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Wolfram|Alpha

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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My, that’s a funny word to open a newsletter up to see, isn’t it? What is this word, you ask? Well, Wolfram|Alpha is an answer engine that just went live recently.It’s much along the lines of Yahoo Answers, but here’s the catch: You can put in equations, questions and just about anything else you can come up with, and actually get a real answer! No waiting for a response, and no long list of results to scan.
For example, I put in: “Where is Fiji?” for my question, and instead of a long list of sites to sift though, I got this:

image
Poof! There’s Fiji! Let’s go!

Here’s the actual, factual description of Wolfram|Alpha:

“(It) is an online service that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer from structured data, rather than providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer as a search engine may do.”

Users submit queries and computations in the text box and Wolfram|Alpha then computes answers from a knowledge base of curated, structured data.
This means that it can answer just about anything, artificial intelligence-style! Try putting in stocks, math formulas, towns and dates. Wolfram will come up with something interesting!

Do a search for “WolframAlpha” next time you get the chance and check it out!

~Andrew

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