improved the on-demand image quality and fixed the annoying screen lock issue (at least for me on 64-bit Vista). Now if they could just get some more good movies on there...

Re:I am still waiting... (1)

lefiz (1475731) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859563)

Apparently Netflix is stuck on this side of the service (the on-demand shizz) due to the arcane Hollywood studio system that has contracts with cable, premium stations, and others that lock up the movies for literally decades leaving new service providers like Netflix with no options. See discussion here: http://slate.com/id/2216328/ [slate.com]

Am I the only one...? (1)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 4 years ago | (#28862719)

Am I the only one on slashdot who refuses to ever install silverlight?

Yes, I'm an anti MS fanboy, but after the things that happened during the OOXML ISO approval I just cannot support that company anymore. In any way whatsoever.

If you too (speaking to the general audience here) feel this way about MS, I hope that you do not support them by installing silverlight or in any other way really.

Re:Am I the only one...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28863471)

I have no silverlight and no flash (i installed gnash or swfdec though). Noscript too.

Animations and ads disturb me, when i am greeted by the install flash page i google to see if i can access pages from the same site, if not, too bad for the site.

Re:I am still waiting... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28859861)

No joke.

I was watching a show last night (Leverage, which Netflix suggested for me at a 4.6 stars and they were right, I love it.). 3-4 times per hour episode it would reset and tell me that it was adjusting things. Often, it never came back until I hit Refresh. I noticed that it would only buffer a small amount ahead (30 seconds) and then try to keep it there, calling an incredibly laggy site called something like controls.netflix.com or something like that. Once that happened, it had about a 25% chance of locking up completely.

They seem to be trying to save bandwidth by only allowing your movie to get 30 seconds ahead, which is way too short.

Re:I am still waiting... (3, Interesting)

peipas (809350) | more than 4 years ago | (#28860845)

I, for one, think the Silverlight player is phenomenal.

I have limited Internet options-- even though I'm living urban I am not close enough to a CO to get decent DSL speeds (the max Qwest offers is 1.5Mbps). Cable is not an option because my complex has a contract with the television provider who wired the buildings at construction, which is good for those who watch any TV since you get 50+ channels of cable television for free, but bad for Internet options.

Long story short, my Internet connection has a very high bit error rate percentage because I am getting my DSL over Qwest's line but from an ISP (AT&T via Covad) willing to boost the artificial limit of 1.5Mbps Qwest imposes to 3Mbps, at the expense of a quality signal. This results in being able to truly realize the faster speeds, but also in having a very burst-y connection.

I find the new Silverlight player to be far superior with its buffering saving the day, allowing me to watch Netflix streaming at maximum quality. The fact that the Silverlight player adjusts quality on the fly is outstanding as well-- when I first start streaming content it may look like shit at first but after a short time it is crystal clear, it realizing my connection can support the data load with a little buffering.

By contrast, with the old player, even before I had this error-ridden Internet connection, I would find myself initiating an instant streaming session only to find the stupid player would decide my connection was slow and give me piss poor video quality. I would have to click the "Back to Browsing" button and reinitiate the streaming several times sometimes in order for it to give it to me in high quality.

The new player also provides a great new feature when seeking through the content, where it will scroll past freezeframes of the content as you scroll forward or backward, which is perfect for skipping the intros for TV shows, for example.

I only wish it would "back buffer" a little because currently when I rewind a little bit, rather than replaying it from memory it rebuffers altogether, as if I hadn't just watched those few seconds prior.

Re:I am still waiting... (4, Interesting)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#28862461)

I, for one, think that the Silverlight player is crap.

I have a dual-head machine with a very nice 1600x1200 IPS-panel NEC LCD as my primary monitor, and a nice (but far lesser) 24" 1920x1080 TN-panel Asus LCD as the secondary.

I want to pop up a Netflix show on the secondary monitor, full-screen, and continue to do stuff like read Slashdot on the other display. Silverlight has no problem putting good-quality video up, full-screen, on the second display -- but as soon as I click outside that window (ie, to browse Slashdot), it shrinks back down to windowed mode. My dual-head computer is therefore retarded into being effectively a single-head machine for the duration of the film, unless I either want to watch it in a little window or soak up a couple of cores worth of CPU power zooming in with Ctrl-+.

