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A Peek Into Netflix Queues

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the i-know-what-you-watched-last-summer dept.

Movies 113

margaret writes "The New York Times has an interactive Web app where you can map the popularity of various Netflix titles by neighborhood, in a dozen different cities. Invasion of privacy or harmless voyeuristic fun? Either way, it's pretty interesting."

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porn? (3, Insightful)

iamagloworm (816661) | more than 4 years ago | (#30712900)

porn, now that's where it'd get interesting...

Re:porn? (3, Informative)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30712918)

I'm surprised by Debbie Does Dallas being relatively unpopular in Dallas, but quite popular in Houston. Go figure.

Re:porn? (0, Offtopic)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713418)

Re:porn? (Score:1, Flamebait)

wtf

Interesting relationship (3, Interesting)

Spykk (823586) | more than 4 years ago | (#30712920)

Anyone else notice that Knowing's rank seems inversely proportional to Rachel Getting Married's rank?

Re:Interesting relationship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30713036)

There are two types of people in the world...

Re:Interesting relationship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30713184)

straight and lesbian?

This just proves... (0, Flamebait)

KaoticEvil (91813) | more than 4 years ago | (#30712960)

...that people have no lives and don't have enough business of their own. I mean seriously. I can think of so many better things to be doing with my time than looking at what people are renting based on their ZIP code. WHO CARES!?

Just because we have the ABILITY to get this information doesn't mean we SHOULD get it.

Get a life people and MOVE ON!

Re:This just proves... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30713002)

I can think of so many better things to be doing with my time than looking at what people are renting based on their ZIP code.

Does whining on Slashdot really count as something better?

Re:This just proves... (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713020)

Nor, does it mean that we should not "get it".

Different strokes, for different folks. Some people like demographics.

Re:This just proves... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30713104)

From the article:

A Peek Into Netflix Queues

Examine Netflix rental patterns, neighborhood by neighborhood, in a dozen cities. Some titles with distinct patterns are Mad Men, Obsessed and Last.

Click on the link for "Obsessed". Notice that it is very popular in Washington DC and Atlanta. For those of you who don't know, Obsessed is a movie about a crazy but attractive white secretary trying to seduce a svelte, successful stud nigger against his wife's wishes(while ignoring the fact that the only white women who chase nigs are overweight with self-esteem issues and are mad at daddy).

Washington, DC and Atlanta happen to be very niggerfuxated with very high rates of crime, AIDS, and general TNB(Typical Nigger Behavior) all around.

Re:This just proves... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714318)

From the article:

A Peek Into Netflix Queues

Examine Netflix rental patterns, neighborhood by neighborhood, in a dozen cities. Some titles with distinct patterns are Mad Men, Obsessed and Last.

[.. troll ..]

Trolls read articles and write custom trolls now? Wow.

Re:This just proves... (2, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715130)

Trolls read articles and write custom trolls now? Wow.

That's why I don't RTFA. I don't want to risk ending up a troll.

Re:This just proves... (3, Interesting)

arminw (717974) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715216)

...I don't want to risk ending up a troll....

The Slashdot moderation system is broken, totally ruined. It seems that anyone who posts anything controversial, to which the majority of Slashdot readers disagree, gets modded troll or flamebait. On the other hand, obscenity and profanity often gets modded insightful. I have gotten to the point where I don't give a hoot if every one of my posts gets modded down, just because I often post opinions to which the majority disagrees.

By refraining to speak your mind, just because you don't want to be modded down, you're helping prop up a broken system.

Re:This just proves... (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713346)

Whatchu talkin' 'bout, adolf?

Re:This just proves... (3, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713426)

"Some people like demographics."

Apparently, some people like masturbation as well. That doesn't mean they shouldn't get a life.

Re:This just proves... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30713780)

Apparently, some people like masturbation as well. That doesn't mean they shouldn't get a life.

But then I'd have to cut back on masturbating.

Re:This just proves... (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714590)

Is there a web site showing the demographics of masturbating?

Re:This just proves... (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716854)

My god I hope not.

