Sunday, December 23, 2007

Netflix Watch Now on my Mac

I can watch Netflix movies online with my new Mac Mini, because it has an Intel processor. Using a program called Boot Camp Beta, I installed Windows XP on a small part of the hard drive. By default, my computer starts in Mac OS 10.4, but on those days I want to Watch Instantly, I hold down the Option key while starting up, and choose Windows XP.

I have installed Firefox on the Windows XP partition, as well as Windows Defender and AVG freeware for anti-virus. When I am in Windows, I have to remember to take precautions while on the Web.

It's an expensive workaround for those of us who prefer the Mac platform, while we wait for Netflix to make Watch Now available for Macs. I paid $500 (refurbished) for the Mac Mini, and $179 for a legal copy of Windows XP. I didn't want to try Windows Vista, because of all the bad things I've heard about it.

I saw an ad on which claims Vista runs better on a Mac than a PC. Too late. I don't want to spend any more money on Microsoft.

I have the best of both worlds: I get to keep using a Mac computer, and I get to watch Netflix movies instantly online!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


So, today I get a nice email from David at SilverScreenArchive, telling me that they are not going to make me pay for the DVD that got stolen on Veterans' Day! Sweet.

And he reminded me that my old posts about ClassicFlix should be updated to show the name has changed to SilverScreenArchive, the other best place to rent classic films. For you young folks out there, when I say "classic", I mean a film that was made between 1906 and 1969. Netflix is great, but they can't rent what isn't on DVD. So what SilverScreenArchive offers, which no one else does, is the service of renting films that have never been released on DVD, making them especially rare and hard-to-find. Their films are usually transferred from some other format to DVD.

SilverScreenArchive is located in California, so it takes an extra day for mail to get here to North Carolina, but the service is excellent.

If you're trying to complete the list of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, SilverScreenArchive is a great resource.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Holiday presents opportunity for thief

I forgot that yesterday was a Federal holiday, and that the USPS wouldn't be picking up my mail. In the morning, I left an envelope in the box destined for Silverscreenarchive, my choice for movies which Netflix doesn't have. When I returned home in the afternoon, the flag was still up, but the DVD was gone. I suspect that the combination of idle children out of school, and my forgetfulness, created an opportunity for a thief. Too bad the film won't be of any interest to a typical child of today. It's a Frank Sinatra/Debbie Reynolds romantic comedy from 1955.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Moby gives music away

Musician Moby has made some of his music freely available on only for independent and non-profit filmmakers, students, etc. Login required.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Netflix humans in Oregon

I wanted an excuse to call the new Netflix help center in Oregon, so when I discovered a problem with my rental on Saturday night, I dialed them right up. I got a human being on the phone in under a minute and he was nice. He didn't have to, but he gave me a "courtesy rental" to make up for the problem.

O Lucky Man! is a new release, and a three-hour-long movie. Imagine my disappointment when I got to the end and it said "continued on disc 2" and I had received only one disc. Nothing on the Netflix site indicated that the film would be on two discs. The second disk was described as "bonus materials", which I didn't rent. I submitted a movie correction through the Netflix site, and I queued the bonus materials, so I didn't really need to call the Help Desk. Still, it was nice to have a to human hear my frustration and feel sorry for me. :)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Netflix sponsors top docs list

The International Documentary Association presents its list of the top 25 documentaries chosen by their members, and sponsored by Netflix. According to IndieWire,
"Online movie rental service Netflix is on board as the presenting sponsor of the program, facilitating sceeners of the films for voters and also making them available to subscribers of their service. The company indicated that the majority of the 700 films on the original ballot are available on their service, with the exception of #19, Frederick Wiseman's "Titicut Follies," which has never been released commercially and is only available for educational purposes."

I've seen all but nine of them. Too much Michael Moore, if you ask me. He's not a documentarian; he's a propagandist. However, I shouldn't be surprised. The documentary genre has always been dominated by the Left. By definition, conservatives seek to preserve the status quo, or even reverse so-called "progress." The Left seeks to disrupt the status quo. Provoking change is the motivation behind most documentaries. Hence, the correlation.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My highest ranked friend

I've been checking out the new Community features on Now our Netflix profiles include a ranking, based on how "influential" we are at using our reviews and lists to get other folks to watch more movies. My rank is 28,188, which isn't bad, considering how many millions of us there are. But then I saw my friend Walt D in LV, whose rank is 838! I have to get busy writing more reviews.

