Nat Geo Travel Photo Contest Winners

Below are a few of the fantastic photos that were chosen as the winners of the National Geographic Travel Photo contest. The contest is open to anyone and the full gallery of submissions and winners is pretty amazing. The photo immediately below of a small fishing village in Greenland is just beautiful and one of my favorite photos.

Fishing Village in Greenland
San Francisco Airport On A Windy Day

The Story Behind The Netflix Contest

If you have the time, take a listen to Leo Laporte and Amber MacArthur’s Net @ Night podcast from last week. They had a great conversation with The Ensemble, the team who appears to have submitted the winning submission for the Netflix Prize. As they said repeatedly during the podcast, the suspense of the story is like a movie.

If you are not familiar, a few years ago Netflix announced a contest where they will award $1 Million to any individual or team who substantially improve[s] the accuracy of predictions about how much someone is going to love a movie based on their movie preferences. The minimum improvement in order to be considered for the grand prize is 10%.

The final results of the contest will be announced in September, once Netflix runs the algorithms of the top two submissions through a “pure” data set, in order to validate that the algorithm performance is not skewed by the data used during the contest period. Based on the final submissions, The Ensemble team has the highest improvement at 10.1%.


An Iowa teenager who has had a cellphone for all of eight months won a national texting contest and took home a cool $50,000. I guess that prize money will cover last month’s cellphone/txt bill. From the article:

In the final showdown, she outtexted 14-year-old Morgan Dynda, of Savannah, Ga. Both girls had to text three lengthy phrases without making any mistakes on the required abbreviations, capitalization or punctuation. Moore squeaked through by a few seconds on the tiebreaking text, getting the best two out of three. As she anxiously waited for confirmation of her win, tears streamed down her face.