However, they (back to MSN search) do have a question-answering system, though I can't quite figure out how to trigger it except for using the questions I see in the press about it. This sort of thing, if done well, can potentially revolutionize search: search engines are already information portals, but few have been able to figure out how to provide answers directly instead of a list of potential answers. On that note, I got to catch a talk by S. Narayanan yesterday at Stanford about his research at the Neural Theory of Language project, which combined some linguistic theory, some cognitive science (including a slide with MRIs to support an argument(!)), and a lot of computer science to make what sounded like a pretty sophisticated system. Unfortunately, he didn't present any results, though it looks like he has some on his website.
Too many things to think about, always.