You see a glimpse of what that could look like with Daylife (where — disclosure — I am a partner); its founder, Upendra Shardanand, has been arguing for sometime that APIs are the next way content will be distributed; indeed, Daylife can create an API for a publication. APIs give you the chance to get at more data fields more reliably and to get archival access for deeper analysis and they give you rights and the ability to mashup and redistribute.
So if I were in a lab somewhere — like the one we hope to start at CUNY — I wonder what products, services, and companies could be cooked atop these APIs. I started to speculate but I wasn’t thinking big enough. So I’ll ask you: What data should be made available as APIs and if it were available, what could you do with it? How would this change news?