Re:This just proves... (0, Offtopic)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716544)

Apparently, some people like masturbation as well. That doesn't mean they shouldn't get a life
Apparently, some people like masturbation as well. That doesn't mean they shouldn't get a WIFE
There you go I fixed it for you. I know this is a geek site. But atleast you need to try getting a wife instead of just masturbating.

Re:This just proves... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30713032)

Exactly, we should all stop reading slashdot.org and move on to more important things. Like getting out of the basement.

Re:This just proves... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30713742)

That's crazy talk!!!

Re:This just proves... (3, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713186)

Marketing people care. You'd better believe they care!

Re:This just proves... (2, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713320)

Say you have kids. Those concentrations can give you a very good idea about where there are other people who have kids, so you can look at those neighborhoods. Especially if you're moving to a new city or something.

Re:This just proves... (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713898)

Say you have kids.

Or perhaps you like kids...

Re:This just proves... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30717186)

Something like 80% of kids that are molested are molested by relatives. The "think of the children!" bullshit is a big, fat boogeyman put out there by idiots. And yes, I do have a kid.

Re:This just proves... (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30717558)

It was actually just a joke. I have two kids.

Re:This just proves... (1)

donovansmith (570177) | more than 4 years ago | (#30717904)

Also quite handy if you don't have kids and want to avoid them. Although I already knew my neighborhood, Capitol Hill in Denver (80203, 80218), does not have a whole lot of families with kids. I imagine a lot of near downtown areas are similar. It can also tell you a little about the people in the area. Milk is the number one most rented movie in my area and you can probably guess why (hint: rainbow flags).

Re:This just proves... (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714724)

I would probably think twice about moving into any neighborhood where its residents have the movie "Gigli" in the top ten,...

Re:This just proves... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715604)

Stop being an idiot just because you're not creative enough to see how this info could be valuable. I'm planning on moving to NYC, for instance, and I'd rather live in an area where I "fit in" best. And this applet shows one possible factor in such a decision: The Bronx for instance has far fewer people with my movie tastes than Manhattan.

Re:This just proves... (1)

westyvw (653833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715854)

During the Netflix contest to get more accurate predictions of movie rentals, the thought did occur to me that geospatial data might be useful to add the algorithm. More information, such as gender, income, and age, and past favorites may have a spatial component and add to the success of future predictions. This is at least a glimpse of this kind of analysis, so yes, I find it interesting.

Re:This just proves... (1)

laron (102608) | more than 4 years ago | (#30717384)

Those statistics could come handy in "community standards" related lawsuits.

NYC and Oscar nominations (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30712998)

Interesting to notice Oscar winners and nominees rank high in NYC rentals. Hype much and people will come? No wonder Apple is so popular in NYC!

Re:NYC and Oscar nominations (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713092)

People in NYC are going to be a lot more aware of hype surrounding something because of all the ads in NYC.

Intesting how College area is way off (3, Interesting)

piltdownman84 (853358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713028)

Looking at the Seattle map one interesting thing stands out for me. The rentals in the zip code of Seattle University seems completely different then everywhere else. What is interesting that ' pseudo intellectual' movies that you would think would be more popular, Milk, Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, are relatively low in this area of learning, while mindless movies, Role Models, House Bunny, where the most popular.

Re:Intesting how College area is way off (3, Insightful)

RU1DT (766478) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713040)

Or maybe you're presuming too much about people based on their ZIP code.

Re:Intesting how College area is way off (3, Insightful)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713160)

Looking at the Seattle map one interesting thing stands out for me. The rentals in the zip code of Seattle University seems completely different then everywhere else. What is interesting that ' pseudo intellectual' movies that you would think would be more popular, Milk, Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, are relatively low in this area of learning, while mindless movies, Role Models, House Bunny, where the most popular.

I don't find it odd.

It's just anecdotal, but after a stressful day/week of courses and exams I found myself wanting to unwind and relax with a fun and mindless flick instead of a high quality film.

Don't get me wrong, I would still enjoy cerebral movies back then but not as frequently as a silly comedy or mindless action flick.

