A Supercomputer to Treat Patients, Searches Spike for an Illegal Sport, and Who the Internet Says Will Win ‘Idol’

Adriana Diaz
May 24, 2011

Social media is suggesting what IBM's famous supercomputer Watson could do next. You might remember the brainy motherboard from the man-versus-machine episode of "Jeopardy." In a historic win, the trivia-question-answering supercomputer, which has the processing capacity of nearly 3,000 powerful computers, defeated its two human rivals. But Watson's not ready to retire yet, and is open to suggestions. Using the hashtag "#IBMWatson," Twitter users can give their two cents about what Watson's next project should be. The supercomputer's already tasked with using its extensive database of medical literature and case studies to help hospitals diagnose and treat patients. Hopefully Watson will get enough downtime to cool its circuits between projects.

Have you heard of "noodling"? The term has skyrocketed 300,000 percent in Yahoo! Search. It has nothing to do with pasta. It's actually an illegal water sport where people catch catfish (which can weigh as much as 100 pounds) with their bare hands. You can watch noodlers in action here. But you should think twice before you make a splash because noodling is a Class C misdemeanor in Texas and is punishable by a fine of up to $500. State lawmakers are trying to overturn the law. A bill to legalize noodling is on its way to the Texas governor's desk.

"American Idol" finalists Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina face off tonight in Part 1 of the season finale. But you don't have to wait until viewers' votes are tallied at the end of tomorrow's show to see which finalist the country prefers. Yahoo! Search data shows a huge interest in Alaina, whose name has been searched nine times more than McCreery. Alaina also has three times more Facebook fans than her fellow country singing rival. If these Internet trends translate into votes, America's next "Idol" is Alaina. Click here for a one-stop-shop of all the Idol info you need to know.

What do you think Watson should do next? Would you legalize noodling if you were governor of Texas? Do you think Internet search data can predict who wins "American Idol"? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter. And you can keep up with me all day @AdrianaTweeting.