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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

February 28, 2006 at 11:45 AM

Farecast in private beta

The word around town has been that Farecast would launch this month. That didn’t quite happen, but today, the last day of the month, the online travel startup said it has launched a private beta site.

Don’t bother checking it out, though. The site isn’t available outside of the test group and Farecast isn’t saying much more.

Farecast, formerly known as Hamlet, will use data-mining and other technologies to try and predict when airlines will drop their fares. Its founder, University of Washington professor Oren Etzioni, says it is indeed possible to predict these things when you can crunch the numbers a certain way.

I wrote a short profile on Etzioni last year.

Farecast closed $7 million in Series B funding last July, following a $1.5 million Series A round in October 2004.

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