About time


What’s absolutely amazing is that Netflix took so long to do this:

Netflix’s latest attraction will enable families and other people sharing the same account to set up separate identities so the Internet video service can give them better recommendations on what to watch next.

The tool introduced Thursday can splinter a single Netflix account into up to five different profiles at no additional cost from the service’s $8 monthly fee. The Los Gatos, Calif., company is hoping its 37.6 million worldwide subscribers will use the profiles feature and help Netflix’s recommendation system distinguish between viewers who have drastically different tastes.

Until now, deciphering viewing preferences could be tricky with a shared account. Netflix couldn’t tell when a 50-year-old dad was watching its Internet video service and when his 10-year-old daughter was viewing. That resulted in Netflix serving up a mishmash of suggestions that could include movies meant for mature audiences based on the father’s viewing history, and kid-friendly programming drawn from the daughter’s preferences.

“If the kids have been watching a lot of ‘Shaun the Sheep,’ that doesn’t particularly help us help you find the next gritty drama to watch after they have gone to bed,” said Neil Hunt, Netflix’s chief product officer.

Profiles will now make it possible for several members of the same household to click on their screen name to get customized recommendations, based on what they have previously watched and seemed to enjoy in Netflix’s library of movies, old TV shows and original programs. Netflix relies on viewers’ own ratings of video, as well as computer-driven analyses of the genres previously watched.

As if this hasn’t been a problem for years and now they’re all proud of themselves.  My kids open up Netflix for Shaun the Sheep and Powerpuff Girls and right there is a still I really don’t want them seeing for “Orange is the New Black.”  I don’t care so much for the recommendations, (though, ever since Sarah has taken to Netflix a lot of things with ponies get recommended for me), but it has always been ridiculous that we couldn’t keep “adult” shows and kid shows apart.

On McCrory and cookies

So, perhaps you heard of Governor Pat McCrory’s ill-fated attempt to make nice with feminist protesters by bringing them chocolate chip cookies.  Seriously, did nobody see the not-so-subtext in that?!  I think this take at PoliticsNC is spot-on.  Though the gesture was condescending, it was not intended to be.  I think this is a pretty accurate overall take on McCrory and his governor-ship

I think they got it wrong, though. The episode aptly defines Pat McCrory. He wasn’t trying to be condescending. He was trying to be nice.

Pat McCrory just wants to be liked. His effort was sincere but full of the same naivety that he’s shown throughout his term. Essentially, he used cookies as an olive branch. Pathetic, but not mean.

After seven months in office, McCrory still doesn’t understand the world in which he’s operating. State politics is more bruising than Charlotte politics in the best of times. But he’s thrown his lot with a group of people who are stripping away rights and dismantling successful institutions that took years, even decades, to build. Unfortunately, he’s not bright enough to understand what they are doing or the impact on the people who oppose it. In the fight for the soul of our state, McCrory is a hapless spectator who still doesn’t understand the rules of the game or what’s ultimately at stake.  [emphasis mine]

In Charlotte, McCrory listened to his handlers in the business community and they generally steered him in the right direction. They had their own quality of life to protect. He did what they wanted, the city flourished and McCrory was generally well liked, even respected.

In Raleigh, McCrory’s handlers have made him the patsy. They’ve turned his campaign promises into lies and made him one of the most conservative governors in the country. If he understood political ideology, he’d be pissed. If he understood the damage they’ve done, he’d understand the outrage. But he doesn’t.

He simply sees people outside his house waving signs and chanting slogans who are obviously mad at him. His response? Give ‘em cookies. That’s his way of saying, “No hard feelings.” Bless his heart.

I’ve heard from a number of people with first-hand experience that McCrory is far from the sharpest knife in the drawer.  While that turned out okay in Charlotte, it’s proving disastrous in Raleigh.  It’s hard to see him as much more than a puppet and its just that the guys pulling the strings in Charlotte were far more sensible.

That said, I still give McCrory props for his political skill in convincing so many independents and moderate Democrats that he would govern as a moderate while at the same time preventing a serious Tea Party challenge from the right back in 2012.  There’s certainly some real political skill there.

Honestly, I don’t know what to think about 2016 (which is a long way off).  It seems that the economy will inevitably start to grow better despite McCrory’s mistakes and broken promises, but man has he really alienated a lot of folks.  Should be interesting.

Photo of the day

Wow– love this recent National Geographic photo of the day.  Awesome.

Picture of foxes sparring in Alaska

Sparring Foxes, Alaska

Photograph by Robert Dreeszen, National Geographic Your Shot

Fox kits spar along the Ugashik River in the Alaska Peninsula. This area, in the southeastern part of the 49th state, is home to waterways, volcanoes, and a variety of wildlife.

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