An anonymous reader writes "News.com is carrying an article on a 'mini-conference' held at Yahoo's HQ this past Wednesday. The get-together put representatives from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and HP together to talk about their experiments with predictive networks. The 'wisdom of the crowds' allows these companies to make use of the collective knowledge their employees hold to answer important questions for the company." From the article: "David Pennock, a principal research scientist at Yahoo Research, said the company has created a currency called a Yootle. It's described as a 'scorekeeping system for favors owed.' Pennock offered as an example a programmer offering to write a piece of code for a few Yootles. Or, when organizing a dinner outing, one employee could use an internal SMS tool to bid 2 Yootles for Italian and 4 Yootles for Mexican. 'If you don't get to go to the restaurant you want to, you get compensation' in Yootles, he said. Related to Yootles is Yahoo Research's experiment with a fantasy prediction market for technology called the Tech Buzz Game. It's a modified version of software licensed from NewsFutures in conjunction with O'Reilly Media and features topics like Atlantic hurricanes and portable media devices. Winners are those who predict how popular a topic will be on Yahoo Search. "