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Wolfram Alpha is Live, But Struggling

May 16th, 2009 · 12 Comments

Wolfram Alpha is live, though it is experiencing some strain under load. Lots of reactions on Techmeme, both commenting on the brief launch delay and expressing mixed reactions to the service itself. I encourage you all to try it, at least when it recovers from the initial load. If nothing else, I need for everyone […]

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Tags: Uncategorized

Playing With Wolfram Alpha

May 7th, 2009 · 18 Comments

Woo hoo, I have preview access to Wolfram Alpha! I’ve only had a short time to play with it, but I can already report that my experience confirms my previously expressed expectations: the NLP is very brittle, but there’s great potential for structured queries on quantitative data. Here is an example use case that, in […]

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Tags: General

Wolfram Talks About Wolfram Alpha

April 6th, 2009 · 1 Comment

I felt pretty lucky to get an early preview of Wolfram Alpha, but real insiders like Rudy Rucker get personal demos from Wolfram himself. Rucker not only published a post about his conversation but also posted a “slightly condensed” hour-long podcast of the interview. I listened to the whole hour. My biggest surprise is at […]

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Tags: General

Wolfram Alpha: First-Hand Impressions

March 31st, 2009 · 15 Comments

You’d think that, after my less than flattering coverage of the Wolfram Alpha pre-launch hype, they would have blocked my IP address even after the public launch. I certainly thought so. But I was wrong. Last week, someone from their business development group contacted me to arrange a preview of the system. He spent an […]

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Tags: General

Wolfram Alpha: Second-Hand Impressions

March 19th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Regular readers may not be surprised that my commentary on the Wolfram Alpha pre-launch publicity didn’t earn me a hands-on preview–though it did earn me a surprisingly positive email from their PR department. But fortunately I have my sources, and one of them was kind enough to share reactions to demo of the system. His […]

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Tags: General

Google Shows Wolfram Who’s The Alpha Dog

April 28th, 2009 · 10 Comments

I actually feel bad for Stephen Wolfram. After all the weeks of hype leading up to his public demonstration of Wolfram Alpha at Harvard this afternoon, Google upstaged him by releasing Google Public Data today. Catty? Perhaps, but in a very classy way. They just blogged about it and released it. No private demos. no […]

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Tags: General

The Wolfram Cometh

May 15th, 2009 · 6 Comments

If you’re curious about Wolfram Alpha but tired of reading second-hand reports and third-hand hysteria about it, then be assured that your wait for first-hand access is almost over. Their blog reports that they will launch today. UPDATE: The Wolfram Alpha site says: Watch a live webcast of the Wolfram|Alpha system being brought online for […]

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Tags: General

Peter Morville’s Keynote at Enterprise Search Summit

May 12th, 2010 · 4 Comments

This morning’s Enterprise Search Summit keynote was by Peter Morville, who has written a number of best-selling books about information architecture. I’ve known Peter for a while and had the pleasure of serving as a reviewer for his latest book, Search Patterns, but had never seen him present this material live. As you can see […]

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Tags: General

Who Will Buy?

October 19th, 2009 · 1 Comment

As some of you know, I’m a karaoke junkie. But it’s my wife who has the classier repertoire, including “Who Will Buy?” from the musical Oliver!: Who will buy this wonderful morning? Such a sky you never did see! Who will tie it up with a ribbon And put it in a box for me? […]

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Tags: General

Structured Search Is On The Table

October 13th, 2009 · 15 Comments

Freebase. Wolfram Alpha. Google Squared. I hesitate to declare a trend, but there does seem to be a growing interest in more structured approaches to information seeking. The latest entry is Factual, launched today by Gil Elbaz. Elbaz is no slouch: in 1998, he and Adam Weissman co-founded Applied Semantics (originally known as Oingo) and […]

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Tags: General

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