Wolfram Alpha – cool name but what does it do?

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You may have heard of a new Google competitor that’s new to the search market in the form of Wolframalpha.com Let’s clear that up. It’s not a search engine in the traditional sense. If you search for an edinburgh restaurant or a bed shop it is not going to return anything at all.

wolfram alpha screenshot

It’s more concerned with factual data and calls itself a computational knowlege engine. The other night I needed to know the French for music so I typed into wolfram “french for music”. I thought that would be a more factual search. It returned no results. When it says computational knowledge it means it. If you’re looking for physics or mathematics solutions it’s got you covered. It is in no way going after the main stream search market but it makes a great calculator.

wolfram numbers

It is quite an impressive resource actually. Try typing in a date and you will be presented with the time difference from that date to today as well as events that occured on that day. What’s really interesting is typing in a url to see what it throws back. It will give you the registered host information. daily page views and visitors (from Alexa) as well as the number of links coming from the page. A very handy tool to quickly check on your number of outgoings.

So Wolfram is not out to compete for main stream search but it could prove itself as a useful niche tool.

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