Allegedly, if I had Media Center on my computer, this could be worked around. But with Netflix + Silverlight, it cannot be accomplished. Of course, this situation works fine if I'm playing a DVD on my own computer -- it just doesn't work with Netflix's streaming service.

It is therefore retarded (in a very literal sense of the word).

I'd like also to note that Flash seems to have the same difficulty, and that its behavior is similarly inexcusable and retarded.

The best I can do, if I want to watch a film in my office and occasionally fuck around on the Web, is fire up my 4-year-old laptop and use that to browse with instead of my badass dualhead desktop rig. Which, also (and obviously) is retarded.

I've complained to Microsoft Silverlight developers directly about this, and the best they ever say is something like "You're right. It is retarded. Maybe we'll fix it some day. *harumph*" while months/years pass by and it's still an issue.

Re:I am still waiting... (1)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 4 years ago | (#28862653)

Mod parent +999 ... this is a serious PIA and it would be nice if this was not the behavior.

Re:I am still waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28865313)

As far as Ubuntu users are concerned, this is why I love the desktop zoom feature. I no longer rely on a "full screen" feature for whatever media it is that I'm playing on the web. Instead, you just select the part of the screen you want to make "full screen" and then use the other monitor for everything else. It works wonderfully!

lame workaround: VM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28865565)

subject says it all. when i'm distracting myself off this way, it's more efficient to run a VM fullscreen for the movie display. then do work on the host OS. lame but works well and i need that VM up most of the time anyway.

Re:I am still waiting... (2, Informative)

exhilaration (587191) | more than 4 years ago | (#28866841)

I get this same behavior with every desktop video player I've used. The flaw is with Windows, not Netflix, not Silverlight, not VLC or any other video player.

Re:I am still waiting... (1)

omega_dk (1090143) | more than 4 years ago | (#28872265)

It's user error if you're having the issue with VLC. Try moving the controller window to the other monitor.

Re:I am still waiting... (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#28912785)

You read poorly.

I specified that it works fine with a DVD on my own computer. And that it works fine with Media Center, which is just another player (though rather more far-reaching than most).

If it's possible with some applications but not others, then it is plainly an application problem and not a Windows problem.

Re:I am still waiting... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#28918319)

For all this bickering about whether Silverlight is any good, in my experience offering multiple viewers is the better way to go: each viewer will work better on different machines. If they have a choice of say 3 viewers, then one is bound to work.

Re:I am still waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28870789)

The silverlight player is great except for the massive memory leak. I can watch content for 4+ hours on my iMac, but on my vista box is consistently leaks memory giving me only about two hours of time before I have to close and restart the browser. It does not matter what I watch.

So why does silverlight work better on the Mac? It makes no sense. I'm running 32bit vista ultimate sp2 with 4GB of ram (obviously not all addressable), two radeon hd 4550 (crossfirex) on an amd phenom w/ ati 770 chipset.

At first i thought it might be crossfire related so i turned off the second card. No difference.

Re:I am still waiting... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28873255)

Of course it is great, when all your know is Flash. Flash is one of the worst things that ever happened to internet video.
I hope browser-video-integration (like in Firefox 3.5, but with all formats, like H.264, XviD, MP3, AC3, Matroska containers, etc.) will change this for the better, and kill off Silverlight too.

Look at this (with Firefox 3.5), if you don't think it can kill Silverlight: http://people.mozilla.com/~prouget/demos/ [mozilla.com]

Re:I am still waiting... (2, Interesting)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 4 years ago | (#28861301)

I use the netflix recommendations and I've noticed that they are either really close OR dead wrong. The most recent one was Fire which the algo thought I'd love but I really disliked it (bored me to death). It just seemed to me to be doing a straight "connect the dots" from my ratings on other GLTB movies to Fire. I personally blame that on lack of tagging. If I could tag Fie "boring" "trite" "hackneyed" then I think the also would have a much better chance of seeing the same pattern from other people who also like GLTB movies.

I know some disagree with that assessment but the more I use the Netflix recommendations the more I think tagging would help the predictive power.

