How Netflix is turning viewers into puppets

How Netflix is turning viewers into puppets

Image: Salon.com

“The interesting and potentially troubling question is how a reliance on Big Data might funnel craftsmanship in particular directions. What happens when directors approach the editing room armed with the knowledge that a certain subset of subscribers are opposed to jump cuts or get off on gruesome torture scenes or just want to see blow jobs. Is that all we’ll be offered? We’ve seen what happens when news publications specialize in just delivering online content that maximizes page views. It isn’t always the most edifying spectacle. Do we really want creative decisions about how a show looks and feels to be made according to an algorithm counting how many times we’ve bailed out of other shows?” (Andrew Leaonard, Salon.com)

Mario is hard, and that’s mathematically official

Mario is hard, and that's mathematically official - New Scientist

Image: Nintendo

“Many of the games in the Mario, Donkey Kong, Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Pokémon series prove to be NP-hard. That means deciding whether a player can complete them is at least as hard as the hardest problems in NP, a complexity class involved in the tantalising problem of P versus NP (see ‘Million-dollar proof’). Not every game in each series was included in the proof, as they follow different rules.” (Jacob Aron, NewScientist)

Algorithm Uses Photo Networks to Reveal Your Hometown

Computer scientists have developed a simple algorithm that accurately guesses your hometown using the location information of photos uploaded to Flickr

Algorithm Uses Photo Networks to Reveal Your Hometown - Technology Review“These guys have studied the geographical clusters of photos that users upload to Flickr, the popular picture sharing website. The task they set themselves is to determine an individual’s home town looking only at the geotags of photographs they have uploaded.

It’s no surprise that people take most of their photographs near their home. But they also take photographs in clusters at other locations such as holiday destinations and such like. That makes the problem of estiamting the home location a little more difficult. The trick that Jahanbakhsh and pals solve is to find an algorithm that can separate the home location from the other clusters.” (KFC, Technology Review)

Intelligent software assigns appropriate background music for pictures

Intelligent software assigns appropriate background music for pictures“The program utilizes the expertise of movie producers in assigning appropriate background music for pictures, enabling users to select music that will harmonize with their impressions of their last summer vacation without putting in an extraordinary amount of effort.” (AlphaGalileo Foundation)

A Smart Phone that Knows You’re Angry

A Smart Phone that Knows You're Angry - Technology Review Published by M.I.T.

Cartoon: User:Sympho - Wikimedia Commons

“The prototype system, to be presented in Las Vegas next week at the Consumer Communications and Networking Conference, is designed to work as part of a Twitter client on an Android-based Samsung Galaxy S II. It enables people in a social network to view symbols alongside tweets that indicate that person’s emotional state. But there are many more potential applications, says Lee. The system could trigger different ringtones on a phone to convey the caller’s emotional state or cheer up someone who’s feeling low. ‘The smart phone might show a funny cartoon to make the user feel better,’ he says.” (Duncan Graham-Rowe, Technology Review)