I met Walt through this blog. He is always sending us, his Netflix friends, interesting Movie Notes on everything he sees.

Here are the stats from his profile:

Member since June 2007
rank 838
72% similar to NetflixFan
19 friends
235 reviews
3 lists

Have you noticed your rank? What do you think of it?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Mad queue disease

I've emptied my queue! Yes, I'm just kidding. My queue hasn't been empty since January 12, 2004. But in a way I have. At one point, I had maxed out my queue with 500 titles from the book of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

Netflix has just sent me the last one.

According to my Netflix History, which I keep in Netflix Freak, Netflix has sent me 606 titles since I joined.

But an empty queue is the devil's playground, so I am madly refilling it with the 389 movies I haven't seen of the Best 1000 Movies Ever Made.

Friday, August 24, 2007

"notes to Netflix" gets a nod from Northborough Netflix

Awhile back, Miss Plum started putting sticky notes on their Netflix returns, and posting photos of the "notes to Netflix" on Flickr. The notes generated a small bit of controversy, because some thought the folks working at Netflix wouldn't want to be bothered. But in the Netflix distribution center in Northborough, Massachusetts, they feel differently:

Even as Cotto and her colleagues are tearing through hundreds of returned DVDs, they take moments to read the angry notes ("This doesn't play - defective!") or occasional rave reviews ("Very funny movie, check it out!") that customers scribble on the paper sleeves.

"We like that," said Cotto, 40, of Worcester. "Sometimes, we do watch them." The notes are forwarded to customer service headquarters in Hillsboro, Ore.

That's good to know.

The rest of the August 23 article, The vast picture show, in a warehouse near you (the Boston Globe), is a good read, and it has an interesting photo gallery of behind the scenes at Netflix.

Hat tip: HackingNetflix

Reed's blog

Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, Inc., has joined the Blogosphere, using none other than Blogger and Blogspot, just like one of us.

His Blogger profile is pretty plain at the moment, but his "My Web page" link goes to, guess where, Is that cute, or what?

He's allowing you to comment, but no email at the moment.

I feel like I could give him a hug.

Via HackingNetflix

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

What do three stars mean?

According to Netflix, three stars is neutral. I rate most movies on Netflix at three stars. I think it means the movie was OK, but not great, not bad, and still worth a look. I feel like I give every movie a three, so I decided to graph my ratings to see if I really do. The result is a kind of bell curve, I reckon. The data consists of just the 150 movies I've seen so far this year.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Progress report on the 1001 Movies

It's been three months since I last reported on my quest to see all of the titles in Stephen Jay Schneider's book, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, the 2002 edition. I started in 2004, having seen about 200 of them, and now I have seen 978.

Netflix sent me 595 of them.

Of the 23 remaining, eight are in my Netflix Queue. I have three from Netflix at home. I bought two on eBay. One I have to rent at the video store. One I have to watch at the UNC Chapel Hill library. The final eight are unavailable on home video, or if available, in a foreign language without English subtitles.

I'm going through the book in chronological order, and I just finished the decade of the Nineties.

If you're working on the same list, please let me know how far along you are. I haven't heard of anyone who has completed the list yet. You can track, share, and compare your progress on the fourth edition (2006) of the book at Lists of bests.

For low-budget filmmakers

Dependent Films is an "Illinois Based Independent Film Company" which has very helpfully posted a bunch of Tools & Utilities for filmmakers on their Website, like script formatting templates, sample contracts, agreements, and forms you need if you're making a movie.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

All or nothing in the wrong direction-[corrected]

Thanks to Meg's comment on my previous post about Netflix's new help center, I see that Netflix kinda went all or nothing in the wrong direction. In response to the clamoring for more telephone support, they did away with the email support completely!! There are no longer any "contact us" Web forms to use to get an email reply, so even for something as routine as title suggestions or Web site corrections, you have to speak to a human. Egads!

I'm sorry to be hard to please, but I was one of the people who liked not dealing with customer support by telephone. Bring back the email robots! Maybe it's just a temporary thing. I hope.

