2/23/2005

Google Goes To The Movies

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Just in time for the Oscars, Google, the leading search engine introduced a new “movie:” operator that enables you to find movie-related information. Whether you’re looking for titles, actors, director, genre, famous lines or obscure plot details Google can find it for you. Can’t remember the name of that film where Tom Hanks made friends with a volleyball? Search for [movie: Tom Hanks talking to a volleyball] and Google will tell you: it was Cast Away. Want rental recommendations? Try searching for [movie: awesome car chase] or [movie: good chick flick] or even [One ring to rule them all].

In the search results you’ll get reviews from around the net, movie ratings, articles and even local movie listings.

Looking for a multiplex near you? Use “movie:” followed by a U.S. zip code or city/state to find theaters and showtimes in your area (a search for [movie: Mountain View, CA], for example, will show you what’s playing near the Googleplex). You can also just search on “movies,” “showtimes” or the title of a current film, and your top result will be movie-related info for your area (if you haven’t already saved your location using Google Local, just fill in your U.S. zip code or city/state and click the “Get Showtimes” button). And for those on the go, movie showtimes are also available on Google SMS (send a text message to 46645 — aka. GOOGL on most phones — to look up showtimes for nearby theaters).

Microsoft Scientists Search for HIV Vaccine

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Research has pioneered promising new ways to combat one of humankind’s most deadly viruses with advanced software typically used to analyze large computer databases and complex digital images, or to separate spam from legitimate e-mail.

Today at the 12th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), Microsoft Research will show how medical researchers can use machine-learning, data-mining and other software techniques to comb through millions of strains of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to find the genetic patterns necessary to train a patient’s immune system to fight the virus. The first of these vaccine designs are currently undergoing laboratory testing.

Microsoft Corp. researchers David Heckerman and Nebojsa Jojic are the first to use algorithms similar to those in Microsoft Corp.’s database and anti-spam software to uncover hidden patterns within the genetic mutations of the virus and the immune system of the patient. The researchers, in collaboration with doctors and scientists from the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle and Australia’s Royal Perth Hospital, plan to exploit these patterns to create improved vaccine designs that pack more HIV-fighting genetic markers into vaccines. Microsoft researchers Christopher Meek and Carl Kadie and Jojic’s brother (and former Microsoft Research intern), Vladimir, also contributed to the project.

Apple Adds New Models to Popular iPod Line

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple Computer Inc . on Wednesday introduced new versions of its hugely popular digital music player, including an ‘iPod mini’ with a color screen, featuring improved battery power, with some at lower prices.

Apple unveiled an “iPod mini” with 4 gigabytes of memory at around $200, as well as an “iPod photo” model with 60 gigabytes for about $450.

Source: Reuters

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