Two Thumbs Up

Someone passed along a link to a site that has graphed the movie ratings from the IMDB by genre. Highest rated genres: Short, Film-Noir, Documentary, Animation. Lowest rated genres: Thriller, Action, Sci-Fi, and Horror. So what does this mean exactly? As the site summarizes, film festival type movies have higher ratings on average than movies which tend to focus on entertainment. Is it more difficult to make a quality entertaining movie than an intellectual movie? Perhaps laughter gets less universal appreciation than reason.

Keeping Spam At Bay

I came across an interesting article on using Bayesian networks to filter out spam messages. The probability that each message might be spam is calculated based on the frequency of words found in previous messages. It was an interesting read for me after taking a number of AI classes at the University of Michigan. After reading this article, somebody implemented a qmail filter in Perl using the algorithms outlined in the article. I wonder if the junk mail filters that hotmail and the Apple Mail tool use take advantage of Bayesian networks.I’ve also heard about a package called SpamAssassin that is supposedly very good at filtering out spam. Among other methods, it uses Vipul’s Razor, a package that compares hashes of the mail of all of its users to determine mass mailings.

Catching Up

Well, I guess I’ve got a little catching up to do. Jennifer and I recently went on a two week trip to England and Germany. And although it would have been possible to post new enties to the site during that time, I have to admit it was rather refreshing to have a vacation from the Internet as well (yes, I did check my email once or twice from Jennifer’s parents place in Bad Soden). I’ll get pictures up soon.This past week Jennifer and I saw two concerts up at the Historic Mountain Winery. The first was Norah Jones on Sunday night. We would have liked to have seen her up in San Francisco during the week, as that would have given us a few days to recover from the jet lag, but those shows sold out quickly. The Sunday night show sold out as well, but I was quick on the draw to buy tickets. 🙂 The concert was terrific. Norah has a beautiful, soulful voice and a down to earth personality. She was really fun to watch and listen to. It was a relatively cool night and she had to have a heater next to the piano to keep her hands warm. At one point in the show a fan rushed up on stage and offered her a leather jacket to keep warm, but the fan was quickly escorted off stage. Jennifer and I underestimated just how cold it would get considering it has been fairly warm down in the valley, so we huddled under my jacket, using it more as a blanket to keep in the heat and divert the wind.Friday night we saw Kitaro. This show wasn’t sold out, though I think it should have been. The music was terrific. Kitaro’s music is kind of like a mix of New Age, Classical, World, and a soulful Japanese movie score (yes, I do have ecclectic tastes). I found out about him though my parents, though I’m not sure where they heard about him. I don’t have many of his CDs, but I do enjoy his music quite a lot. Looking at his discography I seem to have his earliest release (Asia [1975]) which I really like and Kojiki (1990), which we only recently picked up. This concert wasn’t quite as cold as the Norah Jones concert, though this time we came prepared with jackets and blankets. We were late in getting to the show as we were half expecting an opening act. We had picked up some food to take with us and eat on the picnic tables next to the Winery. We ended up eating while listening to the first 20 minutes of the performance from outside!