Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Have ya tried Wolfram Alpha?

Do you know how a Google search can bring up literally thousands of results, the majority, or even all, of which are not exactly what you're looking for despite containing all or most of your search words?
Well, Wolfram Alpha tries to overcome this problem by attempting to interpret exactly what you're seeking and then providing just one response.
Certainly the introductory video explains quite clearly how you can use it and shows how very, very useful it's going to be.
The only problem is that it's not quite there yet.
It works only at times in many cases Wolfram complains that it's not sure what I'm asking. As an example, when I entered "São Paulo" which is one of the biggest cities in the world, Wolfam told me it wasn't sure what to do with my input.
I also queried the term "great wall of china", only to be told that "Development of this topic is under investigation".
One good thing I found is that entering an IPv4 address brings up information on the ISP and location of the IP. This is useful and is something that Google doesn't even touch.
So, all-in-all, Wolfram looks exceedingly promising but it seems there's an awful lot of work to be done to make it useful on an everyday basis.
I'd be interested to know if this can truly remain free?

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