It was very smart of Netflix to offer a $1 million prize to anyone who could substantially increase the accuracy of its recommendations software. Smart, and good business too. There’s already been some improvement, after only about a month. But, purely selfishly, there’s somewhere else I wish Netflix would put a little money: into a campaign for a Eurostamp.
All those countries sharing one currency but no stamps. Oh, sure, there's the venerable International Reply Coupon, 100 years old this year. But that requires queuing at the Post Office every time you want to use one, a solution that simply won’t work. And international “Reply pre-paid by sender” or Freepost is expensive.
No, what we need is a Eurostamp that does the same job as the Euro coin; enables you to pay for postage in any of the countries. Then Netflix (or someone else) could set up operations in Europe with its famous pre-paid return envelopes. The whole continent could then benefit not only from Netflix’s huge stock, and I wouldn’t have to fume about filmacasa.it’s pathetic holdings (still better than any DVD hire shop).1 The recommendation engine would be cool too, improved or otherwise.
In fact, I’d pay a nominal sum to Netflix for the use of Cinematch, which I was able to try back when Netflix allowed trial sign-ups even to folks outside the US. Meanwhile, I’ll play with Yahoo's MyMovies and see what they come up with, even though the site is cumbersome and way too commercially (recent, Hollywood) oriented, and always with the gnawing doubt that filmacasa will not have it in stock.
2021-10-16: Unsurprisingly, it died and went to spam farm heaven some time in 2009. ↩