Re:I am still waiting... (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 4 years ago | (#28861895)

Speak for yourself. I use the silverlight service at home at it works great for me. I output from my computer to my LCD TV and it looks good to me. As a bonus since it's not flashed based I can full screen it on my TD and still do stuff on my monitor.

Saki (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28859001)

I hope Saki and Ikeda kick the Kodomo's ass next episode. What a spoilt little bitch.

BAWWW, I can't play Mahjong so I'll use hax to get my way.

these guys are all improving each other's code (2, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859027)

team a makes algorithm improvement b

team c takes algorithm improvement b and makes algorithm improvement b(+d)

team e takes algorithm improvement b(+d) and makes algorithm improvement b(+d)->f

the guy who squeaked out the extra 0.01% did that on top of someone else's code that eked out 0.05%, etc., ad nauseum

so how do you ascertain who won? all the teams won

they should take the final prize money and try to fractionate each incremental improvement in the algorithm and proportionally dole out the money that aways. anything else is unfair

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (1)

skelterjohn (1389343) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859281)

It was perfectly "fair", in that all players started on equal footing. But perhaps they aren't rewarding the things that you personally think should be rewarded.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (5, Insightful)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859285)

so how do you ascertain who won? Netflix won

There, fixed that for you.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (5, Insightful)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859589)

According to the contest rules the winning algorithm will not be exclusive to Netflix but will be published to the public, so we all win.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28860499)

because we all need to provide movie suggestions to our millions of users?

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (4, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 4 years ago | (#28860895)

because we all need to provide movie suggestions to our millions of users?

Because there are many, many organizations who can effectively use a high quality, freely-available automatic preference identification system. Some aspects of the winner are probably very specific to movies, but I'm sure most of the core, and the underlying ideas, are relevant to any sort of preference identification and clustering.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (5, Insightful)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859333)

so how do you ascertain who won? all the teams won

No, they didn't, at all.

Any bozo can get 5% improvement. It's the last 5% that's tough. And, of that last 5%, the first 2.5% is cake, compared to the last 2.5%.

they should take the final prize money and try to fractionate each incremental improvement in the algorithm and proportionally dole out the money that aways. anything else is unfair

As someone who participated, but did not win, the first place team deserves the entire million (if not more). This was a race, and second place is the first loser.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (3, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28862195)

Uh, that's a pretty disgustingly American viewpoint of the issue. Can't we all agree that if you didn't come in first, then you can still be a winner? This has been taught in schools for a long time now, it still hasn't been internalized?

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (1)

ryturner (87582) | more than 4 years ago | (#28862309)

Uh, that's a pretty disgustingly American viewpoint of the issue. Can't we all agree that if you didn't come in first, then you can still be a winner? This has been taught in schools for a long time now, it still hasn't been internalized?

No, this was a contest to see who could improve the algorithm the most. There can be only a single winner. If the contest was to improve the algorithm by x%, then there might be multiple winners. If you start calling everyone a "winner", you just cheapen the experience for the true winner.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (1)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 4 years ago | (#28862489)

Uh, that's a pretty disgustingly American viewpoint of the issue. Can't we all agree that if you didn't come in first, then you can still be a winner?

No, we can't; not unless you want to redefine the word "winner" in such a way that it loses all meaning.

That's not to say that the people who didn't win, don't get anything out of the experience. I learned a hell of a lot about recommender systems. But, I still did not "win". I'm okay with that.

This has been taught in schools for a long time now, it still hasn't been internalized?

And I hope it never will be.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (1)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 4 years ago | (#28862745)

It's this childish view that makes people think they should take up tasks they are not suited for, boldly proclaim "facts" they don't know anything about and in general behave unresponsibly.

Kids/People need to know that life isn't always fair, not everyone is a winner and not people just aren't equal (in an individual sense).

Telling them this stupid crap just makes them have unrealistic expectations and gives them a sense of entitlement that won't do them any good and quite probably will cause problems during their entire life.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28863553)

> Kids/People need to know that life isn't always fair, not everyone is a winner and not people just aren't equal (in an individual sense).

Fair enough, but maybe GP was objecting to the "being 2nd is being a loser like all the others" thing you can find in context and formulated his objection a bit poorly.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (1)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 4 years ago | (#28863821)

Yeah, that particular part was probably a bit harsh. But the GGP was just trying to make a point (there can only be one winner), not trying to belittle the efforts of the others. It was a rhetorical hyperbole - not an actual "insult".

