For years, we've been fascinated by the Netflix Prize -- the $1 million offer to any team that can come up with a recommendation algorithm that is shown to be 10% better that Netflix's current recommendation engine. For years, different teams worked on the problem, and the early improvements were fast, but then progress seemed to stall out. Some different approaches
were tested out which pushed the numbers up even further, but getting that last little bit has proven quite elusive... until now. Apparently, two of the leading teams combined efforts and have submitted an entry that breaks the 10% barrier for the first time
. If the results are verified, then other teams have 30 days to submit an algorithm that performs even better. But, if they can't, then this team should win the $1 million... at which point they're supposed to tell the world how they did it. Seems like a much more innovation friendly approach than locking it up with a patent.