Send a question – any question – to Leave the subject blank and type your question in the email body. Minutes later, get an answer. In fact, to hedge your bets against incorrect answers, you’ll get two answers. I’ve only tested it with one question, but both answers were correct.

2:13 am, Scot  Hacker:

Who was the fourth Banana Split, beyond Drooper, Fleegle, and Snorky?

2:16 am, AskForCents: 

Answer 1: 

Answer 2: 

Service is currently free; paid version on the way. Looks like they plan to run the service on micropayments — a few cents per question. If it’s good enough, possibly useful for those times when a simple Google search doesn’t turn up what you’re looking for and you just don’t have time to look deeper. The key will be making it totally fluid – no one is going to enter a credit card number for a 3-cent charge.

Music: NEU! :: Hallogallo

4 Replies to “AskForCents”

  1. Excellent find. I tried it out myself, and recieved a prompt, and correct answer. I don’t know if I will be getting another answer soon, although I’m not sure why they would e-mail you twice with the same answer.

    Anyway, the program only seems valuable to me if it could answer a question that could not be answered just as easily and quickly via google.

    I punched your question into google and the very first result had the answer, as also happened with my own question.

  2. I tried to construct my question so that it would be fairly hard for a computer to answer, but easy for a human. So somehow they’ve got to be able to make it worthwhile for humans to answer questions at 3 cents a pop (or whatever) and I just can’t see how they can do that. Hmm… unless they’re using overseas labor…

  3. I sent a second question: “Is global warming caused by human industry or natural forces?” and received three responses, all pointing to human industry, and all with excellent URL references.

    But of course this points to the service’s limitations as any kind of authoritative answer provider, since it does not point out that the issue is debate, and instead just points to the most common references — and their distillations — online.

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