Snapchat wasn’t something that I immediately saw any value in. I installed it once ages ago, didn’t have any friends on it (a combination of age and geography), and promptly left.
Alexis Madrigal, for The Atlantic: 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 …
About two weeks ago, I kinda realized that two people I knew online were in a band together, and preparing to put out their first EP. I visited their website, bought the record when it came out, and ended up seeing them live at the Esplanade last Friday. Hear for yourself through the embedded player below. In addition to Bandcamp, you can get the 5-song collection on iTunes and Spotify.
➟ Brian Regan: The Epitome of Hyperbole [Netflix] Really great, profanity-free stand-up comedy. He brings a lot more energy to the stage than Jim Gaffigan, whose shows we also watched a couple of nights ago. They’re both great acts and worth looking up, but Regan’s older material is rock solid, while you can jump straight to Gaffigan’s newer stuff and not miss much.
If only all politicians were Jerry McMillan’s cross between insane and awesome. Link
I wonder what Larry Ellison has to say about this. Link
I’ll be honest, I never really liked Conan until this note-perfect video where he delivers on the Michael Bay promise. [HD link] Link
A live band performs RJD2’s A Beautiful Mine with the old Nat King Cole song Nature Boy sung over it. Live, in one take. It works really well. Link
A finer or funnier video today you will not see. Every second is a glimmering of gratuitous quirkiness.
Last month’s 30th annual Samba carnival in Asakusa, from The Japan Times. I’ve only ever seen photos, so this was a good way to get a feel of the atmosphere (and the weirdness of the floats). Link