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When Netflix had their contest to improve recommendations, one of the common first-pass techniques on the forums was to zero-adjust the ratings for each user. It's hard to imagine that a big-data company of Google's size couldn't do this already, although who knows if they are.

Whatever netflix did it doesn't seem to have worked.

I noticed a while ago that literally 100% of netflix content (based on around ~50 things I checked on) has between 3 and 4 stars.

This makes ratings completely useless.

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