Here are today's must-reads:
I hit the pause button roughly one-third of the way through the first episode of “House of Cards,” the political drama premiering on Netflix Feb. 1. By doing so, I created what is known in the world of Big Data as an “event” — a discrete action that could be logged, recorded and analyzed. Every single day, Netflix, by far the largest provider of commercial streaming video programming in the United States, registers hundreds of millions of such events. As a consequence, the company knows more about our viewing habits than many of us realize. Netflix doesn’t know merely what we’re watching, but when, where and with what kind of device we’re watching. It keeps a record of every time we pause the action — or rewind, or fast-forward — and how many of us abandon a show entirely after watching for a few minutes.
Netflix might not know exactly why I personally hit the pause button — I was checking on my sick son, home from school with the flu — but if enough people pause or rewind or fast-forward at the same place during the same show, the data crunchers can start to make some inferences. Perhaps the action slowed down too much to hold viewer interest — bored now! — or maybe the plot became too convoluted. Or maybe that sex scene was just so hot it had to be watched again. If enough of us never end up restarting the show after taking a break, the inference could be even stronger: maybe the show just sucked.
The cinematic success of Les Miserables will herald the rejuvenation of musical theatre as quickly as it was written off in the first place. And all the times before that.
Many will argue there hasn’t been a good musical written since Les Mispremiered on the West End in 1985. Or none better, at least. But the imminent death of the form is always greatly exaggerated.
That the two creative (and increasingly uneconomical) hubs of musical theatre — New York and London — are entirely geared towards family tourist dollars, with endless revivals, jukebox shows and more bankable movie adaptations, has been the case for some time. Now it seems we’re at the end of an era, waiting patiently for someone to come along and reinvent the musical.
Years later, after Andre Thomas had been convicted of killing his estranged wife, his 4-year-old son and her 13-month-old daughter in the most bizarre case in Grayson County history, after he had received a death sentence and been told that it would be imposed at the appropriate future time, after he had been dispatched to Texas' death row to wait his turn with the other condemned men and women, the prosecutors were still talking about "the eyeball issue."
And the most-read link I tweeted this weekend was:
- umm kinky: "Threesome Ends With Stabbing Over Refusal to Switch Positions"http://pjblack.me/Yv9Wxv
These are some of the other things I've been tweeting about over the weekend:
- "Why Mozilla Matters And Won’t Switch To WebKit" http://pjblack.me/Yz6fqN
- "Chris Jones column about sex onstage: Why sex onstage rarely works" http://pjblack.me/YyzZUx
- but leno doesn't have "actual feelings" apparently: "Jimmy Kimmel: Jay Leno a Smart Politician and Smart Guy" http://pjblack.me/YyzRVb
- this is fascinating - netflix has so much data on our viewing habits: "How Netflix is turning viewers into puppets" http://pjblack.me/XdEh6P
- "Comic Relief: David Cameron appears in One Direction video" http://pjblack.me/XdCO0x
- "Plagiarism Pays: Jonah Lehrer Gets $20,000 for Speech" http://pjblack.me/Yz8ZUY
- "Netflix Says 'House of Cards' Is Its Most-Watched Program" http://pjblack.me/Yz8zxU
- "Teachers back university cap to lift standards" http://pjblack.me/YyxFx0 #highered
- "10 things science (and Buddhism) says will make you happy" http://pjblack.me/Yx6uCv
- eww this is gross: "Portland Dog Kissing Contest Will Leave a Bad Taste in Your Mouth" http://pjblack.me/YyAfTG
- "How Crazy Is Too Crazy to Be Executed?" http://pjblack.me/Xbp2v8
- "The Most Important Restaurants in America" http://pjblack.me/XAxb8I
- "From rotary to Siri: How the phone numbering system came and went" http://pjblack.me/WJM6l3
- one can dream: "How to Travel Like a Billionaire: All That Money Can Buy" http://pjblack.me/X9afBn
- "Why Do Russians Film Their Car Accidents? Where are all those meteor videos from and how did we get them?" http://pjblack.me/XcTW6k
- this is very disappointing: "ABC not to cover Australia’s tour of India" http://pjblack.me/XcSHUI #cricket
- cnn loves aussies: "Michael Holmes Named Co-Anchor Of CNN’s ‘Newsroom International’" http://pjblack.me/XcSBN9
- @TrainingSophist also have you seen this post from @wrothnie?: "Myriad wins Down Under" http://pjblack.me/YyxyBq #lwb486
- "The forthcoming adventures of Geert Wilders Down Under" http://pjblack.me/XcS3GW #auspol
- "The Art of George W. Bush and the Importance of Play" http://pjblack.me/YxnCIt
- "The hubris and folly of Darth Vader at Hoth" http://pjblack.me/XcRJYK /cc @DesignMitch
- "DuckTales invented a new animated wonderland—that quickly disappeared" http://pjblack.me/X99ZlV
- "Gender, sexuality and cybersecurity: an online tale" http://pjblack.me/YvamUB
- "Shooting in the Dark: Studying the Effects of Playing Violent Video Games" http://pjblack.me/X99xns
- "The 18 year old whose smartphone watch could beat Apple’s iWatch to market" http://pjblack.me/WJM64N
- "74 Things Every Great Star Wars Movie Needs" http://pjblack.me/YvdZtE
- "Rahm Emanuel Toying With 2016 Presidential Run, Sources Say" http://pjblack.me/Yxi0xG
- "Leaked: Labor plan to sandbag 25 seats at election" http://pjblack.me/YxyupN #auspol /via @tim_chr
- "Vimeo Gets Its Own GIF App by Buying Echograph" http://pjblack.me/Xb7QpK
- i knew this day was coming but it's still sad: "R.I.P. Posterous" http://pjblack.me/Xb0r9U
- "Emma Thompson’s Favorite Movies, From ‘Mary Poppins’ to ‘Life of Brian’" http://pjblack.me/Yvah3s
- "Fear Of Cantaloupes And Crumpets? A 'Phobia' Rises From The Web" http://pjblack.me/Yvacwt
- umm kinky: "Threesome Ends With Stabbing Over Refusal to Switch Positions" http://pjblack.me/Yv9Wxv
- it is pretty good: "The SurfacePad Is Pretty Much The Best iPhone Case Ever. Even If You Hate Cases" http://pjblack.me/X93dMP
- "SA Senator Nick Xenophon in custody in Malaysia over meetings with pro-democracy MPs" http://pjblack.me/YwQXmo #auspol
- "Cupid's Arrow Fail: Top 5 Weird Valentine's Day Arrests" http://pjblack.me/Yv9cbH
- "Decoding the Art of Flirtation" http://pjblack.me/ZeksPM
- "Cyber Attacks Against Journalists Are On The Rise, Says Advocacy Group" http://pjblack.me/X92Vpm #lwn117
- "Young, Married, and Incarcerated: Prisoners Find Romance Behind Bars" http://pjblack.me/Zekt6r
- "Musical theatre is dead. Long live musical theatre." writes @thetowncrier http://pjblack.me/Yv8xXO
- a good interview by @joshgnosis: "Turnbull promises transparent, business-like NBN Co" http://pjblack.me/X92bAq #auspol
- "Gleeson named Solicitor-General" http://pjblack.me/XcGz2W
- "Reality TV Drama Is More Realistic Than You Think" http://pjblack.me/Yurn16
- “Cigarettes will kill you: The High Court of Australia & plain packaging of tobacco products” by @DrRimmer http://pjblack.me/Yusr5j #gtconf13
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