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Re: [vox] very cool web site
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Re: [vox] very cool web site

On Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 08:19:57AM -0700, jimbo wrote:

> Maybe comapring it to Google wasn't the right thing.
> It is very hard to describe for me how cool this was.  Thats why watching 
> the video helps explain my enthusiasm.

One of my faults is limited patience, so I skipped the video yesterday,
unfortunately.  Now I just watched it (well, the first half), and I see
how it could be useful.

But plugging "GDP France," his example, works well in Google, though not
quite as directly.  For a better example, I just plugged in "Bay Area
universities," which is representative of a problem I've been pondering
for a while, i.e. how to combine very disparate Google results.
Unfortunately, Wolfram's search engine didn't give me any close to a
desirable result.  Indeed, the San Francisco Bay didn't even come up
first (Bay of Bengal first, San Francisco number 5) :-) and universities
weren't mentioned at all. 

And oddly enough, for some reason I had never gotten around to actually
trying to plug "Bay Area universities" into Google.  Well, I just tried
it, and got very nice results.

Even for math, the Wolfram engine does not seem very usable at this
point.  I plugged "Jensen's Inequality" in, and got lots of information
on the surname Jensen, nothing on the inequality.  Wikipedia has an
excellent entry on the inequality.

I have to give credit to Wolfram for starting this ambitious project,
and it may develop into something great.  But for now, I think Google
and Wikipedia are going to be much more useful (and interactive mode in
R for computation).

Granted, I still haven't watched the second half of the video.


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