This application, built on the (rather limited) Google API, gives an inkling of the services and innovations which might prosper on the web should Google decide to become a true platform for developers. (To learn more on Google Alert, read SEW’s write up here). In the FAQ, for example, the developers of Google Alert note that “Google Alert is a free service but bandwidth and CPU time cost money. Google’s API terms prohibit commercial use so you can’t even pay Google Alert for more results. In the future, Google Alert hopes to launch a premium commercial service with much greater capacity. Negotiations are currently under way with Google to arrange a license for this. “
My guess is that a quick witted developer over at Yahoo might just decide to open up their API for this kind of service, and the thousands of others which might flourish if they put a couple of big brains and some developer evangelizing behind it.