The Yahoo Pipes team hasn't been sitting still since their big launch earlier this year. Over time they've been upgrading the service and this week they announced a couple more useful new features. The first is a Web Service Module that lets developers write custom extensions that integrate directly in the Pipes service. To demonstrate how this works they've created this example extension written in Java that takes as input a JSON-formatted string that Pipes has just extracted from a Yahoo News RSS feed. This module then simply appends some text to the title and sends the data back out again as JSON. More details their blog announcement.
The other enhancement is a Y! Shortcuts module that supports entity
detection. That means it can analyze an input string for popular entities like a person, place, concept, organization, etc, and if any entities are discovered it returns additional information about each entity (such as geographic data if the entity detected is a place). For more see Yahoo's blog announcement here and an example here.