A mindless entertainment was a good way to unwind, plus you could watch it and laugh together with friends.

---------------

I guess it's somewhat like my reading habits. I enjoy reading and do it fairly often now, likewise I read a fair amount back in high school.

However in college I was already reading every day for multiple hours for my various courses, so the last thing I after I put down my textbook was pick up yet another book.

Re:Intesting how College area is way off (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713454)

"but after a stressful day/week of courses and exams I found myself wanting to unwind and relax with a fun and mindless flick"

Back in the old skool, we unwound and relaxed with a fun and mindless chick. Oh well - someone already pointed out that it takes different strokes for different folks.

Re:Intesting how College area is way off (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714440)

Maybe he went to Michigan Tech.

Re:Intesting how College area is way off (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715170)

I had a friend who went there. When asked what they do up there besides school the response was "Usually drink. Or go to Walmart. Or drink and go to Walmart."

Re:Intesting how College area is way off (3, Insightful)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713562)

More intelligent poor folk are pirates. Who has money for Netflix when you are living off Ramen and Peanut Butter?

Re:Intesting how College area is way off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30713868)

Have you seen the price of Netflix lately? 8 bucks a month for unlimited downloads.

It's mostly docs and art films that are available for streaming, though, so maybe they won't be interested in Seattle...

Re:Intesting how College area is way off (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714096)

More intelligent poor folk aren't so poor that they can't afford netflix. And if you're a pirate of any note, you've got an internet connection; most internet connections are sufficient for streaming (unlike mine) so you can then parlay the cheapest netflix membership into something great, or at least entertaining.

Nothing makes Ramen taste inoffensive like distraction. TRUST ME

Re:Intesting how College area is way off (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713254)

Well, if we're already speculating you may also speculate if you are seeing a biased sample of the student population. At least many of the technically minded students I knew would see no need for a Netflix subscription...

Re:Intesting how College area is way off (2, Interesting)

HouseOfMisterE (659953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713324)

I'm not sure about Milk or Frost/Nixon, but there was a DVD screener for Benjamin Button available for download months before the retail DVD was released. That may have measurably impacted rentals in a college ZIP code area. Or not, who knows?

Re:Intesting how College area is way off (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714310)

Um, yeah, duh! Kids like dumbass kid movies, so around a university filled with kids the most popular movies will be kid movies. Actual adults watch movies that are for actual adults, sure, but college students aren't adults in any realistic sense of the word.

Re:Intesting how College area is way off (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714608)

Maybe they like those movies more, so they go to the movie theater to see those, and the others aren't worth it.

Re:Intesting how College area is way off (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714846)

By the Miami map, Milk isn't pseudo-intellectual, it's a clear marker of high gay population in the zip code. Interestingly, it seems that even the straights in the gay neighborhoods were renting it.

Re:Intesting how College area is way off (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716892)

You think Milk was popular / pseudo intellectual? Boy do I have some news for you...

cultural information (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713050)

You can use it as an indication of how different regions feel about homosexuality by looking at the rental patterns for Milk (no link, sorry, you'll have to click through the movies until you find it). It was a lot more popular on the west side of the bay than the east side, which also matched voting patterns for proposition 8 (the west side was a lot more strongly opposed to it). In Boston it seems like they are a lot more open minded, except in area code 02126. Don't know what happened there.

Strangely enough, Milk is in the top 3 movies in San Francisco in every area except the Castro. Try explaining that one if you can.

Re:cultural information (4, Insightful)

romiz (757548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713068)

Strangely enough, Milk is in the top 3 movies in San Francisco in every area except the Castro. Try explaining that one if you can.

Compared to other areas, the residents bought the disk, so they don't need to rent it as much?

Re:cultural information (5, Interesting)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713146)

That's actually really interesting to consider -- You could think of Netflix popularity as a band pass of the full spectrum of movie popularity. Imagine a few graphs for other channels that signify different levels of investment: theatrical viewing and DVD purchase above rental, cable viewing below it, and torrenting at the bottom. Now imagine these distributions overlaid on top of each other. I wonder what that graph would look like...