The GP may have tried to do the same, but I find his message far less clear. If I have misinterpreted his post, I apologise.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (1)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 4 years ago | (#28871121)

Yeah, that particular part was probably a bit harsh.

Harsh? I'm like the 300th loser. I'd love to be the first loser.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (1)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 4 years ago | (#28873609)

it's all relative man... To anyone not involved a statement like yours seems a bit harsh.

At least if they don't understand in what context you meant it. Which someone apparently did not.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (1)

Son of Byrne (1458629) | more than 4 years ago | (#28862843)

Actually, that's a pretty disgustingly realistic viewpoint of the issue. I'm sorry that you think Americans are competitive bastards who only care about winning, but you're wrong: if you don't come in first, then you lose. Pretty simple (even for a competitive bastard).

Now, I agree that whether I win or lose (note there's only two categories there) is irrelevant when it comes to the experience. I can still enjoy a competition thoroughly and lose miserably.

There have to be winners and there have to be losers. How dare you perpetuate the ridiculous notion that we should whitewash over a young person's obvious intellectual superiority with a healthy dose of "No one is any better than you."

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#28865253)

Why is it us intellectual superiors are the rich, powerful, successful people; but the people who are edging by are the happy ones with exciting lives and goals?

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28868167)

I'm thinking that your subtle jabs are lost on my vast intellectual superiority... ;)

I think you misunderstood me when I made that comment about intellectually superior people. I wasn't including myself in that category. I think I have a good degree of "smarts" just like most people, but I'm definitely not intellectually superior to most. I was thinking of several examples of younger kids that I know *are* intellectually superior to their peers and I'd be pissed if someone told them that they were no better than anyone else.

Oh, and (coincidentally) I believe that you can be rich, powerful, and successful while living a happy life. I feel that I've been as successful as any small business owner can be, and I lead a happy fulfilled life. Maybe it's because I'm not rich?

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (1)

flynt (248848) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859491)

The code is not shared unless they wanted it to be. You can't take the current leader's code and make an improvement unless the team gives you their code. This was not how the contest was run.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859635)

Exactly.

I do find it interesting that one of the winning teams (BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos) is a merger of three other top ten teams, and I wouldn't doubt it if you told me The Ensemble is a merged team as well (especially given its name). I certainly can't fault them for merging. Why risk winning nothing, when you can split a cool million with two other teams and have a much better chance of winning?

What would be funny is if the last two teams merged at the last minute ^_^ (Not feasible, I'm sure, but it would be humorous.)

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859837)

BTW, "Ensemble" is a particularly cute name for a team in this contest since, in machine learning, ensemble methods [wikipedia.org] are compositions of other machine learning algorithms to achieve (hopefully) higher classification algorithm than any of the component algorithms alone.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 4 years ago | (#28860485)

Yes, The Ensemble is a merged team as well in an attempt to beat BellKor as the clock was winding down.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#28861413)

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Each year, the winner of the Progress Prize WERE obliged to publish details of their algorithms to date ... and it was very clear that all the other competitors jumped on these details.

The contest was very clearly defined by these periods (sometimes of 11 months) where no real progress was made except by 1 or 2 top teams, and then 1 month right after publication of the latest ideas and algos, which caused everyone to catch up significantly by clearly copying and tweaking those published ideas.

Now of course this is a kdawson edited article, so the bit about "the scores on the leaderboard being published by the teams themselves" is complete nonsense.

However, the set on which the algos are evaluated is split into two subsets, the results of one IS published on the leaderboard, but the ultimate winner will be determined by their results on the unpublished half.

It seems that Belkor et al HAVE done better on this unpublished half, and personally I feel they SHOULD be the winners as the Ensemble was johnny-come-lately collection of groups of mergers of individuals, and there is some debate over hundreds of dummy accounts that were created in the last days (possibly by members of the Ensemble, possibly not) to game the system and basically train against the Oracle (at least the half that results are published for).

This is why I suspect Ensemble's result is overtrained on the published half, but hasn't done as well on the unpublished half.

