archive for July, 2004

Netflix Actor and Director Rating

Wouldn’t it be cool Netflix used its movie rating data to rate actors and directors based on their movies? Here’s how it could work: for each movie and actor is in (or a director directed) you’d take that movie’s score (1-5) and multiply it by a number based on how much of a role the person had in the movie (higher in the credits would mean a higher number). You’d then average together all of these per movie ratings for a final actor rating. Ok, ok… the math isn’t quite right if you want to end up with a number between one and five, but still… as a general idea it would be cool. I don’t know why Netflix doesn’t already do this. It would be super easy for them to implement, and could be just as useful as the movie rating itself, especially for unknown actors and directors.

It would also be cool to show which directors make similar movies. Just like the similar movies that are shown when you go to a movie’s page, you could show similar directors when you went to a director’s page.

If you know someone who works at Netflix, please pass these ideas along. If they don’t implement it, I may have to do it myself. 🙂

Frank Duff's Lysergically Yours

I read Lysergically Yours by Frank Duff the week after it was featured on slashdot. I wish I was better at writing reviews so that I can describe my reaction to it. I guess if I tried to describe Lysergically Yours with one word it would have to be “Fun”. If I used two words, they would be “Too Short”. The pacing was good, and the ideas were interesting, but it really felt more like a novella than a novel. I would have liked the main character to have spent more time experimenting with his new abilities. I think a whole plot line from the government’s point of view could really have rounded out the story and added to the chase scene. But… what do I know? It’s great for a first novel. I’m looking forward to seeing what Frank cooks up next.

I started by reading the text version that Mr. Duff released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. Unfortunately, the plain text was just too hard on my eyes, and I didn’t want to have to leave the text editor open to save my place. Being a good hacker, freed by the CC license, I quickly threw together an html version. Want to know what’s really cool? Frank likes it! Though, probably not as much as dead trees copies. He has a link to it on his website. Now go read it!

Paul Graham: Great Hackers

Paul Graham has done it again. By that I mean he just released another article. This one is called Great Hackers.

For those of you who don’t know, there are two common definitions for the word “hacker.” One, used by lay people refers to those evil people who break into peoples computer to mess things up. For computer enthusiasts, hacker actually refers to someone who loves to figure out how stuff works, completely. It is this second definition that Paul is using.

Paul does a good job at laying out his understanding of what makes great hackers, how to attract them (for a job), and what they’re good for.

They Might Be Giants in Newsweek

Newsweek has a new article called They Might Be Onto Something. The part about this that I found most interesting is Flansburgh where says “I wouldn’t be surprised if paying for recorded music becomes an obsolete idea in general.” This sounds perfectly reasonable to me seeing that it doesn’t cost the musician anything for people to listen to a recording. Actually, by that token, paying for copies of software software could easily become obsolete. In that way, Flansy and I are in the same boat. Of course, this doesn’t even begin to imply that in the future musicians and programmers won’t be able to make a living by doing what they do. It just means we’ll probably get paid for a different part of the process.

Stratagus

Stratagus, a real time strategy engine, was recently reviewed on linuxdevcenter. There’s a pretty good looking game called Magnant based on it. Stratagus was formerly named Freecraft. I guess Blizzard didn’t like that.

Friend Blogs

My friend Matt just started a blog at http://mattsterp.blogspot.com/. Jeremy has had a blog for a while too, but I think he’s having some problems with the formatting. The coolest thing about Blogspot and most other blog hosting sites/blogging tools that ApeJet Blog is missing is the comments function. I really need to get to work on that.

I, Robot

Jesse and I watched I, Robot yesterday. Overall, I’d give it 4/5 stars. The special effects were very well done. I liked the camera movement. Will Smith was himself. The story was ok. Music, hmm… I don’t recall. It’s probably impossible for any movie to live up to Asimov’s legacy, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t use Asimov’s work to make movies.

I suggest you check out this site if you’re curious about Asimov’s Laws of Robotics.

A Softer World

Like it or not, a softer world is interesting, even if it is only weekly.
Keywords: comic, photo, art

My Google PageRank

I just read on BoingBoing that this company called Thinstall is giving discounts based on your blog’s Google PageRank. I checked the rank for my blog and it came up as 4/10. I guess that means I would qualify for a $200 discount.

Registration Not Required

About a month ago, I wrote a blog entry called Registration Required talking about how requiring registration for websites is a bad idea. Now, Wired News has an article talking about software provides a work around to the problem. There’s a Mozilla plug-in called BugMeNot that allows you to avoid registering for different sites. I’m definitely going to try it out.

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