Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I have to admit that the Wolfram Alpha thing is quite impressive.

It isn't the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything
It isn't Google
It isn't Wikipedia
It isn't really a search engine either, although you can sort-of use it as such

What it does do nicely is computation - mathematic formulas, comparison of statistics and so on.

As a trivial example, type in "weather tel aviv", and it returns in detail, not just the current state, but historical graphs and data.

Now try "us israel population" and you'll see some quite interesting comparisons of population data - not least that average life expectancy is better here in the "Holy" land.

Have a look at the box on the right hand side of their front page "New to WolframAlpha" and you'll see some more possibilities.

You do have to phrase your inquiry quite carefully, and there are some things that I'd expect it to know, but baffle the system completely. But I think this is certainly one to watch. I only wish it had been around when I was in high school. We were bloody lucky to have these new-fangled e-lec-tronic calculators when I were a lad...

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