Probably my favorite shot from this weekend’s trip to Bali where my friends Christian and Jean got married. Captured and edited on an iPhone 5S, too. Compared to the functional but not album-worthy 2mp shots from the first iPhones, it’s hard to argue this isn’t the only camera most people need today.
Bert took a photo of Jussi taking a photo of me taking a photo of Joel taking a photo of the Balinese sunset. Good times. – with Joel, Jussi, and Bert at Ayana Resort And Spa
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This is the photo I was taking:
The Rimba hotel here in Bali is really nice too, if a tad unfinished. Under the same ownership as the Ayana Resort where we are staying; you take a free tram over and sit at the rooftop bar if you have nothing to do at noon like us. – with Jussi and Bert at Rimba Jimbaran Bali
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What emerged from the work is this conclusion: Netflix has meticulously analyzed and tagged every movie and TV show imaginable. They possess a stockpile of data about Hollywood entertainment that is absolutely unprecedented.
Using large teams of people specially trained to watch movies, Netflix deconstructed Hollywood. They paid people to watch films and tag them with all kinds of metadata. This process is so sophisticated and precise that taggers receive a 36-page training document that teaches them how to rate movies on their sexually suggestive content, goriness, romance levels, and even narrative elements like plot conclusiveness.
The data can’t tell them how to make a TV show, but it can tell them what they should be making. When they create a show like House of Cards, they aren’t guessing at what people want.
What a huge undertaking, and a demonstration of Amazon-like patience for a company like Netflix—slowly, quietly, build a long-view competitive advantage in technology and process that becomes impossible for others to copy, and that eventually enables a whole new range of products that are themselves hard to compete with.
This sort of rich metadata is what I’d expect IMDB to have, but a categorization exercise of so much subjective material benefits from the guidance of a single hand, while self-policing committees take much too long.
As a story, the way it moves is unlike anything I can remember reading. Laugh out loud funny at times; very insightful about life and love; peppered with sentimental, inspirational schmaltz; and also a fast-paced page turner. It’s some kind of sorcery. It’ll make you sad and lonely, but also take you to a place where it doesn’t matter.
Reviewed The Humans by Matt Haig.
At a recent office balcony party, I spoke to a colleague who’s also into photography (by which I mean he’s also afflicted by the coin-draining hobby of buying cameras), and realized that maybe I’ve made some progress. My last purchase was the Sony RX-100, which he also bought, and then sold, and then bought a Fuji X20, and then sold, and then bought a used Fuji X100S (pictured). The urge has not visited me lately, unless you count the $200 Q Camera which no amount of money on Earth can buy at the moment because they’ve only made one sold-out and poorly handled batch.
I cannot recall a more insightful or colorful travelogue about Japan (article or book), and it’s 40 years old. Richie seems that rare and perfect in between of both cultures to serve as guide/interpreter to the foreign reader. I wish he had done more.
Reviewed The Inland Sea by Donald Richie.
Tried out an Indian restaurant near work today on the occasion of a visiting coworker’s farewell (amusingly, he’s going back to India and another Indian coworker felt it appropriate to suggest this place for lunch — we suggested he was feeling homesick himself).
It’s on Boon Tat street and quite good, although it’s probably best to come closer to 2pm; we stood outside for close to half an hour. I had the chicken tikka which was mildly spiced (if you’re a wimp like me and like to avoid discomfort).