Wolfram|Alpha is currently going through an open beta test this weekend in preparation for next week’s launch. And they just happen to be sharing a live video feed of the data center. Curiously enough, it’s a lot more lively than I would have thought; people manning computers with large screen data monitors on the wall. I would have thought it more akin to the WOPR with just a few technicians 😛
For those note aware, Wolfram|Alpha is a new “automagic” computational engine attempting to make all systemic knowledge on the Earth searchable and accessible. In other words, searching for a map of the U.S. gives you a map of the U.S., not lists of sites with maps, and typing in a complex math equation gives you the answer. Doesn’t sound impressive enough. Check out the examples page. Wolfram|Alpha will automatically graph descriptive statistics, up to the minute GDP per capita comparisons of any country on Earth, and will automagically compute the time elapsed since your birthdate, famous people who share your birthday, and give you the current phase of the moon on that date when you enter in the date of your birth!
Oh, and just for fun, the nutritional information for 10 peanut M&Ms 🙂
Education is about to get a heck of a lot more interesting!