Re:cultural information (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713086)


Milk is in the top 3 movies in San Francisco in every area except the Castro. Try explaining that one if you can.

Maybe most people in Castro already saw it in the theater, or rented it months ago? The DVD came out in March of last year, so it's not exactly new.

Re:cultural information (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713144)

They bought the DVD already?

Re:cultural information (1)

BradMajors (995624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713220)

Because they know the true story rather than the Hollywood fictional version?

Re:cultural information (2, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713462)

Or, it could be, everyone in Castro STARRED in the damned thing, and they can't bear to watch it again?

Re:cultural information (5, Insightful)

Eric in SF (1030856) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713090)

Everyone in the neighborhood saw it in the theatre and so didn't need to rent it from Netflix.

We saw it at the Castro theatre about halfway through its total run and it was a full upper balcony sellout. It really was an important film to see as together as a community and I was glad to have taken part in what I felt was a community viewing.

Re:cultural information (0, Troll)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713116)

Really? Renting Milk shows open mindedness?

I never saw a movie preview for this movie. I could see the arguement that this demographic is more aware of non-mainstream movies more.

Also, those demographics may just have more homosexuals. I am straight and watch predominantly straight love movies with my wife. I would imagine someone gay would probably prefer more gay love movies.

Re:cultural information (2, Informative)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713182)

You may be a little bit confused. Milk is a movie about the first openly gay elected official in the US, who was later assassinated (along with the mayor) by another elected official. It's not really a "gay" movie any more than Malcolm X was a "black" movie.

It might be the mainstream thing as you say. But looking at my own city I do note that the more liberal areas of the city are far more likely to be watching Milk than the more conservative parts.

Re:cultural information (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713242)

You are correct. I had no idea what the movie was about.

That does lead back to my orignal point.

Re:cultural information (2, Informative)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714866)

The "Milk compliment" would be Fireproof, a highly conservative movie which seemed to only go over big in Atlanta and Dallas.

Re:cultural information (2, Informative)

rekoil (168689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714928)

The "Milk compliment" would be Fireproof, a highly conservative movie which seemed to only go over big in Atlanta and Dallas.

Note that for Atlanta, "Fireproof" was most popular among the southern exurbs, confirming every rural stereotype held by the typical ITP* Atlantan.

* ITP = Inside The Perimeter, the local nickname for the I-285 bypass.

Re:cultural information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715268)

It's not really a "gay" movie any more than Malcolm X was a "black" movie.

Ah...so it was...

Re:cultural information (5, Funny)

zsimic (548446) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713168)

And then, you can take it to the next level: stats on which zip code examined which other zip code stats... The possibilities are endless: - which zip code is the most "self absorbed", (ie looked at its own stats) - which zip code is the most popular (stats looked up by other zip codes) - which zip code has the most self-confidence problems (looked at other zip codes' stats more than their own..) - which zip code is the most popular homophobic (stats most looked up by other zip codes, while the renting trend of homo movies is high) - and so on

Re:cultural information (3, Funny)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714880)

You meta-moderate on Slashdot, I can tell.

Welcome to Murderpan; now go to the morgue (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713904)

"In Boston it seems like they are a lot more open minded, except in area code 02126."

That is Mattapan; sometimes affectionately referred to as Murderpan. There is a very large criminal element there, and as the name implies, a very high murder rate. That alone cannot explain it though, unless you see significant dips in Dorchester and other high crime areas. I don't really care enough to look, since I don't really think you can make reasonable conclusions even when having local/inside information about a region based on this kind of data. About all you can do is theorize, which is all well and good, as long as you realize that you cannot take it any further than that, or test the veracity of your theory. Since I see no benefit to formulating an untestable theory I don't think it makes much sense to advance one, except for the pure entertainment value, if that happens to be something you find entertaining.

