Clerk Dogs: Recommendations By Video Clerks

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

A couple years ago, movie rental service Netflix offered up $1 million prize to a software developer who could come up with a better way to recommend new movies to its millions of subscribers. Netflix wasn’t asking for much&mdah;just a 10 percent improvement—but to date the prize has gone unclaimed, despite more than 27,000 entries. (Although Netflix did give $50,000 to a team of researchers at AT&T who came up with an 8.5 percent improvement kast year—AT&T donated the money to charity.)

Now a new movie recommendation service called clerk dogs is taking the opposite approach: instead of basing recommendations on aggregate user data and viewing histories, clerk dogs taps into the collective wisdom of movie-watching professionals—a.k.a. video store clerks—to fuel its recommendation service. Founded by serial entrepreneur Stuary Skorman (who was also behind Reel.com, a mid-90s company that might have evolved into something like Netflix if he hadn’t sold it to Hollywood Video in 1998), clerk dogs taps the collective wisdom of 20 former video store clerks in an effort to create a more intuitive and more useful movie recommendation service.

The current beta of the service “works best” with crime and suspense movies, but already supports a wide variety of genres. Users can use a “Mash It” feature to adjust levels of various subjective qualities in a film to generate a new list: for instance, users might want more character depth and more complexity, but perhaps less disturbing imagery or suspense. When users find a movie they like, clerk dogs provides a direct link to get the movie from Amazon.com.

Clerk dogs is aiming to achieve a recommendation system that’s more akin to having a conversation with a serious film buff, rather than merely matching numbers and ratings from a (potentially vast) number of unknown users who, for all a user knows, may have panned a movie because it was physically damaged, or they didn’t like the case cover.

Home Theater

ESPN Plus scores the exclusive rights to UFC Pay-Per-View events

If MMA is your game, then ESPN Plus is now a very important player. The Disney-owned service locked up the exclusive rights to UFC Pay-Per-View events, a deal that will last through 2025 in the United States.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what movies and shows are leaving in April 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for April 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (March 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

Dish TV customers can access up to 13 NCAA March Madness games in 4K

If you're a basketball fan looking to get your fix of NCAA Championship action in 4K, Dish TV will be airing up to 13 of the tournament games in the ultra high-def format, starting on Tuesday.
Home Theater

There isn’t a single good reason to buy Apple’s new AirPods

After nearly a three-year wait, Apple has finally announced a new version of its popular true wireless headphones, the AirPods. We had high hopes for vast improvements, but that's not what we got.
Home Theater

Cheer for your favorite NCAA team and Xfinity will respond with matching lights

Screaming at your favorite team just became a lot more rewarding thanks to Comcast's Xfinity voice remote and some special NCAA commands that set your smart lightbulbs to your favorite team's colors.
Deals

Amazon slashes prices on UE Boom and MegaBoom 3 Bluetooth speakers

With just the right combination of great sound, a rugged design, and an overall sleek aesthetic, the UE MegaBoom 3 is our favorite Bluetooth speaker. And Amazon is offering a rare discount on it right now.
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 is coming! Here’s everything we know so far

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season, premiering in July 2019.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in April 2019

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. April 2019 brings Game of Thrones season 8, BlacKkKlansman, and Crazy Rich Asians to HBO.
Home Theater

Tipping point? Streaming subscribers outnumbered cable in 2018 for first time

2018 was a very good year for the entertainment business as a whole, but it was especially good for streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon, says a new report by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Home Theater

TCL drops the price of its 75-inch 6-Series 4K Roku TV to $1,500

March is a great time for TV deals, and we've got a whopper: TCL has taken $300 off the price of its superb 75-inch 6-Series 4K HDR Roku TV, making it $1,500. That's the lowest price ever on this affordable TV.
Movies & TV

Comcast launches Xfinity Flex, a $5-a-month service aimed at cord cutters

For $5 a month, Xfinity Flex gives existing Xfinity internet subscribers a 4K- and HDR-ready set-top box that can stream video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, as well as free TV from apps like Cheddar and ESPN3.