Facebook is a great place to follow the lives of friends, and family, but it’s also an amazing repository of your personal information. Even casual users would be surprised how much data they have poured into the service over the years, and now you finally have a way to put it into perspective. Wolfram Alpha, the world’s greatest computational knowledge engine, has launched a service that will reduce your Facebook social life to a series of mathematical charts.
Anyone that has ever used the internet has experienced the scourge that is spam bots. If you want to protect your favorite site from spammers, the folks at Croatia's Ruđer Bošković Institute have the answer. It is absolutely guaranteed to keep non-humans out. The site presents visitors with a bit of advanced math they must work out.
Attention math nerds everywhere. Everyone's computational knowledge engine, Wolfram Alpha, has just opened up version 2.0 of their developer API. This version brings many improvements to help you cheat at math and statistics even faster. For instance, API 2.0 supports asynchronous operation, so data that is simpler will be returned immediately, while data that requires more computation will be delivered later. Best of all, it's now free.
Developers just need to sign up to get an API key to start working with Wolfram Alpha. There is extensive documentation for devs as well. All data is returned in XML by default, but plain text, HTML, or images can be specified. This is a smart way of returning results that should be well-suited to any number of applications. If you build anything great with Wolfram Alpha, make sure to clue us in.
The gang returns after taking a week off for Thanksgiving to talk about this week's top news stories. First off, we talk about 2009's biggest vaporware letdowns, which includes the much ballyhooed Crunchpad. We also discuss the implications of Comcast's acquisition of NBC, Bing's amazing new map search, and how Wolfram Alpha will make math homework obsolete.In his rant of the week, Gordon uncovers a startling revelation about the similarities between Google and Star Trek.
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Everyone’s favorite computational knowledge engine, Wolfram|Alpha, has rolled out a new feature. Now, when entering an equation for Wolfram|Alpha to solve, users can press the “Show steps” link. It does just what it sounds like; it provides a step-by-step method for obtaining the solution. The Wolfram|Alpha blog post says, ““Show steps” feature allows you to learn basic mathematics on your own, or it can simply be a nice way to check your work!” This effectively makes it the machine we all wished we had while learning algebra in junior high school.
The option works for equations of many difficulty levels from simple algebra, all the way to complex integrals and derivatives. No more can math teachers assure honest homework by requiring students to show their work. But this is actually a very useful tool for honest students to more effectively learn mathematics. Go forth and use it wisely.
Microsoft’s Bing search engine has announced the roll out of a new feature. Now when you search from Bing, you can get access to the Wolfram Alpha computational knowledge engine. The Wolfram Alpha engine was developed by noted scientist Stephen Wolfram. It launched in May of 2009.
Wolfram Alpha tends to be a little on the confusing side. It makes sense to integrate it into a more consumer oriented engine where people might get some use out of it. One possible use scenario highlighted by Microsoft is that of tracking health and nutrition.
Say you need to know the nutritional value of a steak, now Bing can tell you in detail. Already ate it? Bing can also use the Wolfram Alpha algorithms to determine your BMI and compare it to the rest of the population, thus making you sorry you ate the steak. Of course, you can still do all the complex math calculations that Wolfram Alpha is known for, but who really needs that in Bing? So, does any of this sound useful to you?