CORRECTION: As Meg pointed out in the comments on Hacking Netflix, the Contact Us Web forms are still available, but not through the Help Center.

Rescue Dawn: the truth

I just saw the movie Rescue Dawn, about a German-American, named Dieter Dengler, who was taken prisoner by the Vietnamese in 1965. It's a great movie, by one of my favorite directors, Werner Herzog. Werner Herzog also made a documentary in 1997 about Dieter, called Little Dieter Needs to Fly, which I haven't seen, but now I want to.

You should go into the movie with the understanding that it is a fictionalized account of what happened. What that means to me, is that events and characters were altered. Some say distorted. After you see the movie, you should check out Rescue Dawn: The Truth, which is a Web site where the folks who know the real story reveal some details which will change your perception of the characters in the film.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Netflix cake

Netflix, originally uploaded by Simflips.

For my next birthday, someone should bake me this cake.

Easier to get help from Netflix

Netflix has upgraded their online Help Center to make it easier to navigate. Now it takes just 3 clicks to get to their customer service phone number, and it's available 24/7. I don't know how long it's been since they stopped having limited hours, but I only noticed it a short while ago. They must have finally decided you Luddites out there were going to refuse to be content with a Web robot handling all your issues.

They gave me a 6-digit reference number to use when I call, which I blocked out, because I don't know if you can use it to get my account information.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

ex-Netflix employee selling goodies on eBay

This guy worked for Netflix, and got a bunch of good schwag that he plans to sell on eBay, starting with this Netflix "What's in your queue? hat
He says:

I was unceremoniously let go from my manager job of 4 years at Netflix and now my wife say's all my Netflix memorabilia must exit our house. Up for auction is this fine red beanie hat that I received at one of our annual manager meetings in Park City, Utah. It is embroidered with “what’s in your queue?" It was never worn and is from a smoke free and soon to be up for sale home. Look for other Netflix items that I will have posted soon. I will end the auction early if someone will pay off my house :) Thanks for looking. Good Luck. If bidding goes over $1000, I will include the Chuck E. Cheese basketball used as a the head model :)

The location of the hat is Olive Branch, Mississipi, which is 3 hours away from Jackson, MS, the location of the only distribution center I know of in Mississippi. However, Olive Branch is just over the border from Memphis, Tennessee. The guy says he was a manager. I reckon that means a distribution center manager. I don't have an address for a DC in Memphis, but I believe there is one.

The lucky guy went to Park City (where the Sundance film festival is, and Netflix has staff attending the fest every year). What a great job, if your staff meetings take place at a film festival!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Summer blockbuster cartoons

I love the summer time, when I can see a new Hollywood blockbuster every week, especially the plethora of animated films with which we've been blessed. Last week, I gasped in wonder at the beauty of Ratatouille. Last night, I laughed out loud at Live Free or Die Hard.

I wonder if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will allow 20th Century Fox to enter Die Hard in the animated category for the Oscars. According to their definition of an animated film, I think it qualifies: "animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Netflix at

Keep an eye on for special deals from Netflix. is a Web site with a full-time staff whose only job is to collect and post promotional codes for over a thousand retailers. They accept submissions, too, so if you learn of any promo codes, share them.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Now you can drag and drop movies in your queue

Netflix has made it possible for you to change the position of your movies in your queue just by dragging and dropping them. You have to put your pointer over the movie until it turns into a little grippy-hand. Then you can click and drag the movie to a new queue position. Or you can still sort them by changing the movie's number and clicking the "update your queue" button.

I'm glad that the Netflix Web site announced this new feature, instead of waiting for us to figure it out.

