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New 'british' Search Engine Launched


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10 replies to this topic

#1 NASA

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 10:02 AM

Not sure if you guys have heard about the new search engine being launched by a london physicist...

http://www.wolframalpha.com/

It's not meant to be a website / webpage directory like all the major SE's but rather you ask a quation or a search phrase and it just gives you the answer, not websites that match the search term.

However, the funniest thing of all is, I thought great new search engine that will give me the answer written by a physicist, ok so I put...
QUOTE
string theory

I'm into particle physics and thought a physicist with a masters degree in particle physics who has written a brand spanking , 'clever' new search engine, it's bound to give me a proper, in plain english answer..... and guess what it says...

QUOTE
Wolfram|Alpha isn't sure what to do with your input.
hysterical.gif , oh dear looks like we have another CUIL on our hands, d'oh!

Edited by NASA, 20 May 2009 - 10:28 AM.


#2 BBCoach

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 02:53 PM

It's not a British search engine NASA. He immigrated to the US years ago. True he was born and raised in the UK by Jewish immigrants fleeing the Nazis in 1933, but works and lives in the US.

I agree that it has a long way to go to compete with G & Y for that matter, but if you type in just about any plant or natural food item say [onion] you'll get all kinds of info. It does a really good job with elements like mercury, gold, silver, helium etc.. It's just nowhere near ready to try and find information on running shoes, fishing poles, gun powder or red liederhosen. What strikes me funny is that it has a "Search the Web" link that when clicked takes you to G. At least they were smarter than CUIL to do that.

Edited by BBCoach, 20 May 2009 - 05:41 PM.


#3 qwerty

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 05:26 PM

It's more of an "answer engine" than a search engine, so they're not trying to compete with the big guys, at least not at this point. This is from their About page:
QUOTE
Wolfram|Alpha's long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone. We aim to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything. Our goal is to build on the achievements of science and other systematizations of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries.

So rather than collecting information from documents and recommending them in response to questions, they're trying to just answer questions.

#4 Jill

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 06:04 PM

I think W|A still needs work. It couldn't tell me how many atoms the sun was made up of. cry_smile.gif

#5 NASA

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 04:31 AM

QUOTE
It's not a British search engine NASA.
Well according to the UK newspapers it is ... http://www.guardian....h-engine-google

Jill -> how are you going to sleep at night? Poorly like me because I still can't find a sensible answer to the 'String Theory' cry_smile.gif



#6 mal4mac

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 06:43 AM

"string theory - Wolfram|Alpha isn't sure what to do with your input."

As someone who also has a physics MSc, this looks to me like exactly the right answer :-)

He does better with "general relativity".

I do agree that it is a British search engine, Wolfram is British after all! And we Brits. invented the web, and... [patriotic warble deleted]

#7 Nueromancer

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 07:01 AM

QUOTE(mal4mac @ May 21 2009, 12:43 PM) View Post
"string theory - Wolfram|Alpha isn't sure what to do with your input."

As someone who also has a physics MSc, this looks to me like exactly the right answer :-)

He does better with "general relativity".

I do agree that it is a British search engine, Wolfram is British after all! And we Brits. invented the web, and... [patriotic warble deleted]


He certainly has a very British accent maybe he keeps it to wow the American Chicks :-)

the latest TWIT from Leo Laporte has a 30 min segment at the end with Wolfram

#8 Gerry White

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 07:40 AM

For some reason it kept telling me the answer is 42 ...

sarcastic_blum.gif


Played with it yesterday ... but got bored quickly, the acc. managers where I was working were expecting me to tell them how it impacted on online marketing, my answer was pretty much ... nope - its not going to ... not for a while ... don't worry about it ...

Quite good Swine flu info though .. .

#9 1dmf

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 08:29 AM

QUOTE
It couldn't tell me how many atoms the sun was made up of
i'm not sure we have a number that goes that high - lol.gif , especially if you use USA numerics, as you count a billion as a thousand million, where as it is actually a million million!

What I do know is it's made up mainly of the two basic elements in the universe hydrogen & helium, interesting enough, to try to reach absolute zero , you use liquid hydrogen, to produce the colder liquid helium, yet hydrogen is the most basic atom, one neutron and 1 electron, so surely liquid hydrogen should be the coldest and require liquid helium to cool it. well it baffles me!

QUOTE
He certainly has a very British accent maybe he keeps it to wow the American Chicks :-)
does it work, if so i'm off to book my plane ticket wink1.gif

QUOTE
For some reason it kept telling me the answer is 42 ...
hysterical.gif

#10 BBCoach

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 10:07 AM

QUOTE
NASA - Well according to the UK newspapers it is
Just because UK newspapers are touting the accomplishments of a former citizen doesn't make it British. If you'll do a Whois search you'll find that it's registered by Wolfram Research in Champaign IL and from what I can tell the server is located in California.

#11 NASA

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 10:11 AM

QUOTE
Just because UK newspapers are touting the accomplishments of a former citizen doesn't make it British.
Yes it does sarcastic_blum.gif , maybe USA ex-pats aren't patriotic, but British are! I'm with Mal4Mac [patriotic warble deleted]




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