Google Killer? Wolfram Alpha

The internet is a buzz with talk of the latest so called Google Killer-WolframAlpha.

Based on the software program Mathematica and created by Stephen Wolfram, the computational knowledge engine is expected to launch this week.

What's different about WolframAlpha? Well, what it tries to do is allow you to ask questions about data.

For example, you might want to compare the yearly weather of one city to that of another city. WolframAlpha will compile that data and create a chart where you can easily see the differences. It will also solve calculus equations and show the steps to solve them.

According to Laurie Sullivan of MediaPost, "Despite its potential, the WolframAlpha has challenges. Unlike Google, the search engine does not index Web pages...but rather draws information from databases packed with information. It relies on humans to update data and algorithms to keep the information current. It can't find stores that sell Jimmy Choos or Canon cameras, but quickly computes and spits out facts to questions such as how many Nobel Laureates were born on a full moon or the magnitude and location of earthquakes worldwide within the past 24 hours."

You can view a 10 minute video introducing Wolfram Alpha on YouTube or view what others who have access to the beta version are saying about it.

It sounds interesting, but I'd have to agree with the creator that it's not meant to be a Google Killer. The search for a product is different from the search for the method to solve a quadratic equation.

"It has the potential to be the smartest search engine on the web, if only the people using it are smart enough to know how." Rafe Needleman, Editor CNET.

See CNET's overview here
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