Friday, June 22, 2007

AFI 100 Years...100 Movies...10th Anniversary Edition

The American Film Institute has come out with an updated list of the greatest American movies of the last 100 years, for the tenth anniversary of the first list, and I've already seen all of them! It's a very good list, better than the one they did in 1996. I recommend it as a minimum for every Netflix member. Netflix has a link to the AFI list, but it's broken at the moment; perhaps because they are working on the new list. :)

UPDATE - the link is working again, and the Netflix site has been updated with the latest AFI 100 Great Movies. Four on the list are not available on DVD.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Listology is looking for a site-admin

One of my favorite Web sites in the WHOLE WORLD was created by a really nice guy who, after running it himself for a few years, wants to find "an active administrator, someone who will respond to feature requests, strive to keep the site up-to-date, give it a shiny new web 2.0 look, etc"

is a repository of user-generated lists. Right now, the site is pretty plain-text, which is one of its appeals. It loads fast and is easy to update. It's also very Netflix-friendly. It's the home of the Netflix Tracker, where I keep track of all the movies I get from Netflix and what distribution center they come from. Listology is also where I share my Netflix Queue with the world. Listology is a great place to go if you are looking for ideas for your queue.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Netflix's IP neighbors

Using, the Reverse IP Domain Check DNS Tool, you can see which domains besides point to the same IP address. The IP address of Netflix is

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Official Netflix blog launched

Netflix has finally launched an official blog, but with a unique focus. Instead of being about the company, or the rental experience, or about movies, The Netflix Community blog is devoted only to the Community features of Netflix (Friends, Profiles, custom lists, etc) and we who use them. It's where you can go to discover new features or changes to existing ones, and give feedback.

Unlike Hacking Netflix, or this blog, the Netflix Community blog is written by folks who work for Netflix, "by the team that is building the social elements of the Netflix site," so it's the horse's mouth.

Via Hacking Netflix

100% Similarity

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Unredeemed gift cards

Did you know you can check your Netflix account to see if the gift subscriptions you have given away have been redeemed? I gave one to a family member at Christmas, and they only just now redeemed it. I was afraid he would never activate it. What could I do if he didn't? One possibility is that I could use it myself. Netflix lets me know the code number for every gift subscription I buy.

I wonder how many subscriptions never get used, or end up on eBay?

My family member was able to use his gift subscription in conjunction with the one month trial card I gave him, so it will be months before he has to decide whether to pay for the service. He signed up for the trial period first, of course, and then added the gift later. He already has 5 profiles for himself and his family.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Action films to watch if you're going to be the next Punisher

The Seven-Ups (1973) is one of the movies watched by Thomas Jane, the actor who played The Punisher, in order to get himself psyched up for the character. After extensive preparation for the role, he is disappointed to announce he will not be playing the next Punisher, if there is ever a sequel. So if you want to prepare to take his place (good luck to you), here are some of the other titles he watched:

"Leon the Professional, Oldboy, The Seven-Ups (GREAT flick), Point Blank, Escape from NY, The Driver, Magnum Force, The Mechanic, The Great Silence, Sexy Beast, Nighthawks, Cry Vengeance (check it out), Road Warrior, Man on Fire, Outlaw Josey Wales, Rocky (think about it), Serpico, etc"

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Netflix one month trial cards--UPDATED

Instead of just emailing me with a special code for a one month trial, to share with my friends and family, I received a snail-mail from Netflix yesterday, which contains two one month trial cards to give out. The mailer looks like a regular red Netflix envelope, except a bit smaller, and made of card stock. Each trial card has a unique identification number, and is made of laminated cardstock. If you got one of these in the mail, could you send me a scan, so I can post it here? (My scanner is on loan to a friend, so I can't bring you a photo of this.)

UPDATE: HackingNetflix has posted a photo. Thanks Mike!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I beat Ebert!!

As of June 12, 2005 Roger Ebert has seen 943 of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

As of April 24, 2007, I have seen 944.

In other news, Roger Ebert's 9th Annual Overlooked Film Festival (aka Ebertfest) started in Champaign, Illinois today, and I'm sad that I can't be there. Ebert is being a trooper and showing up, despite his health problems.

P.S. I couldn't have done it without Netflix. I have 39 left in my Netflix queue.

P.P.S. I am using only the 2002 edition of the book.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


William Shatner has an online video show, which he calls ShatnerVision on In the current episode, he admits he "likes to attract stares at airports by flipping open his cell phone and talking into it like a 23rd century communicator." That is too funny.

