Amazon Recommends …

November 19, 2007 at 6:38 pm (internet) (, )

Isn’t the Amazon recommend system interesting?  I was looking at what it recommends for me, based on my purchase history, and a very weird collection of things it was too!

I see it tracks what you browse too – then presumably if you buy something it can link your browsing history to your profile too.  It also amused me to see the ‘sell back what you’ve bought’ links – very optimistic about the lifetime of your purchases …

Apart from the obvious privacy issues of amazon have a full purchase history, it got me wondering what I would have to do to get it to recommend really bizarre things for me.  Could I just browse some funny things or would I actually have to buy them?  Maybe if I review and rate something from elsewhere in the site that could go in the mix … an interesting experiment for someone.  Sometime.  Maybe.


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Contact – Carl Sagan and pi

November 12, 2007 at 10:04 pm (books, science, security) (, , , , , , , , , )

My previous musings about xkcd finally let me to read their whole archive … which means that I eventually found this one, which is possibly one of my favorites.

Got me thinking about Carl Sagan‘s novel, Contact.  Loved the book.  Film was ok, but I was really disappointed that the bit about pi never made it in.

Whilst browsing wikipedia about this subject, found a link to (currently unavailable though).  Struck me that this would be a good way to collect personal details about people (‘try it with your credit card number’ 🙂

Further browsing has turned up Pi-Search, which you can use to look for sequences in the first 200 million digits of pi.  Did you know that the sequence 12345678 occurs at position 186,557,266?  Well now you do.

The Feynman Point is also interesting.  Maybe one day, I’ll give both Richard Feynman and Pi an entry of their own.


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