Sometimes we forget what the real purpose of all this fancy technology is. And what is that? To make our real lives easier. Mashups often help with that, allowing us to do such simple things as find a good beer, our favorite music artists, where the streetcars are, or where a park is.
Are you old enough to remember using a dictionary, or a thesaurus, or even a phone book? Whatever happened to those quaint reference tools that we grew up with? They've been replaced, in many cases by applications and mashups like the ones we're highlighting today. These mashups use a variety of APIs from Wikipedia, Twilio SMS, Google Maps and more. Read below for more information on each.
While Google leads the way in web search and Yahoo leads the way in answers, many upstart services are attempting to help you make decisions by giving you smarter answers to your questions. Microsoft has billed its new search offering Bing as both a "decision engine" and an "answer engine." Now there's Hunch, a new start-up founded by Flickr's Caterina Fake, which also aims to be a decision engine, but using a very different model. By first asking the user questions ranging from food preferences to pet peeves, Hunch tries to provide answers to questions that best match the user's interests based on crowdsourced data collected from other users.