Via Cinematical

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Netflix brings movies out of obscurity

First, I noticed a new movie called Numb on the Netflix new releases page, in the Sci-Fi & Fantasy genre. I like Sci-Fi very much, so clicked through. No one on Netflix has reviewed it yet, and it's been rated only 26 times. That's an obscure movie. I decided to check Numb on IMDB to see if I could learn more. (Can you believe there have been five movies in the last six years named "Numb"?). I scrolled down. Didn't recognize any of the cast or crew. It's done zero at the boxoffice. There's only two user reviews. But at the bottom, a teaser for the Moviemeter (tm) showed that this movie is climbing rapidly out of obscurity at a rate of 37% since last week.

Wanna know why?

I think it's because it's on Netflix's New Releases page. Since the movie was released on DVD a year ago, on April 2, 2006, its highest rank on IMDB was 39,429 on April 23, 2006. It went down to 74259 on Jan 7, 2007. This year, its average rank was 55,269, until this week. Since Netflix has offered the title, its rank has risen to 33,144.

What do you think?

Free cartoons

I love animated short films. LOVE them. Lurv them. Anyway, here's a bunch of clips hosted by the UCLA Animation Workshop.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

New Netflix discussion group

One of my Netflix Friends has started Netflix_Cinemajig, a new discussion group for Netflix subscribers who like anything out of the mainstream. You can read the Netflix_Cinemajig archives , or join the group and post your own reviews. It's a "fun, active, diverse" group who like to "discuss movies, directors, actors and anything else film-related," who also "play daily movie-related games to jog the mind, relieve that workday boredom and most of all, remember our love for the movies."

Monday, March 19, 2007

Netflix's most profitable fan

I know I should be ashamed of myself, but it took me 18 days to return my latest Netflix. I am on the 3-out plan, and so far this month, I have rented only three movies from Netflix. I returned two today. Contrast that to February, in which I got eight movies from Netflix.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What's the deal with Carmike?

I have a bad feeling about the Carmike theater in Greensboro. I think it's the management. I have never forgiven them for ruining a movie for me. I was there to see a small film the same night that a much larger film (think Spiderman) was opening, and my film started a bit sooner than the other. Instead of making folks line up to wait to be seated, they allowed a bunch to gather in the lobby, blocking the ticket taker so those of us who should be seated right away couldn't get through. I spoke to the security guard about it, and he referred me to the manager, who shrugged her shoulders as if to say "What do you want me to do about it?" I suggested she use her staff to corral the crowd. She refused, so I requested a ticket refund and did not return to that theatre for years after. I only reluctantly go there now. If I have any choice of venues, I will do whatever I can to avoid going to Carmike.

On the plus side, Carmike is an early adopter of digital technology, but what good does it do to have great technology, if the theatre management doesn't take responsibility for what happens to the guests?

Now the Consolidated franchise has moved into town. Both the Consolidated theatres and Carmike charge over $8 for an evening show, but I'll drive further and pay slightly more to go to the Consolidated instead, because they are clean, well-staffed, organized. I have never missed a movie because of poor crowd management, even if I arrive at the last second.

I've never gone to the movies to be stepped on. I go to hear the laughter, or sighs, or surprise, to share the experience, to remember. If I saw Norbit at home on DVD, I would give it two stars, but in a theatre full of people, it gets a bonus star for surrounding me with laughter.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Netflix ads for sale on eBay

At first, I was excited to see this auction for "Casino Royale 007 Trade Ad for Netflix" on eBay Express, because I thought it was the original advertisement artwork, but imagine my disappointment when I saw that the auction is for the ad on the Netflix envelope flap. I already have several. Netflix must have mailed out millions of them. An example of one man's trash is another man's treasure, if it sells. The "Buy It Now" price is $.99, but shipping is an outrageous $5.00, since it cost Netflix just $.39 to send it to the seller. The same seller has an ad for Deja Vu for sale also.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Jacket

I bought a used Netflix jacket on eBay, and whenever I wear it, I attract alot of attention. I don't know if it's officially licensed merchandise or not. It's not well designed, because the embroidered Netflix logo is hidden by the hood hanging in the back. But it's Netflix red, so I think it's beautiful.

