Blog posts tagged "movies"

Netflix API: Looking good

October 1st, 2008

Netflix was pretty much the last place I was Web 2.0 style share cropping, creating value without a way to get it out. The Netflix API has been rumored for a long time, but with today’s release they really did an excellent job.

Also versioned documentation, and a quite reasonable set of branding guidelines.

The Netflix Web APIs provide the ability for you to integrate Netflix user services into your application. The APIs provide the following capabilities:
  • Performing searches of movies, TV series, cast members, and directors
  • Retrieving catalog titles, including details about the title such as name, box art, director, cast, etc.
  • Determining the subscriber’s relationship to a specific title, e.g, in queue, saved, available on DVD, etc.
  • Managing and displaying queues for users
  • Providing conveniences such as auto-completion of partial search terms typed by a user.
  • Displaying a user’s ratings and reviews.
  • Including functional Add and Play buttons in your web application.

Congratulations to Netflix, and Mashery.

Making Netflix “Smarter”

June 4th, 2007

Darts and cobwebs part II

NYTimes has an article on the ongoing Netflix recommendation open challenge thing. ($1mil to a team that can produce the best collaborative filtering mouse trap)

Unfortunately the project is flawed, because the basic question is flawed, fundamentally and in a very simple way. We have moods, we have shifting interests, and trying to compile all those multi-variates into a single vector of interest is impossible.

Rather then making the computers super smart, I’d rather see an interface like the Pandora channel creation where you choose 2-4 songs that suit your mood and the system finds the common elements.

Tonight at the video store I wanted something that was smart and fast enough to be engaging, without being so smart that it took work to follow. Maybe a political thriller? If I could have mixed a recommendation queue out of 3 Days of the Condor meets Wag the Dog meets something like Enemy of the State to find something in that vein that would have been better then all the weighted neural nets.

And I’ll wave the million dollars if they just build it already.

Not sure where this systemic biasis for computer as deep thinker comes from, probably dates all the way back to the Ultra project and other primordial computer science legends. But its the wrong metaphor here and now, smarter, smaller tools to extend the human reach, not replace humans.

(can you tell I didn’t find my movie?)

Photo by wili

Typecast Keanu Reeves, Please

February 23rd, 2005

I never read Hellblazer, so I only know Gaiman’s interpretation of John Constantine, but if there was ever a character who seemed less clueless then Constantine, and less appropriate to be played as if he were suffering a lobotomy, I can’t think of it now.

So while Keanu is a brilliant choice as drug addled view point character of gorgeous looking Scanner Darkly (via), what the hell were they thinking casting him as Constantine?

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IMDB needs RSS feeds

August 29th, 2004

I’d like to be able to subscribe to an RSS feed of my favorite writers, directors, and actors to find out when they have new projects going into production, or about to be released. For example, I’m just finding out about Silver City, which means I’ve totally lost the fun of anticipating it for months already.

Ideally IMDB would supply these feeds as screen scraping is never a good option, but I’ve got to say IMDB is up there in the top 20 or so easiest sites to screen scrape, the format has been largely static for years, and the URLs are simple, if not particularly flexible.


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February 10th, 2003

Caught the matinee showing of Chicago on a chilly, snowy Boston afternoon with Jasmine, and one of her housemates. The hilight was the thermos of hot chocolate, made with Ghiradelli and cloves, smuggled in under a jacket, and poured into sake cups. But the movie was fun as well. The songs are still skuttling around in the back of my mind. But more then anything, the impression I was left with was:

Chicago is a Hollywood re-make of Dancer in the Dark.

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