April 10, 2021

New Tools and Resources From Wolfram|Alpha (3 Items)

They are busy in Chambana (Champaign-Urbana, IL)  where Wolfram|Alpha is based.

1. New Search Feature: Direct Actions

For example: goto:[url] entered into any Wolfram|Alpha search box will take you directly to that site.

Try: goto:whitehouse.gov

Try: bing: or google:[search terms] to run search using those engines.

If you like the concept it’s one of the reasons to take a look at DuckDuckGo.

2. Reference: “Moon Phases in Wolfram|Alpha”

One of the latest features added to Wolfram|Alpha is more coverage of full moons and other Moon phases. Back when people got their information from only a local newspaper, it was relatively simple to say that one night or another would be a full moon, because for a specific location, the time of a full moon would be closest to midnight on that day. But now it is easy to get your information from a newspaper that is far away, so its date can be off by a day. Of course, Wolfram|Alpha detects your location, so it is able to predict the date of the next full moon in your area, and the “Precise time” button reveals the exact time the full moon will take place.

3. “Wolfram launches new document format, meet CDF (via ZDNet)

The goal is to turn “lifeless documents” into ones that bring data to life, show the data behind assumptions and illustrate concepts. Conrad Wolfram, strategic director of Wolfram, said the CDF effort has now reached the point where the company can open it up to developers, publishers and other interested parties.

Wolfram is still working out the business model behind CDF, but publishers have shown “great interest.” For now, CDF is delivered via a free player that can bring infographics, journals and math lessons to life. It’s not a stretch to see how a magazine like Popular Science could publish in the CDF format.

Hat Tip/Thanks: Jill O’Neill

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.