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Sun licensed the software from a small company in Alameda, Calif., called Karelia, which worked for years on a version of Watson for Apple computers. Sun has created a new version of the software--code-named Alameda--that runs on any Java-enabled computer, said Peder Ulander, senior director of marketing for Sun's Desktop Solutions Group.
Watson and Alameda--and Apple's very similar Sherlock software--harvest information from Internet sites such as Amazon.com, eBay, and Epicurious and present it in a customized interface that's faster than a regular Web browser. Ulander said Sun believes the software also could be useful for employees scouring internal networks--corporate data mining, in effect.