Re:Welcome to Murderpan; now go to the morgue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30716166)

Yes there are similar dips in Dorchester and other similar areas. You are right that this kind of data is somewhat limiting, and subject to strange artifacts. However, as a visualization guy, I still find it an interesting data set, and it still illustrates some interesting features of the area. It is a starting point that gets you to ask questions. For example, on the Milk example, 01731 is another hole that is perhaps even more severe than Mattapan since the fall-off is more abrupt. This would lead one to ask why that might be. A look at a map + some local knowledge and one finds that that region is the Hansom Air Force base, which is a bit of an outlier since it is tucked out in between Concord, Bedford and Lexington, the heart of suburban commuter territory.

Re:cultural information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714174)

Zip code 02126 in Boston is Mattapan; predominantly black, with a lot of immigrants from the Caribbean. Perhaps you should try listening to some Jamaican dancehall music, and pay attention to the lyrics.

Re:cultural information (1)

bwalling (195998) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714282)

I suppose you could try to draw that inference, but it may just be that homosexual love stories don't appeal as much to heterosexuals. I don't have much interest in watching two men fall in love. I think this has to do with the fact that when watching a romantic movie, my interest in the love story is often based on my own attraction to the female character. If she's a bitch or an idiot or I don't find her attractive, I'm not that interested. So, if the romance involves two men, it's unlikely that I'll be attracted to either of them, and so I won't be interested.

Re:cultural information (3, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714564)

yes, but if you can drag yourself away from your narcissism, you'll find your girlfriend not only loves love stories, but love stories about sad relationships between 2 seriously hot men ('cos the movie-makers are always going to make a story about gay relationships involving 2 muscular cowboys rather than 2 fat nerds), and it also has the added attraction of some man-on-man action.

So you'd expect homosexual love stories can appeal to heterosexuals. Just like you wouldn't mind going to see 2 hot lesbian chicks fall in love (oh, you've already seen that one, yeah me too ;)

Also a lot of heterosexual and homosexual people just like movies, sometimes you want something intellectually stimulating even if it has a gender-related subplot you still watch it for the main plot. OK, love stories don't fall into this category so much, but Milk (for example) may have a gay subplot but that's not what the story is about. Just like you can watch Malcolm X in an entirely white neighbourhood.

Re:cultural information (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714488)

Not from the USA, so what's going on in Washington? There seems to be a big difference between those areas in the top left versus bottom right quadrants. It almost as if there is some kind of boundary along the line from the bottom left corner of the map to the top right.

Re:cultural information (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716196)

That border pretty well tracks the gay friendly neighborhoods in the region. The 22111 anomaly chopped out of Arlington looks to be Ft Myer, so I would guess the people there who would like to watch Milk are probably scared of accidentally telling even though no one asked.

Re:cultural information (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716382)

It is the Potomac river boundary. Capitol hill is just north of the river, and the south-east section of the river is almost all filled with african americans. The capitol region has a higher education rate (about half the people living there graduated from college). As would be expected from the graduation rates, that area has higher income levels as well. Here is a demographic breakdown of the area around capitol hill [movoto.com] and here is one for a typical zip code south of the river [movoto.com] . I'm going to guess that the biggest distinguishing factor is race, since opinions on homosexuality are already known to be divided on race.

Re:cultural information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714996)

02126 is the back bay, where all the rich people live. I used to live there, and once or twice we received mail from the RNC or Bush addressed to neighbors. It looked handwritten...

Re:cultural information (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716582)

In Boston it seems like they are a lot more open minded, except in area code 02126. Don't know what happened there.

That is the ZIP code for Mattapan, MA. It is 77% African American.

I have no idea what the personal preferences are of those residents, but I recall that there is little debate that homosexuality garners less acceptance in many visible black communities. Think of the "no homo" thing and the phenomenon of a "down low brotha" ("DLB") and the demographics of Prop 8 voting. My recollection is that the black populace voted much more against gay marriage in 2008 than did other races (except maybe Asians or Vietnamese or something?).

But that's just an anecdotal attempt to explain your noted variance.

Map Technology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30713114)

Does anyone know how they created that map? I know it's Flash, but how did they make it? Is there a library in Flash which can make these maps? Is this built with an open source libary? Just currious...

Re:Map Technology? (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714118)

Was wondering the same thing--such a library would be fun to play with.

