We asked CNET readers who tried out Wolfram Alpha, which has been live for a week now, to tell us about their experiences with the new "computational engine." Reporter Tom Krazit sifted through the nearly 1,600 responses we got and writes that, by and large, people weren't terribly impressed with what they saw. But he notes that their frustrations might really come down to confusion about what the tool is really designed for. He talks on today's podcast about what Wolfram Alpha does well, what it does poorly, and explains how different it is from … Read more
One week after a shaky debut, Wolfram Alpha is a lot more stable but is still having trouble defining exactly why information seekers should give it a try.
Any new search service that attempts to launch in the Age of Google is in for inevitable comparisons to the search giant. (And any search hopeful should also strive to learn from the unhappy launch of Google challenger Cuil last summer.)
But Wolfram Alpha says it represents something very different, and that people should not treat its "computational engine" the same way they do Google's search box. CNET readers … Read more
Wolfram Alpha searching for its niche One week after its debut, CNET readers found the service hard to use and not all that helpful. Wolfram is no Google, but it's no Cuil, either. Wolfram Alpha is live; give us your impressions (Posted in Webware by Tom Krazit) May 22, 2009 4:00 AM PDT
Firefox add-on puts Alpha in your Google Curious to use Wolfram Alpha, but don't want … Read more
If you've casually been using Wolfram Alpha, but don't want to give up your Google addiction reliance, there's hope for you yet. A new Firefox extension lets you keep using Google, while showing Wolfram Alpha results on the side of the page.
I've been using it all morning and it's a nice addition if you're a search enthusiast. Your Google results come in just as quickly as they usually do, while the Wolfram ones catch-up on the side. This makes it a good way to test some of the limitations of the new search … Read more
Please see the response from Wolfram|Alpha at the bottom of this post.
One thing has become clear: to succeed on the Web and in the next generation of software, you need to invite, not dissuade, outside participation. Tim O'Reilly calls it an "architecture of participation," but whatever you call it, the best software strategies are those that encourage outside contributions, rather than discourage it.
This makes Wolfram Alpha's terms of service mind-boggingly backward at best, and troubling at worst. Some have pointed to the quasi-search engine's sometimes weird results as a reason to give … Read more
Do you speak Wolfie?
I know that many fine, inquiring minds have attempted to delve deep into the mental well that is computational knowledge engine, Wolfram Alpha.
Well, I've had a tough day and I wanted to get to know Wolfie, man to machine. So I asked questions, I cross-examined, I stared, as did George Bush with Vladimir Putin, into Wolfie's very soul.
Here is what I found.
Now that Wolfram Alpha is up and running, the next question is whether it can make any money.
Wolfram Research appears to have sold the first ad on the search engine to Lenovo, as noted by Search Engine Land. An ad for the ThinkPad appeared recently next to a Wolfram Alpha search for "pi," the mathematical constant.
It's not clear how advertising works on Wolfram Alpha but it does not appear that Wolfram has duplicated Google's keyword-based search ad approach as yet. The site has said it will accept corporate sponsorship, however. Lenovo's ad was … Read more
Apparently cash is still king in Spain, according to one listener. And here I thought it was Juan Carlos. We also notice how Craigslist is getting CraigsPissed over the adult services issue. And Dell says Windows 7 may be great and all but it's also going to be expensive. And that's just not so much of a good idea in this economy.Listen now: Download today's podcast Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | iTunes (video) | RSS (audio) | RSS (video) EPISODE 976
South Carolina eyes ‘criminal investigation’ of Craigslist http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10242507-93.html
Napster relaunches with $5 a … Read more
The products preserve Sony's three-tier strategy for its low-end SLRs. The cheap A230 differs from the slightly-less-cheap A330 by the viewfinder and the tiltable LCD, plus the A330 will be available in brown. And except for its higher resolution sensor--14 megapixels versus 10 megapixels--the A380 is otherwise identical to the A330. Sony's big marketing points on these models is lighter weight and friendlier, more point-and-shoot-like guided operation.
But perhaps most notably, these models have dual memory slots, one of which takes SDHC cards and the other Sony's proprietary Memory Stick Duo. I can only imagine the internal politicking it took to pull that off.… Read more
To go with Sony's new compact and lightweight Alpha dSLR's announced today are four new DT series lenses. Designed for use with APS-C sized sensors, the new entry-level DT lenses have built-in-lens autofocus motors. The Smooth Autofocus Motor provides quiet, smooth autofocus with the new compact Alpha bodies.
Sony announced a pair of new compact, lightweight kit zoom lenses: The DT 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens has aspherical and ED (extra-low dispersion) lens elements. The DT 55-200mm f4-5.6 telephoto zoom lens has an ED lens element and its long range make it good for sports. … Read more