When they see my jacket, people I had no idea were Netflix subscribers come up to me to tell me how much they love Netflix, like they have no idea what a fan I am. I thought I was famous for being a Netflix evangelist here in my real life, so how could there be folks who don't already know I love Netflix? How could I know people who joined Netflix without finding out about it from me first? I must be slacking off. :)

I especially love wearing my jacket when I go to theaters, which is twice a week. I want movie fans and theater staff to know that Netflix is not a threat to my movie attendance, but rather increases my love of movies.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

AMC Theatres Best Picture showcase

If you haven't seen all of the Oscar nominated films, now is your chance. AMC Theatres is having a marathon of all the best pictures on February 24. For $30, you can watch all five films back to back in one day, with free large popcorn and large drink and a collectible pass. You can come and go as you please all day, and you get free refills on popcorn and drink.

Babel 11:00 a.m.
The Queen 1:45 p.m.
The Departed 3:45 p.m.
Letters From Iwo Jima 7:00 p.m.
Little Miss Sunshine 9:45 p.m.

Go to the Oscar Showcase Web site to find out if a theatre near you is participating. The closest to me is Charlotte, NC, but I've already seen all the films.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Awarding winning animation

Guy 101 won the British Academy award for best animated short. You can watch it here. It may never be available on Netflix, so this might be your only chance to see it.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Top and bottom ten of 2006

Of the movies I have seen which came out in 2006, these are my best and least best lists. I didn't see any real stinkers, but the least best movies were the ones that made me regret spending the money to see them in the theatre, which is what I did for all of these movies. I think you should see all the movies on the Best list, and avoid the least best, or at least wait for the video.


Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
Water (2005)
Queen, The (2006)
Children of Men (2006)
Facing the Giants (2006)
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
Babel (2006)
The Prestige (2006)

Least best:

Black Dahlia (2006)
Cars (2006)
Hollywoodland (2006)
Let's Go to Prison (2006)
One Night With The King (2006)
Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
X-Men 3: The Last Stand (2006)
You, Me and Dupree (2006)
Poseidon (2006)
Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Rumors of my Netflix addiction are greatly exaggerated

Some folks are addicted to Netflix. Thank goodness I'm not that bad. I can understand why some people become addicts, because Netflix makes it too easy. For example, before Netflix, I rented maybe two movies a month, and went to the theatre about once a month. Now I'm renting three a week and going to the theatre twice a week.

I used to have 500 in my queue, but that was in 2004. Now it's down to 55. See? I'm getting better. I have it under control. I promise I'll stop once I've watched 62 more movies. Besides, now is not a good time to quit Netflix, when I'm so close to finishing the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

I just use Netflix to relax at the end of a hard day. If you knew what a hard life I've had, you'd use Netflix too. I'm certainly not as bad as these pathetic people who post comments on Hacking Netflix.

If I didn't have this blog about Netflix, I could easily give it up, no problem.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

My similiarity is different from yours

Beano is a longtime Netflix Fan friend. He says he's my number one Netflix Friend, at 82% similarity. The problem is, on my Netflix Friends page, I have no friends with that level of similarity. The highest on my end is 77%. I think Netflix is figuring similarity based on different factors for Beano and me. It could be a ratio of ratings in common to movies in common, or something like that. How does Netflix calculate similarity? To find the answer, I plugged the word "similarity" into the Netflix Help Center Quick search:
Q: What does the Friends “% Similarity” number mean?
A: Based on the movies you and your Friends have watched and rated, Netflix calculates the similarity in how you rate, and the movies you select.

The calculation takes into consideration many factors, including the relative number of movies each of you have seen and for which you overlap (for instance, if you’ve rated 20 movies and overlap on them all, that is “more similar” than if you’ve rated 2000 movies and only overlap on 20), as well as the obscurity of the overlapping titles (if you both like the same rare film, that is “more similar” than if you both like a top 10 movie).

Based on these factors, you can accurately compare yourself to each of your Friends. This value will change over time as one or both of you rate more movies, and as the overlapping movies you’ve seen increases.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Netflix blanket part of charity auction: UPDATED

You can bid for a Netflix blanket which comes in a a Sundance swag bag donated by Billy Baldwin to support the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund. The swag bag contains other goodies too.

