Thursday, February 24

Google movies: now playing

This is an awesome new feature of Google: a movie showtimes search. This is way better than Yahoo!'s movies in that it's just so more lightweight, doing away with all of the "My Yahoo!" baggage that just slows down the whole Web browsing experience. You can just type in "movie: theaters [yourzipcode]" (sans quotes and with an appropriate replacement, of course) and instantly you see all movies playing at nearby theaters. If you're looking for a particular flick, you can substitute "movies" for "theaters" in that search string to see the results grouped by movie title instead of by theater. The results link to bazillions of movie reviews; if it didn't, it wouldn't be Google. Also, the theaters that have online ticket purchase available through have links to their ordering pages right from the Google results.

The really cool part is, if you've got a Google cookie in your browser for your home location (i.e. you've said "remember this address" on Google Maps or Google Local), you don't even need to type in your zip code.

The one downside, as I see it, is that there's no easy way to get these results onto a handheld via AvantGo (or any similar site-grabbing tool, but of course AG is the most popular). I tried creating a custom AvantGo channel out of the search results page for my local theaters, and it was not only slow to load (even without images!), the formatting was horrible.

If Google were to make a "tailor-made for handheld screens" version of this, I would have it on my Tungsten in a flash.

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The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):

Version: 3.12
GIT/MU d+(-) s:+>: a C++> ULXB++++$ L+++ M++ w--() !O !V P+ E---
W+++ N o++ K? PS PE++ Y+ PGP t !5 X- R- tv+@ b++ DI++++ D--- e*++
h--- r+++ y+++ G+

If you really care about knowing what that all means, you either know the code already, or you can get it decoded for you here.