January 25, 2011

old search engines never die

Posted in stuff I think about tagged , at 8:26 pm by weiszguy

Back in the early (pre-Google) days of the internet there were many, many, MANY, search engines vying for your searches. One of these, Yahoo!, has succeeded (at least so far). But when’s the last time you heard of AltaVista, Excite, Hotbot, Lycos, or MyWay? Guess what? They’re still there!

Why are they still there? Is it for nostalgic purposes? Somebody just can’t bear to pull the plug on a bit of internet history? Is it possible these engines are still making money? Surely not.

Why didn’t they succeed? They weren’t properly capitalized? They were too confusing? Not a cool enough name?

May 16, 2009

wolframalpha

Posted in stuff I think about tagged , , at 6:31 am by weiszguy

Google has a built in calculator, so if you search for “2+2” in Google, it will solve the math problem for you, rather than give you a bunch of websites that have “2+2” on them.  That’s a pretty cool feature.  But Google has some problems when it comes to queries like “800 PSI converted to MPa”

I just ran into a new “fact engine” that is absolutely amazing.  When I ran the above PSI query at www.wolframalpha.com, I got exactly what I was looking for.  It even shows me the interpretation of my query, so I can be sure it’s thinking the same thing I’m thinking.

Play around with wolframalpha for a while.  It has promise to be exactly the tool I need in many situations.