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Rescooped by Martin (Marty) Smith from les échos du net!

Is Netflix, Responsible For 30% of Peak Web Traffic, Being Held Hostage? Or are We?

Is Netflix, Responsible For 30% of Peak Web Traffic, Being Held Hostage? Or are We? | BI Revolution |
What a difference a month makes. On February 23, Netflix and Comcast announced a deal under which the video streaming service and the cable company would "team up to provide customers (an) excellent user experience." Netflix said it worked "collaboratively" with Comcast and that the deal was "mutually beneficial." So [...]

Via Denis Liotta 
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

This post is about a letter Netflix sent to the FCC looking for redress from their high infrastructure carrying costs. Streaming movies, something that is clearly the future of everything, isn't cheap.

Netflix requires an army's worth of bandwidth or their users see "buffering" instead of content. That Netflix's CEO's letter undercuts their recent Comcast deal seems like "inside baseball" politics.

That Comcast made $65B last year feels like we should be writing letters to the FCC. If 2008 was the Wall Street / banker financial crisis the next one of those isn't going to be about CASH.

No the next "financial" crisis will be about a cash proxy - access to bandwidth and the web. Are we creating another "too big to fail" situation with infrastructure companies like Comcast?

When everything is online from our money to our fridge aren't we the potential hostage? Occupy Wall Street feels moot and over. Occupy Time Warner and Comcast feels overdue.

Some call this new financial proxy battle Net Neutrality. Call it whatever you want, access is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We can't let the few (infrastructure providers) reverse Moore's Law (cost of integrated circuits go down even as power increases) for the sake of bandwidth.

Netflix's CEO may be speaking for us all when he complains of being held hostage. Lets hope we keep a careful eye on our captors.

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Rescooped by Martin (Marty) Smith from Video Breakthroughs!

Netflix Recommendations: Beyond the 5 stars (Part 2)

Netflix Recommendations: Beyond the 5 stars (Part 2) | BI Revolution |

In part one of this blog post, we detailed the different components of Netflix personalization. We also explained how Netflix personalization, and the service as a whole, have changed from the time we announced the Netflix Prize.The $1M Prize delivered a great return on investment for us, not only in algorithmic innovation, but also in brand awareness and attracting stars (no pun intended) to join our team. Predicting movie ratings accurately is just one aspect of our world-class recommender system. In this second part of the blog post, we will give more insight into our broader personalization technology. We will discuss some of our current models, data, and the approaches we follow to lead innovation and research in this space.


The goal of recommender systems is to present a number of attractive items for a person to choose from. This is usually accomplished by selecting some items and sorting them in the order of expected enjoyment (or utility). Since the most common way of presenting recommended items is in some form of list, such as the various rows on Netflix, we need an appropriate ranking model that can use a wide variety of information to come up with an optimal ranking of the items for each of our members.

Via Nicolas Weil
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