Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

Engineering beautiful software jon aquino labs | personal blog

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Askance: Email in a question, it emails you back an answer

I've created an experimental web service that lets you email in a question and it emails you back an answer. It's basically an email interface to the frighteningly accurate Brainboost search engine, which provides answers to natural-language queries.

Just put your question in the subject line and send an email to this address:

You will then receive an answer by email.

Why I made this.
I have a cell phone from Virgin Mobile Canada. It doesn't do SMS so I can't use Google SMS. And it supports email only. So I wanted a way to get answers from the web, on my cell phone, using email. A further limitation is that my cellphone displays only the first 100 characters of the message. So I wanted specific, 1-sentence answers. Brainboost was an obvious thing to try - and it works beautifully.

You can have a sort of conversation with Brainboost, over email. It's like a conversation with a long lost friend - or maybe a very smart professor - or at least someone who knows a lot of trivia:

How much horsepower in an Acura MDX?

Using a V - 6 engine, Acura has managed to boost the horsepower of the MDX from the 2006 models 253 to an impressive 300.

Why is Mars red?

Mars is red because its surface is largely composed of iron oxide (rust) and oxides of other minerals.

Who was the original voice of Mickey Mouse?

The original voice of Mickey Mouse was in fact Walt Disney himself.

Is there anything you don't know?

I dont know anything about MFC modal loops, but unlike some people, Im not afraid to find out.

Source Code:


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