It's elementary Watson
Quick post. Intellext just launched a free version of Watson integrated to eBay (redherring_article). Watson is a sidebar application that automatically conducts relevant contextual searches related to the content within a word doc, presentation, email, browser window, or anything else that a user is looking at. The app includes a shopping tab that conducts real-time searches of products on eBay, Amazon and other channels when viewing a product description online. Watson also searches other resources including news, blogs and (for a premium) subscription services like Forrester, Gartner and others. Pretty cool compared to the reactive search norm (enter search term, get results, etc). Intellext is using eBay's Affiliate program to help offer Watson free-of-charge for consumers.
Also, for those of you who haven't already heard about it, check out Meebo. It's an Ajax-enabled web-interface for IM. There are a few other players out there providing web access to IM (e-messenger.net and webmessenger.msn.com) but neither is as slick. Meebo's traffic has been skyrocketing and rumor has it they just raised a round from Sequioa a whole 3 months after going live. You know we are truly in a new Internet boom when 3 Stanford grads can bring a service to life relying on open source, cheap bandwidth and commoditized hardware. Put Ajax into the mix onto a concept already launched by other players and kaboom :)