…& Hart

Like the rest of the internets this weekend I spent a lot of time playing with Wolfram|Alpha.  The site bills itself as a computational knowledge engine, seeking to spit out answers to querries instead of just pointing people where to go to find those answers.

The ambitious service is built off of Mathematica, giving it some fairly vast functionality.  You may not ever need to buy a graphing calculator if you can access the site.  But it’s also very useful for basic ready reference sorts of queries.  Type in a location and it’ll spit out a map, the local time, the local forecast, and its population stats, and more.

The site’s designers have also gone out of their way to make it a fun site to use, planting various easter eggs.  My favorite is its response to “what is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?”.

This is that rare thing on the internet, something genuinely useful.

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