I haven't played much with WolframAlpha, but I get the impression that it
does better with quantitative results.  For instance, if you were inclined
to compare the number of people in Chicago to the number of people in Alaska
you might create a query like this:

http://www33.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=population+of+chicago+%2F+population+of+alaska

Jeremy

On Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 1:31 PM, Timothy Perrett <timo...@getintheloop.eu>wrote:

>
> Hey Greg,
>
> Im not sure that drawing comparisons to google is right? IMO, they
> dont do the same job...? I see why one would see similarities, but
> isnt google's purpose to find the sources of information, where as
> wolfram's aim is to provide an objective set of answers based on
> "human" input;
>
> http://www.wolframalpha.com/about.html
>
> Cheers, Tim
>
> On Jun 11, 7:14 pm, Meredith Gregory <lgreg.mered...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Tim,
> >
> > Could you enlighten me on the coolness of Wolfram Alpha? My initial
> forays
> > and comparison to Google were depressingly unfavorable, but excellent if
> > you're looking for some humor. See the summary below.
> >
> > Best wishes,
> >
> > --greg
> >
> > My standard test of a search engine: polyadic pi-calculus
> > Google result: first hit is the Edinburgh tutorial prepared by Milner,
> still
> > the best reference
> > Wolfram Alpha: "*Wolfram|Alpha isn't sure what to do with your input.
> > Related inputs to try: pi.*"
> >
> > This test, by the way, should be right in W|A's sweet spot.
> >
> > My next test: phred weasley
> > Google result: Did you mean: *fred*
> > weasley<
> http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en..
> .>and
> > then several links to Harry Potter
> > W|A result: "*Wolfram|Alpha isn't sure what to do with your input.
> Related
> > inputs to try: Wesley.*"
> >
> > My next test: fred weasley
> > Google result: the top Harry Potter sites
> > W|A result:
> >
> > Interpreting "weasley" as "wesley"
> > ------------------------------
> > ------------------------------
> > Assuming Fred (female) | Use Fred
> >
> (male)<javascript:applyAssumption(1,'*DPClash.GivenNameE.fred-_*FredUnitedS
> tatesMaleName-')>instead
> > ------------------------------
> > ------------------------------
> > ------------------------------
> > Input interpretation:[image: Fred (female given name) | Wesley (male
> given
> > name)]
> > ------------------------------
> > ------------------------------
> > Latest information for US births:[image: | Fred | Wesley\nrank | 985th
> > (1929) | 194th (2008)\nfraction | 1 in 21277 people (0.0047%) (1929) | 1
> in
> > 1058 people (0.094%) (2008)\nnumber | 54 people per year (1929) | 2033
> > people per year (2008)]
> > ------------------------------
> > ------------------------------
> > History for US births:Log
> >
> scale<javascript:asynchronousPod('pod.jsp?id=MSP41119646i0hb5a62fg000004fe2
> 11d660aid2aa&s=61',%20'0300','fred+weasley','',0)>
> >
> More<javascript:asynchronousPod('pod.jsp?id=MSP41219646i0hb5a62fg0000058i05
> 06e54df6b4e&s=61',%20'0300','fred+weasley','',0)>
> > Fraction:[image: Fraction]
> >
> > On Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 10:35 AM, Timothy Perrett
> > <timo...@getintheloop.eu>wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > > Hey Ty,
> >
> > > Essentially the wolfram API is a REST / XMLRPC hybrid, so my plan is
> > > to model a scala abstraction around Apache HTTP (similar to the paypal
> > > integration) - speaking of which, i might actually abstract some of
> > > the common factories out of lift-paypal into lift-util if applicable.
> >
> > > The interesting challenge will be that with wolfram, it can return a
> > > whole bunch of things, they could be graphs, text, sound - so i'll
> > > need some abstract way of making that presentable - perhaps some
> > > decoupled thing with a core communication group, then some lift
> > > specific abstractions for hooking into bind() or something...
> >
> > > I've not figured it out yet in my head, so any thoughts are most
> > > welcome.
> >
> > > Cheers, Tim
> >
> > > On Jun 11, 6:16 pm, TylerWeir <tyler.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > Sounds cool, I agree that there is much awesome in Alpha.
> >
> > > > How do you see this integration planning out?
> >
> > > > On Jun 11, 12:02 pm, Timothy Perrett <timo...@getintheloop.eu>
> wrote:
> >
> > > > > Hey chaps,
> >
> > > > > Im going to start work on integration with the wolfram alpha engine
> > > > > that i've of late become most obsessed with as its the coolest
> thing
> > > > > since sliced bread...http://www.wolframalpha.com/
> >
> > > > > New branch here:
> > >http://github.com/dpp/liftweb/tree/wip-tim-wolframalpha
> >
> > > > > Anyone else in the commit team interested in working on this with
> me?
> >
> > > > > Cheers, Tim
> >
> > --
> > L.G. Meredith
> > Managing Partner
> > Biosimilarity LLC
> > 1219 NW 83rd St
> > Seattle, WA 98117
> >
> > +1 206.650.3740
> >
> > http://biosimilarity.blogspot.com
> >
>

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