Well...not now... (1)

dcigary (221160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713178)

Well, they *had* an interactive application that did this. Now it's a smouldering hunk.

you insensiti#ve clod! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30713226)

THINKING ABOUT IT. GNAA and sup4ort brain. It is the So that their the project what provides the

You're kidding, right? (5, Insightful)

mforbes (575538) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713284)

Invasion of privacy or harmless voyeuristic fun?

What invasion of privacy? They're not showing what any particular person rented, just what the aggregate in a given area liked. If this is invasion of privacy, then so is any demographic statistic saying, for instance, that New Yorkers like hot dogs from a stand on the street or the baseball stadium over that cooked at home.

Re:You're kidding, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30713422)

Any information published about your habits erodes your privacy, whether you see it or not.

No, YOU are kidding, right? (5, Funny)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713936)

"Any information published about your habits erodes your privacy, whether you see it or not.

Letter to the Editor @ NY Times:

Dear Sir,

I find it highly innappropriate that you have made my personal information available via your website!

Sincerely,

Dr. Sanfransisco Bayarea

Re:You're kidding, right? (1)

computerchimp (994187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713516)

Cool map....

Not that there was evidence of it given:
The shocking part would be that Netflix keeps track of an individuals rentals (possibly) and then creates thse maps based on those individuals histories. Again no proof but it concerns some.

On a similar note
In Canada the zip equivilant is the postal code.....postal codes often refer to only a handful of houses....so posting rentals based on postal codes + an individual knowning person x uses netflix = invasion of privacy.

cc

Re:You're kidding, right? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30713718)

There is a theoretical max of 10^5 = 100,000 zip codes. There are roughly 10,000,000 Netflix subscribers, so if there were an even distribution, that would give about 100 subscribers per zip code. I suspect that this varies considerably, though I'm not sure which way things would swing among urban/suburban/rural. Urban has more alternatives but higher prices, suburban has social reclusiveness, but also sufficient disposable income for theaters, rural lacks theaters and conventional rental options, but may not emphasize movies as much culturally. 100 should be enough for a reasonable degree of privacy, especially when high probably means 5-15 out of those 100 (depending on how long a period this collects data for).

Interesting data for So Cal (1)

Mr. Lwanga (872401) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713316)

You could draw many fun, but useless conclusions from this data. This is probably the kind of info that sales pukes, marketing drones and security theater types drool over.
Mad Men was only rented by those Hollywood types in Glendale and West LA
Tyler Perry's chitlin flicks do well in South Central, Inglewood and Long Beach - why?
Religulous' demographics proves that rich people really are godless.
White people really liked Australia, but Vicky Cristina Barcelona is better than the US Census for racial profiling.
Crooked cop movies, Pride and Glory, do well in "concentrated urban areas" - interesting.
Pinapple Express proves that some things are universal - legalize it

Large differences in some areas... (2, Interesting)

drZool (896605) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713440)

Could perhaps be explained by europeans using VPN accounts in these areas to access netflix.

Re:Large differences in some areas... (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716476)

Most of these films are only available through Netflix Mailing. Unless you can VPN a POBox then I doubt that's affecting much.

Paul Blart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30713488)

Hmm, seems the worse the neighborhood the higher the ranking for Paul Blart Mall Cop.

Gee, be careful (1)

kramulous (977841) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713734)

Look, I think this stuff is kinda interesting, but you need to be very careful with information visualisation of geographical regions. And some of this information is a little misleading.

Some neighbourhoods are smaller in size (area) than others. If a neighbourhood is larger in area than another, a dominant colour (such as red!) will be highly dominant - not just because the movie is more popular - but because there is more red and the area is larger. This is a psychological thing; eyes are drawn to larger objects (yeah baby!) and we see fewer shades of red to blue (a physics thing).

Are the number of people in a neighbourhood more than another neighbourhood? How the borders are defined really needs to be stated. Using point sources of density would have been more appropriate (eg http://www.time.com/time/covers/20061030/where_we_live/ [time.com]

I could be full of shit as I've had a few white wines and we had a lovely 30 degree day out in the sun after a few weeks of cloudy rain.

