I given Wolfram|Alpha a hard time, but I think the service might be on the brink of finding its calling in life. After the highly speculated–but widely accepted as accurate–deal with Bing, it now appears Wolfram|Alpha will open up an API and become the provider to a host of data mashups.
At the moment, Alpha generates results that you can see on the website, export as a PDF or "play" using a Mathematica plug-in. Soon, Wolfram will be opening up its curated data that can be queried using an API, Conrad Wolfram said. This will provide yet another source of data that you can use to create projects and mash-ups with the information that we provide at the Data Store.
Seriously, I can’t see how WA can ever find success as a destination site, but as the data provider to other search engines? Absolutely!
Now, there’s just the embarrassing situation of why Wolfram|Alpha can’t seem to answer the following simple question:
Hmm, even Wikipidia knows the answer to that one!