It seems W|A is something like a computational almanac, and because of that,
there's a lot of stuff it doesn't know. It doesn't feel like a search
engine to me, and it's not encyclopedic.
It had no idea what to do when I asked it about nuclear pebble bed reactors
(my favorite test query) but I was kind of impressed when I asked it what
the circumference of the head of a 6-month-old female is (which is something
i've had to look up when knitting baby hats for friends):
Marijane White, MSLIS
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On Tue, May 26, 2009 at 1:12 AM, Mike Taylor <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Sharon Foster writes:
> > I wanted to find out how much my house would be worth today in a
> > "normal" situation (if there is such a thing in the housing market).
> > WolframAlpha helped me to formulate the query
> > $96900 (1985 dollars)
> > and then gave me the answer, adjusted for an average inflation of
> > about 2.8% per year.
> > Google gave me a bunch of irrelevant links, which is odd, since Google
> > understand all kinds of conversions and other factual queries. Maybe
> > it just wasn't phrased correctly, but Google didn't help me to find
> > the correct phrasing.
> Funny. I test-drove Wolfram Alpha with a dozen queries off the top of
> my head, and EVERY SINGLE ONE of them gave "Wolfram|Alpha isn't sure
> what to do with your input".
> So I was less impressed than you.
> /o ) \/ Mike Taylor <[log in to unmask]>
> )_v__/\ "Have you killed anyone?" / "Yes, but they were all bad" --
> Arnold Schwartzenegger, "True Lies".