Racial profiling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30713778)

This is an extremely dangerous tool. If you are looking to live in an area, you can use this tool to see the proportion of (say) blacks and hispanics (through the choice of movies), and then decide to move/not move there, thus encouraging the creation of racial ghettos.

Studies have proved time and again that multi-cultural communities are more stable (socially and economically) than mono-culture communities.

If this was an interactive map that showed where ethnic minorities lived, there would be an uproar. It's just too subtle for people to notice this way.

Re:Racial profiling (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713812)

I am sure there are other ways of determining the racial and socio-economic make up of an area, before buying a home there. Like talking to the neibours of the property you are interested in.

Other cities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30713988)

Can you get other areas of the country (since this is on Google maps, etc) or did Netflix only give out certain areas/did the New York Times only map these cities?

note: ranking is biased by instant viewing (1)

ren-n-stimpy (230862) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714122)

note: this ranking is biased by instant viewing.

"instant view" titles are those you watch on your computer (or roku or xbox or whatever). they are "second tier" movies only. but, because they are convenient, they got a TON more views than movies you have to actually get the CD mailed to you for.

so, what you're seeing here is a hybrid list, with "top tier" movies vote counts watered down by over-counts of instant-play-ables.

fwiw.

Apparently in Minneapolis (1)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714180)

We love us some gay and lesbian movies.

Re:Apparently in Minneapolis (1)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714194)

And there are very few people getting movies made for the black audience.

Re:Apparently in Minneapolis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714560)

I think I may be skewing the results as we downloaded every movie in the top 10 for my zip code months ago.

Best thing I've seen in the New York Times but... (1)

Thagg (9904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714702)

I am in despair over the newspaper industry. The country and the world has needed news researchers, and over the last half-century that has been the province of big newspapers like the Times, the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, and others.

Lately, though, newspapers subscription rates have fallen dramatically, their income has fallen even faster, and they're all cut back on their research budgets.

Here, though, we see a truly interesting tool, one that gives more insight the more one plays with it (as the long articles in newspapers used to do the same as you read through them.) The credit list on this webapp is long, the quality of the presentation is absolutely top-notch, and the bandwidth behind it apparently infinite. That the New York Times would do this is commendable.

Would CNN.com do this? Could Google News do this? Drudgereport? No, those sites are merely aggragators. They are only interested in what happened in the last 24 hours, at best.

But, unfortunately for the Times, this remarkable tool is inaccessible in their dead-tree edition. I suppose it is a loss-leader for them, and a worthwhile one, but it does reinforce all the thousand other indicators that traditional newspapers are dying.

DC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714708)

I'll bet there is a correlation between crime rate and frequency of rentals of Tyler Perry movies in SE DC and PG county.

Also, military bases rent a lot of kids movies and yuppie pricks in MoCo rent Milk.

Lies... and statistics (1)

anvilmark (259376) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714744)

I'm not sure what you can reliably take away from these statistics. Since it is only rentals it excludes the following conditions:

Did they go see it in the theater and now own the DVD? (will probably never rent)
Did they go see it in theaters and didn't care for it? (will probably never rent)

This means that the stats only capture those who
1) Didn't see it in theaters - i.e. it wasn't a big deal to see it / they didn't consider it worth the ticket price
2) Are curious enough about it to rent it later

After renting once, did they buy it for their personal library, or say 'meh' and never watch it again?

55450 is watching Battlestar Galactica S3 (1)

mounthood (993037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30717286)

Most watched for 55450 is Battlestar Galactica season 3 and nothing else. It's the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport; on the map it's the empty grey area south of the cities. Maybe this is TSA homework?

80225 is one person's most rented list (1)

mounthood (993037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30717608)

Checkout 80225 in Denver - small grey square east of down town above the "L" for Lakewood. It looks like just one persons queue; titles from the same series, common sense of humour, etc... Plus, according to this random page [bestplaces.net] there's only one person living in that zip code. I think we have winner for this round of "thoughtless privacy invasion".
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