Wolfram Rocks

Wolfram|Alpha is a new computational knowledge engine which has launched to the public this month.

Though it has received decidedly mixed reviews I have to admit my first impression is strikingly positive.

During pre-launch it was touted as a google killer which it most definitely isn’t. But I think this misses the point. Google is a search engine. It is amazingly good at indexing available data from whatever source such as the web or newsgroups and then finding items relevant to your search in double-fast-time.

Wolfram|Alpha is a knowledge engine. Though it makes some claim to google territory it primarily returns data computed or held by itself, this is a key difference.

Whereas I would use google to search for, as an example, a piece of network monitoring software and would find links to relevant pages containing this information I would use Wolfram|Alpha to display mathematical formulae comparisons.

Time will tell if Wolfram|Alpha has the stuff to remain financially viable and the infra-structure to continue to grow beyond a specialist niche market but in the meantime it is a very cool tool to have a play with.

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