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Changes to Amazon Customer Reviews


Image from ShutterStock. Image from ShutterStock.


Amazon is implementing changes to the customer review system in the US.

News of this change was recently announced in this c/net article.

The new customer review system uses a machine learning platform.

What does a machine learning customer review platform mean?

  • The system will gauge which customer reviews are most helpful.
  • The customer review system will be dynamic.
  • The average star rating will be weighted by helpfulness.
  • Verified reviews will have an edge toward helpfulness.
  • Newer reviews will also count more toward helpfulness.
  • Customer voting still impacts helpfulness.

So, exactly, how is this different?

  • Average star rating may change, since it will be weighted by helpfulness. The most helpful reviews will carry more influence.
  • Customer voting isn’t the only factor that affects helpfulness. Newer reviews and Verified reviews will carry more weight. There are probably other factors entailed in the “machine-learning.”

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Landscape | Sunset over trecime di Lavaredo

Review: The Pearl Diver (Seven Worlds Saga Book 1) by S. Elliot Brandis

Michael Patrick Hicks

Pearl_Diver_FinalAbout The Pearl Diver

I’m Elsie, from the planet Caelum.

It’s 96% ocean, but that’s okay. Out of all six planets (or seven, if you believe the myths), we’re the only people with gills. I can breathe underwater for minutes at a time, discovering the secrets of the deep-sea. Diving is my first love.

But not everybody understands.

Each year they run a competition—a single black pearl is dropped into the ocean, and graduating students dive to find it. It sounds easy, but it’s not. The ocean is a dark and dangerous place, with caves, crevices, and flesh-eating creatures. Some years, not everybody survives.

It’s how my brother died.

My parents won’t let me compete. At times it seems like the whole island is against me. I don’t care. I will enroll, win, and gain the ultimate prize—a job diving on the head planet of the entire system. I’ll do…

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Sai Zhenzhu Pearl S. Buck two books one Nobel prize

The Continuing Adventures of Falstaff Wild

Pearl Sydenstricker Buckalso known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu  was the  daughter of missionaries working in China.   What Pearl learned, in light of her parents activities was nothing short of remarkable, and she shared this through her writing becoming a best-selling fiction novelist.

Buck spent most of her early life 1934 in China. Her novel The Good Earth was her first best-selling book in the United States and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932.

After which Pearl accepted an invitation to address a luncheon of Presbyterian women at the Astor Hotel in New York City. Her talk was titled “Is There a Case for the Foreign Missionary?” and her answer was a barely qualified “no”. She told her American audience that she welcomed Chinese to share her Christian faith, but argued that China did not need an institutional church dominated by missionaries

In 1938, she was awarded…

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Read TIME’s Original Review of Nineteen Eighty-Four

When this was written the internet wasn’t being thought of. Now if you could control what people read and used the internet to do that – would re-write the review? Or leave it word for word


George Orwell was already an established literary star when his masterwork Nineteen Eighty-Four was published on this day in 1949, but that didn’t stop TIME’s reviewer from being pleasantly surprised by the book. After all, even the expectation that a book would be good doesn’t mean one can’t be impressed when it turns out to be, as TIME put it, “absolutely super.”

One of the reasons, the review suggested, was Orwell’s bet that his fictional dystopia would not actually seem so foreign to contemporary readers. They would easily recognize many elements of the fictional world that TIME summed up as such:

In Britain 1984 A.D., no one would have suspected that Winston and Julia were capable of crimethink (dangerous thoughts) or a secret desire for ownlife (individualism). After all, Party-Member Winston Smith was one of the Ministry of Truth’s most trusted forgers; he had always flung himself heart & soul…

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The Orange Dragon of Old Hanoi Prologue Book 2 from the Continuing Adventures of Falstaff Wild

The Continuing Adventures of Falstaff Wild



No matter what followed, planting the fake necklace on the French tycoon had been a stroke of genius, Falstaff congratulated himself with a chuckle. It was just as well he had managed to do it before he publicly shot the fellow. Not that he had known that the French man was going to try to come after him. Not on a Saturday evening, and in front of Fiji’s finest hotel the Grand Pacific, ‘faux pas extreme’. Fiji Suva Grand Pacific Hotel c 1925Ruined a perfectly good dinner jacket Falstaff thought and the consequences were going to ruin a perfectly good day. However, he had come out of the incident with well lined pockets.
In reality, it had been an insurance company affair that had started the ball rolling. It had involved Falstaff, a stunning Blonde called Sweet Emma and a set of skeleton keys. All intended to prevent the indebted and defaulting French man…

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