UPDATE: There's another charity auction by Six Degrees for a Sundance swag bag signed by Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgewick which contains a one-year Netflix subscription.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

My new Netflix profile nickname

Hey y'all, I lied. I just tried to change my profile from RosieCotton to NetflixFan, and it worked! I could swear I'd tried it before, and it wouldn't let me use the word "Netflix" in my nickname.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Oldest Netflix queue possible

Although commenters Vince, Dave, Christopher have all been members since 1999, I'm afraid I can't declare a winner to the "oldest queue" contest, but I can say that the oldest Netflix membership you can have is from September 1999, which is when Netflix rolled out the Marquee plan, the first version of the subscription model. That was the first Netflix deal which involved having a queue. It wasn't until 2000 that they did away with the a la carte rental option and the Marquee plan went unlimited. I think that's when Netflix As We Know It began. They had just a few hundred thousand members, and only 7000 titles. 97% of us have joined since then. I can't believe it took me so many years to become a convert!

If you Google "Netflix Profile", you might run across a link to DW from MO, who has has been a Netflix member since Sept 1999, has rated 3305 movies, and written 230 reviews.

Even though Google indexes them, it looks like the Netflix Profile links aren't really public. I had to sign into my Netflix account to see FW from Garland, TX, aka spindaddydad.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Longest Netflix turnaround?

Netflix Fan Elmer Gantry says he lives in Northeast Tennessee, and he has to wait 12 days for his Netflix discs to arrive. That's just wrong. I suspect that somewhere between his mailbox and Netflix, someone is "borrowing" them.

Linking to your Netflix profile page

In soliciting links to whoever has the oldest Netflix membership, I failed to point out how to link to your profile page in order to share it with others, without having to give away account information.

There is a link on the Browse menu, which is on the right side of your Netflix member home page, under guides, called "your reviews and lists." Clicking on that will take you to the version of your profile which you can edit. To get to the version the public can see, click on "public" in your profile's privacy settings, and then click on "view page." That's the link I want you to post in the comments, if you have a long-running membership.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Longest Netflix membership?

When I blogged about my three-year anniversary with Netflix, tedder commented that they've been a member since April 2000. Can you beat that? I'd love to know who has had the longest continuous membership with Netflix. It's probably someone who works for them. If you've been a member since before April 2000, send me a link to your Netflix profile page to prove it. Thanks!

Blockbuster Total Access problems

Blogger Wesley Novack has been experiencing Blockbuster Total Access problems. He says the stores aren't returning DVDs immediately, so that he's had to wait a week for Blockbuster Online to check them in, contrary to what they promise.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Happy Netflix anniversary to me!

I have been a member of Netflix for three years! I joined in January 2004 and never quit. Netflix has sent me 544 titles, which is an average of 15 titles per month. My plan has been mostly 3-out. I took a brief foray into the 5-out and 8-out plans, in 2005, but I got way behind in watching them.

I've rated over 2,200 titles, but written only 11 reviews on Netflix. Here's a link to my Netflix Profile page, where you can see my reviews and lists. My profile nickname is RosieCotton. They wouldn't let me be Netflix Fan. Go figure.

I've seen 923 of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

Because Netflix provides me with so much entertainment at such a great price, I quit cable in 2004. So this is also my Happy No-Cable anniversary day!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Netflix return envelopes on eBay

If you live in the Houston, TX area, and you don't own a black marker, you can buy some Netflix return envelopes on eBay in order to avoid sending your returns to a far distant Netflix distribution center.

Defeat long-distance Netflix returns

If you have a Netflix return envelope with a far-away distribution center address on it, you don't have to return your disc there. You can simply mark out that address with a black marker, leaving nothing but the words "nearest Netflix distribution center" and the Postal Service will drop it in the local Netflix bin to be picked up by the Netflix truck. This will speed up your turnaround times.

This advice came to me via Netflix Fan Elmer Gantry, who received it from a Netflix customer service rep.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Netflix Fan wins (and loses) Instant Watching lottery

Hacking Netflix has instructions for how to enter the Netflix Instant Watching lottery. I followed the instructions just for fun, and I "won"! I clicked on the help link on the Netflix home page and searched for "instant watching". I clicked on one of the questions, and it contained a link to instant watching, where I saw the Netflix WatchNow home page which told me I could "start now". So I clicked on Start Now, and got the above message.