Bellkor deserve this for the simple fact they've been at the top of the leaderboard for about 98% of the whole three years the competition has been running, and for also having won both yearly Progress Prizes.

And I also think Brandyn Webb deserves some credit for his SVD (singular value decomposition)work, which really helped everyone and spurred a massive leap in machine learning ideas and the general interest in the competition. I believe he does have a patent pending for his algorithms, might be interesting to see how this affects Netflix in future, as I think every competitor has implemented and used SVD in some form as part of their final results.

Anyway, go Bellkor (yes, I'm biased too) :-)

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 4 years ago | (#28877481)

> Unfortunately, this is not the case. Each year, the winner of the Progress Prize WERE obliged to
> publish details of their algorithms to date ... and it was very clear that all the other competitors
> jumped on these details.

Unfortunately? :) What's wrong with it? They win money, and NetFlix get them to disclose the details.

This is just great for humanity as a whole.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (2, Informative)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859573)

Not exactly. Team A makes algorithm improvement Z Team B hears about Team A's work and creates something SIMILAR. They then fine tunes it to Algorithm Y Team C hears about A & B's work. They try and duplicate it, but can't. Instead they fine they come up with X, something they thought was Y but really wasn't. Team D hears about A,B and C. They find a way to combine Y and X, making W. It is clearly original, but is based on similar ideas for Z/Y and X.

Re:these guys are all improving each other's code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28861255)

W T F? :)

Cheaters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28859101)

Perhaps The Ensemble broke the rules?

"Eligible algorithms must provide predictions for all the withheld ratings for each customer/movie id pair in the qualifying set. Each submitted prediction set must be uploaded to the Site in the format specified in the dataset. Submissions that fail to follow these requirements will be rejected. A day must elapse between each teamâ(TM)s submissions."

Pulled a Michael Phelps? (1)

basementman (1475159) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859129)

So The Ensemble ripped bong with 4 minutes to go which gave them the creativity to squeak ahead by %0.01?

Re:Pulled a Michael Phelps? (4, Funny)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859487)

No, they lost to a German wearing a polyurethane suit and then declared they wouldn't race any more until the suits are banned.

Re:Pulled a Michael Phelps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28871023)

Yeah, but those suits have been specifically designed to improve the wearer's performance in applied mathematics. In some tests professors have proved up to 15 % more theorems with the polyurethane suit on.

What contest? (0)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859249)

I got it from the comments, I guess, but it would be nice if the summary would mention what the contest is about.
They're having a contest to improve Netflix's algorithm?

Re:What contest? (3, Informative)

panoptical2 (1344319) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859557)

The contest has been going on for several years straight, and /. has had several stories about it. The article takes knowledge of the contest as a given.

See Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] and Netflix's own site [netflixprize.com] for details.

Re:What contest? (1)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 4 years ago | (#28862759)

Yes, and I remember reading about it, but it took me quite some time to remember what particular contest they were talking about. It wouldn't have hurt to either give a link to the description page or put in half a sentence about the contest goals.

Re:What contest? (5, Informative)

CaseCrash (1120869) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859567)

Where have you been?

[2009-07-26]New Leader In Netflix Prize Race With One Day To Go [slashdot.org]
[2009-07-26]Netflix Prize May Have Been Achieved [slashdot.org]
[2007-11-27]Anonymity of Netflix Prize Dataset Broken [slashdot.org]
[2007-11-14]Close but no Cigar for Netflix Recommender System [slashdot.org]
[2006-10-02]Build a Better Netflix, Win a Million Dollars? [slashdot.org]
[2008-11-22]Interest Still High In the Netflix Algorithm Competition [slashdot.org]
[2009-10-09]Netflix Prize Competitor Already Beats Netflix [slashdot.org]

etc..

Re:What contest? (1)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 4 years ago | (#28862761)

Well, even though I rad slashdot more or less every day, all those stories have eloped me for some reason or other (vacation? boring?). I remember only the first announcement of the contest back then.

Re:What contest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28878575)

Eloped? Is that "intellectual superior"-speak for escape?

Re:What contest? (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 4 years ago | (#28867871)

I see you can get Slashdot articles from October 2009. Could you tell us who your ISP is? I could use a connection that fast.

Re:What contest? (2, Insightful)

romcabrera (699616) | more than 4 years ago | (#28861493)

They have invented this nifty thing called "the Google", you know?

Re:What contest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28866881)

Never heard of it, I will have to Bing that and check it out.

!those numbers are posted by the competing teams (4, Informative)

kilraid (645166) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859415)

Netflix calculates the score shown on the leaderboard from a set of rating predictions submitted by a team. The team does not, and will not, know the correct answers. For testing their algorithms, the teams use another dataset. The two datasets, part of the package made available to the competitors, are known as "qualifying" and "probe".

Published scores irrelevant (5, Informative)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859539)

The reason BellKor is still first is that the published scores are irrelevant. The scores that matter for the prize are based on an unpublished data set known only to Netflix (to prevent people submitting answers that are optimized for the challenge data and work poorly on everything else). On this secret data set, BellKor's algorithm apparently performs better than The Ensemble's.

Re:Published scores irrelevant (1)

currivan (654314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28866989)

I don't think this is quite clear. The teams submit their predictions on a qualifying set of about 1.8 million user/movie pairs. Half of these are used for the published leaderboard rankings, and the other half secretly scored for the actual prize. What the teams don't know is which user/movie ratings are in which half. The teams aren't submitting programs that Netflix runs though, they're submitting predictions on the whole quiz set.

He pulled a Lezak, not a Phelps (0, Offtopic)

heinlein (17425) | more than 4 years ago | (#28859727)

It was Jason Lezak, not Phelps, who anchored the 4x100 Olympic relay and closed what appeared to be insurmountable lead by the French team.

Re:He pulled a Lezak, not a Phelps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28860227)

I think they are refering to Phelps' gold in the 100 butterfly, where he out-touched Milorad Cavic by 1/100th of a second.

Which leads me to wonder, what is (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 4 years ago | (#28860027)

I don't use netflix, i'm a blockbuster guy cause we happen to have one close to our house. But What is 10% of zero? in all seriousness, what is their accuracy now? How is it determined?

Re:Which leads me to wonder, what is (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#28860305)

# of suggested matches people actually say they like / Total # of suggested matches.

Was it really that hard to guess?

Re:Which leads me to wonder, what is (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 4 years ago | (#28860427)

I don't guess when it comes to statistics. Because there are usually a ton of variables and long algorythms. It's not usually just x/y. Often, it's more like X(a+b-sqrt(z)(2))/Y(.8(z^2)).

That can only work for people who vote. It's a selection bias or something if I remember right from stats. For instance, I don't want to fill out an effing survey everytime I buy a product. I just want the thing in my hands as soon as possible so I can use it. When it's use is up, rentals get returned, disposables get recycled, and Blackbutte porter gets turned into Bud "Lite".

So 1. that means that people have to rent the selection suggested, two actually have watched it when they return it, 3rd vote on how well they liked it. Is it a 1-10 scale? or a yes no?

Come on this is /. I expected at least a little more detail.

Re:Which leads me to wonder, what is (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#28860697)

I don't guess when it comes to statistics.

Fair enough.

Because there are usually a ton of variables and long algorythms. It's not usually just x/y. Often, it's more like X(a+b-sqrt(z)(2))/Y(.8(z^2)).

That can only work for people who vote. It's a selection bias or something if I remember right from stats.

It isn't necessarily a selection bias. It can create one, but it doesn't have to. If "people who vote" are representative of netflix customers in general, there is no selection bias. But you are right that selection bias is a concern.

For instance, I don't want to fill out an effing survey everytime I buy a product. I just want the thing in my hands as soon as possible so I can use it. When it's use is up, rentals get returned, disposables get recycled, and Blackbutte porter gets turned into Bud "Lite".

So 1. that means that people have to rent the selection suggested, two actually have watched it when they return it, 3rd vote on how well they liked it. Is it a 1-10 scale? or a yes no?

Come on this is /. I expected at least a little more detail.

You must be new here.

Re:Which leads me to wonder, what is (3, Informative)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 4 years ago | (#28862713)

They used root square mean [wikipedia.org] for the competition.