Only a few members can try this method each day, so some unlucky person must have been robbed of a chance to watch Netflix movies on his PC tonight, because of me.

Ironic, isn't it?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

Depending on your tolerance for weirdness and violence, you must see Pan's Labyrinth, a strange combination of war movie, fantasy, and political statement. It's about a young girl who lives in Spain in 1944, right after the Fascists won the civil war, who discovers a fantasy world. It's a great movie. But, please, parents, don't take your kids. This is not a kids' movie. Pan's Labyrinth is a dark fantasy, but not dark like Lord of the Rings dark. I mean dark like Schindler's List-dark.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Watch Netflix Now: movie downloads come to Netflix

Hacking NetFlix reveals Netflix's new "Watch Now" movie download feature.

Good news: for no additional cost, you can watch Netflix movies on your PC.

Bad news: you can watch Netflix movies ONLY on your Windows PC.

More bad news: only a select few subscribers can see the "Watch Now" tab on their Netflix home page.

Check out Hacking Netflix's video demo of the new feature.

Read the official press release from Netflix.

P.S. The Netflix Fan blog is written on a Mac, so I'm shut out of watching anything now.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Netflix 1, Blockbuster 0

Matt put Netflix and Blockbuster's Total Access to the test, and Netflix won. He asks:

Is Blockbuster counting on their "return it immediately" policy to build slack-time into their distribution center chain? Is this an effort to cut costs - fewer nationwide distribution centers with less inventory, and fewer monthly DVDs to customers to keep costs low and profits high? Or am I overreacting less than week into my Blockbuster free trial?

Via Matt on Marketing

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Netflix Dictionary: Netflux

Heidi Miller, of the Talk It Up! blog, has coined the word Netflux to describe the lag time between returning and receiving your Netflix envelopes. Netflux can occur on a weeknight or weekend. Depending on the turnaround time for your distribution center, you might wait days for your next titles to arrive.

Some people fill the gap by going to a bricks and mortar store for videos, some use other online subscription services, or do without. I find Netflux intolerable, so instead of increasing my Netflix plan, I use other online DVD subscription services to fill in the gaps between Netflix days. I've used Greencine, Nicheflix, Blockbuster Online, Video Library, and currently, SilverScreenArchive. If Netflux occurs on weekends, I like to see movies on the big screen with family and friends. (Unlike most Netflix subscribers, weekends are not a big time for me to watch my DVDs. I use DVDs as a substitute for weeknight TV.)

What do you do during Netflux?

Via Hacking NetFlix

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Netflix Customer Service Number on auction

Some clown on eBay is trying to make money from disgruntled Netflix customers by auctioning the Netflix Customer Service Number for a starting bid of one dollar. Auction ends January 11, 2007. He has "1000 available."

I'll be a chump and give you a couple of numbers for free: 1-800-585-8131 and 800-715-2120.

I can't believe something like this isn't prohibited by eBay's terms of service.

Friday, January 05, 2007

My Yearly stats

I saw 473 movies last year.
Of those, 65 movies were in the theatre, so the rest were on DVD or VHS (no TV).
163 were from Netflix.
42 were from Blockbuster Online.
73 were from SilverScreenArchive.
The rest were from other sources, like eBay, Amazon, Facets, Nicheflix, Public Library, or a friend.

I have seen 914 of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Shatner DVD club quits

The William Shatner Sci-Fi DVD of the month club, operated by FullTurn Media DVD Clubs, is calling it quits. If you are a current subscriber, you'll get all your remaining DVDs in your final package.

I think they failed because they underestimated their customers' taste. The movies were mostly crap.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Can't see Netflix previews on Mac OS X?

A friend of mine asked me why he can't play Netflix previews in Firefox on Mac OS X. I discovered the reason is that the previews are in Windows Media Player format, which is no longer recommended for Mac OS X users. Microsoft offers instead a free program called Flip4Mac, which allows you to play Windows Media movies in Quicktime. It installs a plugin for Safari or whatever other browser you have on your Mac. I've been able to get it to work in Safari, Firefox 1.5, Camino 1.0, and Opera 9.1. Safari opens the movies in an embedded player on the same page. Firefox and Camino open an embedded player in a new window, but Opera requires you to open Quicktime.