Basically, the difference between the guess and the real answer for each vote is squared giving a value between 0 and 16 (as the biggest error is 4 when you guess 5 on a vote that is 1 or vice versa). This is summed up for each vote in the test and then divided by the number of votes in the test. Finally you take the root of that.

The winner score in the competition is around 0.855. Which is smaller than 0.9514*0.9 score. Where 0.9514 was the result scored by the netflix algorithm.

I hope that explains everything.

On Squaring (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#28918367)

I always wondered why squaring is always used for distance measurements. It seems it would over-magnify the influence of non-matches and outliers compared to what the "real world" would want. I realize it makes the math easier, but having easier math and having the best answer may not be the same thing. I've asked math experts about this, but it seems it's an under-studied question.

Re:On Squaring (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 4 years ago | (#28923367)

Well. You pretty much answered the reason why, just by saying "measuring distance". Root Mean Square is the formula for measuring distance in an n-dimensional euclidean space.

But you are right to question if it is the best solution to some real world problems. Why should you represent a person's opions about movies, as a location in an n-dimensional euclidean space?

Re:On Squaring (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#28947087)

Perhaps I misunderstood the original message. I'm mainly thinking about regression formulas.

I'm just an aerospace engineer but.... (2, Interesting)

Shane112358 (1532293) | more than 4 years ago | (#28860287)

...I'm sitting here wondering how stable these algorithms are over long periods of time. I'm assuming that the "practice" data set and the "test" data set are equal in terms of time distribution (date of movie release; date of review). But 10 years from now, 20 years from now, I see the RMSE numbers slowly drifting upwards as the algorithm was optimized to the 2000-2009 data set, not the 2000-2020 data set or tahe 2000-2030 data set. But this is not my area of expertise so I'm wondering what others have to say on this topic.

Re:I'm just an aerospace engineer but.... (1)

jdigital (84195) | more than 4 years ago | (#28861161)

Each year that the competition was running NetFlix awarded a progress prize to the best ranked team at the end of the year. Part of the requirements of winning this prize is publication of scientific papers describing key elements of their algorithms. BellKor's Yehuda Koren presented a paper at SIGKIDD in July describing the improvements they made to their algorithm to take advantage of predictable temporal dynamics of ratings. Check out the paper here [yahoo.com]

From an article about the paper:

While movies themselves stay the same, the humans who rate them are anything but static. As Koren puts it, "The way I rate movies today can be very different from how I rate them even tomorrow." To the frustration of Netflix Prize contenders, a four-star rating can mean "great" or merely "so-so" depending on the user's current mood or comparisons with other recently seen movies. Besides such erratic shifts in the rating scale, people's actual tastes tend to change over time -- as when someone tires of action films, for example, and develops a yen for screwball comedies. There's an overall rise in ratings over the years, as well: for various reasons, a typical movie's ratings become more favorable as the DVD ages.

Re:I'm just an aerospace engineer but.... (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 4 years ago | (#28863297)

Ideally it wouldn't be make any difference.

The idea behind the solution is that it can be applied to any set of data where people make a preference regardless of 'type'. That could be cars, politicians or slashdot comments.

"Based on the way you previously have moderated slashdot comments and the way other moderators have previously ranked similarly to you we think these comments will be +5 insightful to you."

And the winner is BellKor, in a quantum finish (1)

Utopia Tree (1040146) | more than 4 years ago | (#28860561)

No fair! You changed the outcome by measuring it!

Re:And the winner is BellKor, in a quantum finish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28862059)

OK, let's forget the prize and instead give everybody...participation ribbons!</sarcasm>

Secret formula (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 4 years ago | (#28866347)

If ((MovieReleaseDate > 2000) OR (MovieProducer = "Bay, Michael")) AND (CustomerAge > 20) Then
  Score = Score * .5

If (MovieFABRating = "Nudity") AND (MovieLeadActor != "Cohen, Sasha Baron")
  Score = Score * 10

All Incremental Voted Systems (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#28878057)

I was hoping one of these groups would invite some new and powerful algorithm for categorisation. Its a nearest match/ similarity problem, so any algorithm would be very useful else where. But they just seem to have taken existing many techniques and merged them, by combining the votes/scores from each algorithm, in a way thats probably fits just the movie matching problem and not anything else.

---

Information Retrieval [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

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